Monday, October 11, 2010

Motorcycle Emptiness.

I'm losing it.  Truly.  I can't remember the last time I rode a motorcycle.  I'm beginning to dream of it more and more.  Sometimes I watch the MotoGP and can't really remember what it was like.  Especially that feeling of getting a corner right.  Enjoying being leant over, with the feeling that both wheels are firmly planted and ready for the increase of power as you exit the bend.

I came to riding on the road late.  I think I was 26.  Old enough to know better and young enough to try not to.  I rode bikes in the fields that surrounded my house from about the age of 10, so I knew it could hurt and I knew what it was like to lose grip.  The first bike I bought was a red Suzuki RF600F, a tame'ish 147mph 'sports tourer'.  I rode that bike to work every day and pretty much all over England.  I also went on longer trips to the famous Le Mans race track in France, Jerez in Southern Spain, Assen in Holland and Barcelona.

I even rode through some freezing cold London winters.  In fact, I once rode home in snow; I just rode slower with both feet down.  Snow is not for the novice, but it was still loads of fun.  At one point I slid slowly, both wheels locked and traveling at a speed that a snail would be ashamed of, into the back of a London bus!  I giggled all the way, knowing I was going to hit it, but also knowing I'd be fine and that no one would notice, except me.

I wonder if I will ever have a bike again.  The LA driving experience doesn't make me want to get in there and start mixing it with the sedate stoners and the charlie chargers.  In the car, last year, I had 3 accidents in two weeks.  Each time I was stationary; the first two were mere bumps in car parks, where I had the misfortune to actually watch someone drive into my car.  The third was a guy who just drove straight into us, while we sat at a red light; once he'd beaten down the airbag, he just drove off at speed.  I followed, till he went left through the next red light.  His registration didn't match the car, so he seemed to be experienced at this caper.

But I still miss it.  It's wrong to be reckless with your life when you have responsibilities, but surely that  applies just as much to every time we eat fatty, artery-clogging food, as it does to the risks of my motorcycle passion.  Motorcycling gives me focus; for me, it's almost like meditation.  In fact, when I think about it, the way Lynn describes what stage acting does for her, pretty much applies to what motorcycling does for me.

I dream of the canyon roads.  Give me corners, smooth tarmac, steep mountains and mild weather.