Motorcycle Riding - Why We Ride - Special Section

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 cycle 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.Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Riding is a song in your heart. And it's similar to a religion (but not one...). It's also slightly like romantic love; it makes me feel good deep inside. Sometimes this is beautifully complicated, visceral, organic, affirming, virtuous and primal. And sometimes it's simply a sweet kinesthetic nano-moment strung together in linear time with a trillion others that are similarly excellent. It is all good, even though I'm not exactly sure why. Andy Goldfine, owner, Aerostich Riderwearhouse

I ride because I truly love it and there is nowhere else I'd rather be than on a motor cycle. Chicks dig scars, and I have a lot of them.Travis Pastrana, X-Games gold medallist

For me, motorcycle riding is the ultimate freedom. I could handle the teachers yelling at me all day long, usually for causing trouble, but knowing I could ride my bike at the end of the day made any day complete. Whether you're GP racing, MX racing, dirt-tracking, trials riding or just cruising down the highway, it's just man and machine.Kevin Schwantz, 1993 500cc Grand Prix World Champion

It's a part of me. If I can't ride some form of motorcycle, I don't feel complete. The adrenaline rush [you get from competition] is just awesome! A really close race or a win is hard to beat. That's what I ride for. Showing my kids how to ride would be the next best thing.Doug Chandler, three-time.AMA Superbike Champion

I ride because when I do, I can easily ignore pretty much all of my life's issues, and simultaneously focus on what's really important at that moment: the challenges of skillful riding and the intense rush of being at one with the bike, the corner and the moment. In that setting, whether it's total escapism or total clarity, I am fulfilled.Paul DiMarchi, owner, Northern Colorado BMW/Ducati

A motorcycle is an incredible ambassador and magnet for conversation. People walk up and ask questions, and so many of their parting words are, "I wish I was doing what you are." That pretty much says it all.Monte Lutz and Bonnie Strawser, owners, Sportbike Track Time

A huge part of riding is about the camaraderie and enjoying the two-wheeled bond with friends, but it still retains a very personal aspect. When you are riding well, enjoying the road or track with everything flowing together, it becomes meditative/therapeutic for me. At that moment, all is right with the world.Jeff Herzog, Media Relations Coordinator, Kawasaki Motors Corp. USA

Motorcycling is one of the last freedoms available to those who want the total view, the total sound and, very importantly, the total smell of our planet. Judicious choice of machine can enable a rider to literally ride anywhere. Only the mountain goat can be better off.Alain de Cadenet, SpeedTV personality

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 and survival, and the taste of that fine Scottish beverage...Neil Peart, author, drummer and lyricist for the legendary rock band Rush

I ride because it is the ultimate therapy for the human condition. Plus, I like to go fast.Ken Vreeke, former Motorcyclist staffer

I rarely think of motorcycles without a little yearning. They are about moving, and humans, I think, yearn to move-it's in our cells, in our desires. We quiet our babies with cyclic movement, and we quiet ourselves by going.Melissa Holbrook Pierson, The Perfect Vehicle: What It Is About Motorcycles

Riding is something I've enjoyed since I was 3 years old. My dad started working on motorcycles when he was young, and now I can't imagine not being around them, riding them or racing them. I love the sounds, the feeling, just everything about riding.Andrew Hines, two-time NHRA Pro Stock Bike Champion

Why not ride? I love it. It's all I've done and it's all I know how to doRich King, Team Harley-Davidson flat-track racer

Why do I ride? Why do I breathe?!Eddie Lawson, three-time 500cc Grand Prix World Champion

I enjoy the challenge of searching for consistency in timing and judgment, because at speed distance and visual positioning are crucial. I get pure pleasure from getting it right and knowing that control-being one with the motorcycle-enhances the performance experience.Reg Pridmore, three-time AMA Superbike Champion and founder of CLASS Riding Schools

I like the freedom of the road and being in the wind, cruising along and enjoying the sights and sounds. I enjoy listening to the echo of the pipes, especially when riding in a group-although I prefer the sound of stock ones over loud ones. All my bikes have stock pipes.Scott Parker, nine-time AMA Grand National Champion

Riding is just what Hayden boys do. It's all we really know how to do, or love to do, and it sure beats repoing cars down at Pop's used car lot.Nicky Hayden, Team Repsol Honda MotoGP racer and two-time USGP winner

I love riding on the track. There is no oncoming traffic, no gravel in the turns, no radar guns, no 18-wheelers, no animals. You can ride as hard as you like, and all the traffic is going in the same direction-hopefully!Jerry Settle, vintage roadracer and promoter of the BMW Airheads Invitational

I ride because it's all about the ladies, since I can really use the help. No, I ride because of the feeling I get shouldering my team's effort on race day. They worked for 45 hours on a bike I'll ride for 45 minutes. And winning makes it all worth it.Eric Bostrom, Team Yamaha roadracer

I ride because my dad made me. No, I ride because of the solitude I feel when I put my helmet on.Ben Bostrom, former AMA Superbike Champion and World Superbike winner

My motorcycle is my joy machine, and riding gives me the ultimate freedom and high. No ride or race is ever the same; every time I'm on my bike it's a new adventure and challenge.Jessica Zalusky, Team Kawasaki roadracer

For me it dissolves the barriers of rich and poor, old and young, and even fast and slow. It's a leveler of people who are bound by a pure, almost childlike joy of speed, freedom and the smell of gas and leather.Michael Lock, CEO, Ducati North America

I ride because it's the next best thing to sex, and I already have six children! Really, the reason I love to ride is that it gets me to focus on the intensity and joy of being in the moment, and is just about the only thing that gets me to stop thinking about 20 things at once. So an hour on a motorcycle is like 20 hours of vacation!Erik Buell, founder, Buell Motorcycle Company MC