Why do we ride? Why do we breathe?

Points: 9

Why do we ride? Why do we breathe?

As they say, I am the one who has the guts, the stupid one, the third wheel…I am the pillion also known as Paparazzi.

I have been on the back of my father’s bike since I can remember, and through the years it was only BMW, I never climbed on anything else other than a BMW.

On 18 March 2015, today 3 years ago father and I was in a motorcycle accident on our way to the Buffalo Rally and like the tales the pillion falls the hardest.

I was scared of any bike and refused to get on a bike again. I lost a bit of my passion, a little piece of who I am. After a long recovery process on a Saturday afternoon, I put down my crutches and asked JR if we can go for a ride. I cannot start explaining that feeling of excitement, fear, happiness and proud.

Now…every year, the weekend of the accident we go on a anniversary ride. This was our 3rd anniversary ride and JR was nose in the maps planning our ride. 

We were 5 bikes and 6 people (4 BMW’s and one other bike) wink

We arranged to meet at Winelands Engen N1 at 8:00, there was an accident on the N1 so we waited a extra few minutes for 2 of the bikes still to join, only to find out that they have been waiting for us since 7:30 at Engen Suikerbossie. Eventually, after a lot of calls, strong language and some laughter we started our adventure via N1 to our first stop, Ceres Wimpy for a breakfast.      Our journey took us via Touws River to Burgers Pass where we stopped and enjoyed one of the most amazing views I have seen. We drove through the beautiful Koo Valley to our next stop, Ronnie’s Sex Shop just outside Barrydale.

We enjoyed the weekend at Waterwaterberg Spa where friends became family. Like they say, what happened there, stays there.     




On Saturday JR and HD decided they did not have enough yet so they went on a 40km off-road adventure.    

We drove a total of 654km (JR and HD 694km)

When setting off our journey back home, driving through the mountains and experiencing the happiness and thrill of being so close to all of the elements the beautiful South Africa has to offer, I realised why I ride, why I decided to get back on the bike, even if it is only as a pillion.

I ride because when I do, I can easily ignore pretty much all of life's issues and stress, and simultaneously focus on what's really important at that moment. It overcomes the barrier of old and young, rich and poor, and even fast and slow. It's putting everyone in the same playing field who are bound by a pure joy of speed, freedom and the smell of gas.

In a car everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame. On a bike the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.

We ride for joy, for freedom, weather, wildlife, curiosity, speed, escape, satisfaction, challenge and grinning out loud as we rail through a perfect curve. And when the bike is parked at the end of the day, there is another kind of joy: the elevated sense of accomplishment.

I ride because it is a part of who I am


Anna-Marie's picture
Joined: 2009/10/13

Thanks for sharing...beautiful.

Joined: 2015/09/28

Hi Elzaan

The last 3 paragraphs of your report should be placed in the Oxford dictionary. What an apt description / reason for why we ride.

Nice report, well done!

Zanie's picture
Joined: 2013/11/21

I recognise the second-last paragraph from the book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". Still very apt though. It made a big impression on many people.

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