If you have spent any time riding a motorcycle you always get the question "why do you ride that thing?". I always hesitate at least a few seconds before I say anything. Keep in mind that it is never the motorcycle rider that asks the question.
I grew up liking mechanical things... especially engines. In my early years I put small lawnmower engines on bicycles. They were very crude but they served as my first motorized transportation. Years later when I went to college I moved up - if you want to call it that - to a 1953 Cushman scooter that cost me $50. It was my only transportation. It would do 50 mph drafting a tractor trailer. That scooter never gave me problems but it did break a front fork by the front axle. I used wire to hold it together but running down the road I could see it bouncing up and down. Not very smart of me.
It wasn't until I was in my mid 20's that I got my first real motorcycle - a 1973 Honda 500Four. I rode it everywhere. I looked for excuses to go somewhere so that I could ride it. I was in college when I mentioned to a motorcycle friend that as soon as the semester was over I wanted to ride to Big Bend National Park along the border of South Texas. It was to be my first real tour with a total of 600 miles each way. By the way, my friend was riding a 500cc two stroke Kawasaki motorcycle. We lubed the chains at every gas stop. It was a one week trip and we camped the whole time. How we carried all our gear on those motorcycles with no saddle bags I do not know.
After that bike came a series of Honda and BMW bikes and of course many more tours and rallies. In addition to those formal rides I also joined a local motorcycle club so that I would have several short rides every month.
Well, that's a brief history of how I got started with motorcycles. It covers a span of a little over 40 years and I still find it hard answering the question of why do I ride. Of course the simple answer for me is that I like it but that almost always requires that I qualify that answer. Sometimes I answer by saying "I don't know". That usually ends that topic. I think I have many answers and not simply one reason for riding. I like the quiet thinking time when I am riding long distance. I like the sensation of motion/speed. I like how you can smell what is around you. At this time of year (Spring) it is awesome as you ride by different fields both man made and natural. I like that I am covering as much as 50 miles for every gallon of gasoline. I like the power to weight ratio of a motorcycle. I'm sure there are more reasons I can't think of right now (like that motorcycles are pretty).
I would like to make this post interactive. I would like for you to post in the comments section your reason for riding. If you see your answer already posted by someone else continue to write your answer also. That will give us an idea what the most popular reasons are for the riding that we do. So... have at it... post your answers.
Thanks in advance for your input,