Why I Ride

A few issues back we reviewed a movie by Transworld Motocross called Why. The movie asks the question of several top level riders from many different disciplines in the moto world. Why do you ride?It’s a great movie with some excellent riding footage and interesting answers to the question. I’ve watched it several times and it’s got me thinking about why I ride.

As I sit in front of the computer trying to put it into words, it’s much more difficult than I thought it would be. Initially my response to this question is: because its mad fun! But this answer really only scratches the surface. The more I think about it, the more I know it’s not as cut and dry as this. For me the reason is more of a body and soul thing, it’s something that pulses through my veins. Most riders, if not all that I talk to, can totally relate to this. But try to describe this to a non-rider and it makes no sense to them, often resulting in the blank look while doing so.

Explaining this “in my veins” concept to a non “rider, while sometimes difficult, enables me to reflect more deeply the why I ride. As I do, I realize just how much more there is to the reason I do. One of the most important reasons for me has to be the fact that every time I go riding it is a new experience. Even if I am riding at the same track I ride every weekend, conditions are never the same. This keeps it interesting and ever challenging. Another reason is there is always room for improvement in my riding technique, no matter how long I ride there will always be something new to learn, a technique to improve or some other rider whose line makes a section of track more fun or faster. The concentration factor; a favorite of mine. Off-road riding is the only place in my life where I can escape the constant assault from my mind, where nothing else exists except for the next obstacle. This escape has been a primary reason for my continued sanity throughout my sordid life.

As long as I’m riding fast enough there is no room for thought and there is no room for a laps in concentration, we all know what happens when we lose concentration. Can you say lawn dart?

Another part of why I ride has little to do with the actual act of riding, it’s the camaraderie. A sense of belonging is vital to the human condition and the guys I ride with regularly are the greatest. I’m glad to have met them. We tease each other constantly and challenge one another to reach for greater heights Good times, it’s a good thing. Working at EDM has proven itself invaluable in keeping things fresh too with the constant testing we do. I can hardly remember the last time I just went out and rode for the sake of riding. We always have some new product we need to evaluate.

In addition to this, the different people who turn up to the track always adds something to the day. You never know how you might meet, what kind of bikes will be there, the different levels of riding ability, all the different personalities.

Another one of the perks of working at EDM is being invited to some incredible events and ride days. Recently I had the good fortune to ride with a great group of really amazing guys. They call themselves the Tallahassee Trail Riders. They generously opened their doors to me, lent me a bike and made it possible for me to ride in the Apalachicola National Forest riding area in Tallahassee, FL. After a full day of trail riding we ate BBQ and watched highlights from the 2007 ISDE held in Chile projected on a the outside door to a shop full of vintage race bikes.

Before we sat down to watch the movie I was transported to another era when I threw a leg over a piece of MX history, a 1977 Hercules 375 for a few minutes of nervous riding.

Isn’t this sport the greatest?

Benjamin