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Old 07-03-2003, 10:18 AM
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Crafter_Man Crafter_Man is offline
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Why is motorcycle riding associated with "freedom"?

Drove by a Harley Davidson dealership in Canton, OH yesterday. On the front of the building hung a huge banner with the word "FREEDOM" on it.

Most people wouldn’t give it a second glance, since we all "know" that "motorcycle riding = freedom".

But why is that? I presume motorcycles riders must follow the same traffic laws as trucks & automobiles. So what’s so "free" about riding a motorcycle? Do you truly have more freedom when cruising down the highway on a Harley? Or does it simply feel like you have more freedom? If so, why?
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Old 07-03-2003, 10:59 AM
Spiny Norman Spiny Norman is offline
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Re: Why is motorcycle riding associated with "freedom"?

Quote:
Originally posted by Crafter_Man
Do you truly have more freedom when cruising down the highway on a Harley?
Or another motorcycle of your preferred brand... No, you probably don't.

Quote:
Or does it simply feel like you have more freedom?
Yes. Yes it does.

Quote:
If so, why?
That's the 64.000 dollar question, isn't it ?

Speaking for myself only: Generally speaking, your vehicle is considerably more agile, responsive and powerful than the 4-wheeled alternative. That can't but add to the sense of freedom.

You're very often alone, with no responsibilities beyond controlling your bike in a safe manner and finding your way. No talk radio host to yell at, no passenger conversation to hold up, no cell phones.

You're part of the surrounding countryside, not isolated from it, with what it entails - you can smell the freshly mown grass, but you also get utterly soaked if it rains.

And of course, there's freedom's twin sister: Responsibility. So much of modern life is focused on being safe and shielded from any consequence. On a bike, your mistakes turn into tangible consequences, and pretty fast, too. Weird as it sounds, that is attractive to me, at least.

But I'm afraid there's no proper describing it. "If you have to ask, you ain't never gonna understand."
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Old 07-03-2003, 12:34 PM
krisolov krisolov is offline
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Well said, Spiny. If you ride or have ridden, there's nothing quite like it. Frozen my butt off riding home thru the mountains for Thanksgiving, gotten soaked by storms, and wouldn't trade a minute of it. You're much much more in touch with The Moment and your environment. There's nothing (but a helmet) between you and the road. No radio, no windshield, no doors. It's great.
Damn I miss my old bike...
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Old 07-03-2003, 03:41 PM
UncleBill UncleBill is offline
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You can't think too hard about a bad day at work, or needing to mow the lawn, or what you need to buy at the grocery store while on a bike. You need to pay attention to riding, which frees your mind of problems, and allows you to appreciate what you see/smell/feel/taste/hear.
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Old 07-03-2003, 04:07 PM
j.c. j.c. is offline
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It’s one of those activities that require enough concentration to take you away, and enough work to keep you from feeling like a slug, and it’s, you know, really really fun.

Although, I find, being old, I’m not as interested as I once was.

In some ways, for me, it's like doing a dance. Even ifyou've done something a dozen times, you still have to concentrate on your moves and the cues and the timing with everyone else... but you have a little space left in your brain for simply enjoying the moment.
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Old 07-03-2003, 04:07 PM
Redhawke.the.bard Redhawke.the.bard is offline
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I doubt that the proper word is "free." Free always seems a euphemism in these cases. "Risky" is better. "Thrilling" even better yet. Riding a motorcycle comes with the adrenalin rush of knowing that there is little between you and the road - literally. That element of danger seems almost instinctively connected with "freedom."

Best I can offer beyond what's already been said is that there is a tengible feeling of freedom in having the wind in one's face - again, literally. Travelling in a car with windows down always seems a little more free than enclosed, and of course ragtops are much more associated with freedom than are coupes.

FWIW, and not that you asked, but I also suspect that that's why many motorcyclists were so resistant to mandatory helmet laws - part of the thrill of riding is that wind-in-your-face, there's-nothing-left-to-protect-me feel. Note that ads for bikes (or cars) rarely show them sitting in traffic, or even on the highway at all. It's always "the lure of the open road."
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Old 07-03-2003, 04:43 PM
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Crafter_Man Crafter_Man is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Redhawke.the.bard
I doubt that the proper word is "free." Free always seems a euphemism in these cases. "Risky" is better. "Thrilling" even better yet. Riding a motorcycle comes with the adrenalin rush of knowing that there is little between you and the road - literally. That element of danger seems almost instinctively connected with "freedom."
Risky, thrilling… yep. I would also add the word “sensual.” But not “free”…
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