“All set?” The sound of my father’s voice was muffled against the angry roar of his Honda Magna 750 cc V4. It’s a question I’ve heard thousands of times before. I flashed a thumbs-up, my heart picking up speed as his foot pounded against the kickstand and his right hand twisted the throttle. We set off into a whole new world, a journey of the mind and soul as well as on the road itself.
Many people wonder what all the fuss is about motorcycles. Some don’t like riding, some just aren’t interested or don’t have the time, and others think that there’s too many hazards. Of course motorcycles can be dangerous, but the dangers can be greatly reduced with the right driver maneuvering the throttle and the brakes.
We were rolling, rolling down the country roads. I felt the winds pressure against my body, the breeze running through my jacket. The sun’s rays radiated over the land, creating an exhilarating view. A mild lean to the right told me we were making our way steadily around a curve in the winding road. Knowing my dad was maneuvering the irate V4 that was snarling from underneath us instantly rid me of any second thoughts about our safety. We completed the turn, the horses under us never once faltering in their steps; the steady rhythm of their hooves filled my eardrums. It was an endless echo, a soothing rumble.The bike was going steady; the road had straightened out. I looked to my right, turning my head so I could fully see the land. The scenery had changed; it had improved, taking a huge leap from an everyday view to something one would find inside of a limited edition National Geographic magazine. I could feel my heart beat faster, faster as I automatically sucked in my breath. If my head hadn’t been enclosed inside my silver Modular helmet, my jaw would’ve been down to the ground from the beauty flooding my eyes.
When I hear the words “motorcycle ride,” an image flashes through my head. It’s an image that plays out like a movie, a memory; the memory of when my dad took me on a ride over the Conowingo Dam. I remember riding over the Dam, seeing the oddly shaped rocks, confused at the actuality of their size. I remember the water. How it had a color that I never really saw water have before. But I also remember how the sun reflected off of it, completing the scene. The water sparkled and shined, making the rocks seem more than just rocks; instead they were works of art, placed there for a purpose. Then I remember being in the woods, surrounded by trees with leaves greener than the rainforest. The trees were a blur as the bike shot past, my dad careful to keep his prize within the speed limit. And just like Bob Seger sings, “We rolled clean outta sight.”
Riding on a motorcycle is a part of life that’s so different from anything anyone could ever imagine. Without it, there’s a gap, a missing link that won’t ever be filled without being able to experience what it’s really like to ride, to ride and to soar at the same time, to have your soul overcome with an emotion that only bikes can bring out. It truly is a journey, a journey that the mind will never forget, a journey that will always bring you back for more.The bike thundered on. We’d been out for over an hour, time frozen in the space of such beauty. The sun was beginning to set, leaving the sky a mixture of purple, orange, and yellow. My dad maneuvered his Magna as if he too, were apart of it; as if he was the bike and not the rider.
We didn’t turn back to go home. We took a different route. Not as scene-filled, but a mild one – a cool-down from a heavy workout. It didn’t take long to reach our destination of home. Once you lose track of time on a bike, you never have to worry about the rides getting boring, and time passes as if all you had done was blinked an eye.My mom was standing outside our house waiting for us when we pulled into the driveway. The angry rumble had shut off its temper, and a peaceful, almost harmonious sound of quiet pervaded its place.“How was the ride?” she asked us with enthused curiosity as my dad and I both took off our helmets and jackets. I smiled, exchanging a tacit glance with my dad; we didn’t need words to explain, we understood. “Just like any other ride” I said simply as I shrugged and headed for the house. I finished taking off my gear, making sure it found its way back to its proper place, and went upstairs to get a shower. I was at peace.
Note from Dad Tom, who is a guest columnist with Examiner.com in Balitimore, Maryland: Lauren is a high school sophomore and an honors English student. Besides my last name, she also shares my passion for riding. The article is entirely Laurens work. I have not added or edited a single word. Yes, Im a proud father. Im betting youll be as touched by her work as I am.