Riding a motorcycle is like French kissing death

A friend of mine that works at Lawrence Memorial Hospital said that those in the medical field have a phrase they use to describe motorcyclists: organ donors.

I suppose I can understand that mindset. Take today, for example. The warm weather provided an excellent opportunity to hit the road, so I headed out for a ride to Ottawa and back.

Everything started out really well, but about 10 miles from the last Ottawa exit, the wind picked up quite a bit. You’ve probably already figured this out, but when you’re riding at 70 mph without the exterior protection of the car, you feel every gust of wind with greater intensity.

Depending on the direction of the wind and how you’re traveling, it can either be a big boost or a real struggle to push against. For this leg of the trip, it was the latter. The wind was blowing hard enough that the bike was actually leaning into the wind.

“No big deal,” I thought. “I can handle this.”

But then I experienced something I hadn’t come across before – when I reached an overpass the wind gust would instantly shift in the opposite direction and I had to quickly adjust to keep the bike stable. It was, to say the least, bone-jarring.

I felt like I was French kissing death.

There are moments when I wonder why I do this. There I am straddling a hunk of machinery with no protection other than my helmet and my leather jacket, fairly exposed to the elements. Should a tire blow out when driving a car, I could likely bring myself to safety with little effort. Should the same thing happen with only two wheels, it’s quite a bit more dangerous. I pray I never find myself in that situation, but know that if I ride long enough, I likely will.

Even still, it’s exhilarating. I love riding. I love how the world looks from two wheels. I love the sound of the bike when I hit that “sweet spot” and just cruise on without a care in the world.

Yeah, I suppose it is a little dangerous. Perhaps that’s why I love it so much.

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