Several years ago I began searching for the magical words that capture the essence of what it’s like to ride on two wheels. There are descriptions that hint at it, descriptions that sort of but not quite get it, and descriptions that come close — but until now no description has nailed it.
Jeffrey Rumminger, a rider but not a professional writer, ended my search with an article published in the April Guest Column of the American Motorcyclist. He got it right in “Together in Motion.”
After reading his article, I was so impressed that I immediately sent Colonel Rumminger a request for permission to reprint “Together in Motion” in Biketrash Holiday. He gave his permission as soon as he received the letter, and the American Motorcycle Association promptly gave its permission.
I gotta tell you, Colonel Rumminger is a nice, humble, and generous guy. We’ve e-mailed back and forth a few times, and in those brief exchanges I feel like I’ve made a friend. Doesn’t it seem like the riders who love the two-wheeled experience for the pure joy of the ride, no strings attached, will always respond to a sister or brother rider? They don’t care how you dress, what type or brand you ride. Without hesitation, they step forward when asked.
Come to think of it, for me personally, that’s the foundation of my two-wheeled experience. Riding brings forth the experience, but it rests upon the certain knowledge that we, as riders, have hundreds of unknown friends who are willing to lend a hand.
Biketrash Holiday is honored to share. . . .
*TOGETHER IN MOTION
Understanding the Ego of the Motorcyclist
By Jeffrey Rumminger
My motorcycle idles high as it warms up, and my riding gear is coming on. As the engine speed decreases, I begin to feel anticipation of the ride. My eyes trace the shapes of metallic art that are part of my machine. I feel a slight warming near my leg as the engine heat radiates.
I check zippers and snaps — secure. My helmet is on and cinched. The gloves come on and I once again appreciate that comforting feeling of those perfectly shaped and worn-in gloves. My leg swings over the bike, and I feel a tingle of joy that slowly makes its way through my body.
I throttle up and ease out the clutch. That first moment of motion overtakes me with a soothing rush. That moment — that same moment every time — is both mysterious and familiar. It is in that moment that all non-riding things fall away and I recapture the freedom to focus again. It is in that moment, that very real moment of motion, I am connected.
As most motorcyclists do, I often get the question, “Why do you ride a motorcycle?” For me, first and foremost, riding is the absence of all non-riding thought and in that absence a connection to motion is formed. No other motorized machine designed to transport a human being provides that same connection. Planes can’t. Trains can’t. Automobiles can’t. Boats can’t.
So did he nail it or what? The first moment and the connection to motion — That’s it!
Peace on the Road!
*Reprinted with permission from the American Motorcyclist Association, American Motorcyclist, April 2012, Volume 66, Number 4, “Together in Motion” by Jeffrey Rumminger.