|by Richard "Lobo" Moore
October 15, 1994
How often have I heard these words: "Why do you ride a motorcycle?"
Recently I returned from my annual mountain colors trip into the Smokies. On the way back, as the sun was setting, I got
thinking about the question:
Why DO I ride?
Why do I ride?
Why do I RIDE?
|What is it that despite what "they" think; despite the rain; despite the bugs; despite the heat or cold; despite the chances
of being seriously injured or killed; despite all these things - what is it that "makes"
The thrill? Yes!
The freedom? Yes!
The solitude? Yes!
The tranquility? Yes!
All that, and so much more that defies verbal description.
Can't I have solitude and tranquility inside a car? Not really - not in a safe cocoon of metal and glass, a quad wheeler. I
may have solitude in a car, but it's also seclusion. I am insulated from the world - a world of which I am (or should be) a
part of. Instead the world is passing me by. Seclusion means isolation. Isolation does not bring tranquility. Isolation brings
conflict and agitation, i.e., stress. Stress is what I am seeking to leave behind when I ride.
On Harley I have solitude, but a solitude that incorporates the world around me - the sounds, the smells, the subtle
changes in temperature. I am not isolated from, but have become a part of the world I am passing through. This kind of
solitude brings peace, harmony, serenity, tranquility. The solitude found on Harley is spiritual - a oneness with the universe.
Most people find or hope to find God when they attend their church schools and/or services. Many never do. Others have
or will. If they do I am happy for them. I tried for many, many years, in many different churches, and through the study of
all the major religions. All I found was evidence of the existence of God. I already knew He existed. So I had gained
nothing. She was not in those buildings - not for me.
So where do I find the Creator? All I need to do is get on Harley, throttle up to a comfortable cruising speed, kick back,
and let the staccato rumble of the heavy metal thunder blend & synchronize with the beat of mother earth. Soon my stress
flows out of me - absorbed by the passing wind, and is negated by Her cosmic, healing energy flowing through and all
around me. "My" God lives in the wind, in all the magnificence which surrounds me - and of which I have now become a
When I DRIVE to Orlando, or Charlotte, or Chattanooga, or Nashville, or Jacksonville, or . . . , I get irritated and
stressed out at the lunatics who occupy some of the other quad wheelers and are "sharing" the road with me. Stress is
When I RIDE to the same destinations I encounter the "same" lunatics, but I quickly settle back into the ride and the
irritation vanishes - the world is in order again and I am at harmony with the order of the universe.
Why do I ride? Why as I approach a half-century in age do I still pursue a "dangerous" "hobby" - one that started over 30
When I ride it occurs to me how much a part of the land I am. In a car there is a metal/glass/plastic boundary keeping me
from all the splendor that I can see, feel, hear, smell on Harley. I "see" each flower and feel the subtle changes in the
temperature of the shadows. Trees and mountains loom so "close" I can "touch" them, and the scent of jasmine, or
honeysuckle, or a myriad of other beautiful scents rarely, if ever, escapes me.
Of course it's not always pleasant. Anyone who's ridden for long can tell you stories about "the trip from, or to, 'hell'." But,
it's part of the deal, and those trips are what make the good ones become the great ones. Riding through desert sandstorms
and heat from hell, or cold so intense that it eats clear through to the bone, or thunderstorms, or even hurricanes still brings
me into contact with the Great Spirit, on His terms - in His own "backyard" - and I can still enjoy the moment, because I
feel truly alive - a part of the universe, not isolated from it.
Besides, on trips like those, it's nice to get to my destination and out of the elements. So it also enhances my appreciation
of the man-made things in life - like houses (smile).
So, why do I ride? A Harley slogan ("borrowed" by others) is "Live To Ride, Ride To Live." My Florida tag read
"LIV2RYD." It used to be that the tag was correct as to which was the most important. However, as my spirit grows and
as my desire to gain more spiritual awareness deepens, the words have reversed in importance. Now it would have to be
RIDE TO LIVE!
It's been said that home is not where you live, but where you understand, and where you feel you are understood.
Why do I ride? Simple: I am at home in the universe when I ride. I do understand. I am understood. The wolves, hawks,
eagles...and all Her creatures are my sisters & brothers. I am in touch with THE TRUTH that can only be found by looking
|And when I ride,
ONE with TAO
(Gaelic for FREEDOM)