Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oh Oh Oh (It’s Magic)

I really feel sorrow for the masses who have never experienced the enjoyment we get on two wheels. Those who don't "get" the attraction to being out there with the wind in your face will often question your motivators. "Don't you get cold?" or "What about if it rains?" I get those so often.
Those insignificant aspects of motorcycle pale by comparison to the therapeutic benefits of zoning out of life an into the ride. The near total concentration required to ride a motorcycle washes away the daily stresses of life. When I straddle my bike I quickly forget about the work deadlines, or the bills, what I had for breakfast or even my name. This is just day in day out motorcycling but every so often you reach the next level and experience a perfect moment that reaffirms how magical motorcycling can be.

 A Friday night two weeks ago was one such moment for me. I had arranged to meet with Mrs Big Steve and the tribe of little Big Steves half way home to assist in loading some new furniture into our cage. I had copped a drenching on the freeway out of Melbourne. Normally I'm not fazed by a little inclement weather however I was rocking a new open face lid and hadn't been able to find my riding glasses so was stuck with some ill-fitting plastic oakleys. Needless to say comfort was at a low and the rain hit my face like shards of 100kmph glass. I arrived in the outer east at the base of Mt Dandenong early and after sitting on my bike for about a half hour, wet from head to the chill factor started to set in. I sat back and admired a beautiful sunset as the whole sky glowed in hues of yellow, orange and red. As the sun set the cold started to set in. I met up with the fam & after picking up our furniture ate dinner then handed in the shitty oakleys and decided to ride up the Yarra Valley sans eye protection.


By the time I left the massive and was on the road again, the skies had cleared. Where dark clouds and constant rain previously lashed my face there were now stars and an almost-full moon. Light bounced off the odd remaining cloud in the sky and lit the Yarra ranges up to the point of making my headlight optional. There was minimal traffic on the Warby highway and despite the rumble of my engine I could sense a calmness as silence had set in for the night, almost like nature was taking a rest after a day of thunder, lightening, wind and rain. My decision to leave the crappy glasses behind had paid off. There were no bugs or any road debris hitting my face and the days rain had left the air crisp, clean and dry. My once sodden jeans were starting to dry out and my upper body no longer felt hunched over in a cold shiver.

My eyes were not watering up which meant I could absorb the breathtaking views first hand. I repeatedly let go of the bars and reclined so I could experience the moon and the stars free of any external filter like a face shield or glasses or the bars and dash. I detoured off the highway via a shortcut that bypasses three towns and their respective 50km speed limits. This gave me a chance to opened the throttle. I felt my face flap in the turbulence of the still night air transformed into gale force winds by the motorcycle beneath me. At this point it dawned on me that this was about as "at one with your motorcycle" as it gets. Some times it takes a tank of fuel to clear my mind, other times it's a lot less.
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