Top 10 Reasons for Motorcycling

The other day, Barry Corey—President of Biola University—caught me leaving my office holding a motorcycle helmet. He asked me about it and I gave him the first answer that came to mind: “I walk to work, and it’s gotten more dangerous than it used to be.” (Biola is in La Mirada, which is in Los Angeles County.)

The truth is, I don’t walk to work and I do ride a motorcycle. Oh, and La Mirada is a pretty safe place.

But why ride a motorcycle?

Here are ten of my own reasons:

  1. Parking. Shopping the Brea Mall at Christmas, attending the Biola University commencement, and showing up late for work can be sources of panic because open parking spaces are nonexistent. With a motorcycle this is not a problem. Many parking structures now have specially reserved parking for motorcycles. And here’s the real kicker: they are often located immediately adjacent to the handicap parking! How ironic is that?
  2. Praying. Motorbiking improves your prayer life. It adjusts your priorities, so that praying becomes serious business. Instead of praying for a space in the mall parking structure, you learn to pray for survival.
  3. Vanity. No, I don’t mean the vanity displayed by so many motorbikers who look and ride like the biker’s version of the runway model. I’m talking about the vanity of life, the Ecclesiastes kind of vanity. Riding can reinforce the counterbalancing impressions of power to pursue your dream and confronting the fragility and brevity of life, both at the same time. This is biblical.
  4. Adrenalin. Chemical Structure of AdrenalinAlso called epinephrone, adrenalin is a hormone and neurotransmitter that is instantly activated in situations perceived as dangerous, creating a feeling of euphoria—an “adrenalin rush.”
  5. No seatbelts. This is one of the first things that struck me (I know, bad choice of words) when I took up motorcycling.
  6. Antinomianism. I’m not talking theology here. I mean something more general, namely, antinomianism as opposed to hyper-legalism. Some traffic laws simply don’t apply to motorcycles and their riders. For example, there is no seatbelt law, riders are legally entitled to split lanes, and there is practically no danger of being pulled over for violating the cell phone law that requires using a headset. Question: How many times have you seen a motorcycle cop ticketing a biker?
  7. No qeues at stop lights. First, because of the gear ratio on a motorcycle, there’s a greater chance of being the first at a stop light (if, indeed, you aren’t able to streak across the intersection just in time—legally, of course). And if you come upon a ten-car backup in three lanes at a traffic signal, you can use the special lane reserved for bikers, approximately four feet wide, and lined by parked vehicles (otherwise known as “cages”), waiting interminably for the opportunity to cross the intersection. Yesterday, a driver actually moved over slightly to allow me room to slip between cars and trucks. (Tip: to take full advantage of this benefit, the smaller the bike, the better. A Honda 250 Rebel is ideal.)
  8. Greater head protection in case of accidents. How many drivers wear helmets in their cars? Now, how many bikers where helmets? I rest my case.helmet-law-map
  9. Fraternity. The most notable symbol of this is the wave. Bikers, when passing each other going opposite directions, give each other a wave. If you want to understand this better, check out the five-minute YouTube video by Mordeth13 here.
  10. Joie de livre. This is a French concept perfected by Harley Davidson, Triumph, and Ducati.

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About Doug Geivett
University Professor; PhD in philosophy; author; conference speaker. Hobbies include motorcycling, travel, kayaking, sailing.

10 Responses to Top 10 Reasons for Motorcycling

  1. Buell says:

    That is true ,… I really agree with you ,.. I have even sold my car and bought a motorcycle. Today if you normally live in a big city is better to have a motorcycle than a car, cos with a car you can travel all day to only go to work. With a bike you save a lot of time and you even not destroy the environment.

    Like

  2. Doug Geivett says:

    Cedaresh,

    I wonder if this translates the Russian adequately: “That’s quite enough of a cognitive nature to say about an interesting theme.”

    Like

  3. Doug Geivett says:

    I’m sure that’s true, Mike!

    Like

  4. Mike Austin says:

    Hi Doug,
    Nice list. All 10 apply, in slightly different ways, to bicycling as well!
    Good riding!

    Like

  5. Howard says:

    Yes, I watched the video and have seen most of the waves. Sometimes the Harley riders change theirs after seeing I’m on a Honda. Most, however, are smiling through their beards-can’t help it here on the Oregon coast!

    Like

  6. Doug Geivett says:

    Dad,

    Maybe you should move to a larger town. How do people there know how old you are? Not by your appearance or your riding.

    Did you watch the video under the category of “Fraternity” in this post?

    Yep, booked my flight to SL yesterday. Kim has been pretty persistent . . . and persuasive!

    -Doug

    Like

  7. Howard says:

    Hi Doug,
    Enjoyed reading “10 Top Reasons”. I find when I get on my Honda VTX people LOL, take pictures with their iPhones and LOL again! Am I wrong to still be riding after blowing out 7 big red candles?
    See you in St. Louis.
    Oh, yes, Oregon is a great place to ride!
    Dad

    Like

  8. Doug Geivett says:

    Hi Alex,

    Oregon country is a great place to ride. This summer could be your time!

    A kind of philosophy of biking, and touching on various topics in philosophy, is developed in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig (published in 1973, after the manuscript had been rejected over 100 times). Pirsig (b. 1928), though not a professional philosopher, is a creative writer, and his book garnered much attention, selling, I think, in the neighborhood of four million copies. I read it in the early 1980s. ZAMM provides an unusual twist on the notion of peripatetic philosophy, mixing the mechanics of motorbiking with the whimsy of Zen mysticism!

    Like

  9. Alex says:

    Doug,

    This was a very fun read. Makes me want to be a biker. I’ve always considered it. We’ll see…

    When is your Philosophy of Biking book coming out? 🙂

    Like

  10. Cederash says:

    Достаточно интересная и познавательная тема

    Like

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