|There needs to be more of this.|
It would be rational for a new rider to worry about safety or technique. There are a great deal of intuitive unknowns for a newish rider to adapt to, things to think about that will not be thought about once experience is gained. Several months ago, for example, Road Pickle adventurer Sash was struggling with basic turns. I doubt she ever thinks about these things at all now; they just happen. So, if I were riding along overthinking every right turn or too cautiously crawling away from stops, that would make sense.
The machine, after all, is the physical manifestation of my emotional reaction to that anxiety. Some incongruous and intangible entity makes me feel subjugated (2); a personal vehicle of any kind –– something that allows me to go where I want to go, when I want to go –– is an obvious means of fighting that. A motorcycle, with its design often not allowing for more than just a single user, and its ability to “escape” other vehicles via superior speed and manoeuvrability, is a particular declaration of one’s independence.
That anything, especially something so nebulous as this anxiety, might threaten that independence is likely to put me on edge. So, perhaps that’s really what I’m feeling/fearing: that They are going to come and take my bike away.
Certainly the fear of its being stolen is something I struggle to overcome when I’m out and about. The Honda CBF600 comes equipped with HISS immobiliser, of course, and I always set the steering lock. I also have a U lock that I run through the spokes, which would block the wheel from turning. And whenever possible, I chain the bike to something stationary, like a lamp post. But still I feel sickly uncomfortable when the bike is out of my sight. I would leave a newborn child unattended for longer than I’m willing to be away from the bike.
And perhaps it’s this which creates the panicked feeling that I must always keep moving. Don’t stop to enjoy the fields of rapeseed flowers, don’t relax at a cafe, don’t park at the beach to pull off your boots and wade into the ocean. Just go. Keep going. Don’t let anyone catch you. Don’t let anyone see you. Hide in your helmet, slip through the queues of traffic. Disappear.
Perhaps this is my learning experience. Whereas some people have to learn how to ride –– mastering U turns and gear changes, etc. –– I’m struggling with the emotional/spiritual side of motorcycling. I’m having to learn how to not ride.
(2) I appealed the decision and won. Partially, I think, because Jenn came along and started crying in the courtroom.
(3) OK, we’re tripping off into Crazy Land with this sort of talk. Let me stress that although I feel “lessened” (for lack of a better word) by many of the offices of the world around me I do not think there is any sort of conspiracy against me, or what have you. I’m just a nameless insignificant, made more insignificant in people’s eyes because I’m not from here.