Over the years I have been asked by many men for ideas on how they can “get” their wife or girlfriend to ride a motorcycle. This always strikes me as a funny question. I say that because I feel that if a person wanted to ride a motorcycle, they would know this on their own. They don’t need anyone to “get them” to do it. Encouraging or guiding someone who has an interest is one thing but convincing would absolutely be a dirty word in this scenario.
Now that I have the benefit of some experience, my perception about what it really means to ride with your loved one has changed over the years. Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. I keep coming back to the same question:
Is the idea of riding with your loved one overly romanticized?
5 What Ifs and Questions:
- How do you think you would handle riding with a loved one who rides too fast/too slow?
- What if it turns out that your partner doesn’t ride like you do – that you don’t “click” on two wheels?
- For better or worse – What if your partner rode just like you? Ex. Maybe you’re an excessive speeder or you sometimes make dicey passes.
- Could you suspend worrying about your loved one as you watch them ride?
- What if you thought your partner was a danger to themselves and others?
Let’s hear what you have to say!
Kenny and I have been riding motorcycles together for about 7 years now. On the surface we often move in unison. To the observer we seem to ride with the same style, same pace, and the same lines. On more than one occasion it has been called a dance. This dance that we do together is something that I have never experienced with another rider at this depth. I can honestly say that I love to ride with Kenny. 99% of the time it’s a beautiful thing.
The Other 1% – The Downside of the Riding with a Loved One
By the nature of your relationship, there is a focus that your mate gets that a friend doesn’t. What people don’t often consider is that there is an unspoken downside to riding with a loved one. Worry.
Even when you are confident that your partner will do everything in their power to keep themselves safe, it’s the things that are outside of their realm of control that can really eat away at you.
The Seeds of My Worry
I confess. I have become a major worry wart after watching the accident that claimed the lives of Michael and Cyndi last September. I don’t think I will ever be the same. While I’ve learned to cope with what I saw, as a human being I don’t believe I will ever really forget. It has left a scar on my heart and mind.
As a result, when I watch Kenny riding I feel this overwhelming need to protect him; to try to keep him safe. As if I could.
While in Kentucky this past spring on a day ride I was so wound up about it, I had to drop back to keep him out of my sight. I couldn’t concentrate on my own ride. I was too busy “checking” everything he was doing in front of me. I was praying a car didn’t pull out, wishing with all my might that the tires would stick to the road, mentally sweeping gravel out of the turns. It was exhausting and straight-up unhealthy.
Working Through It All
We two are completely at the mercy of the universe, like everyone else. The two of us still have so many places to go together, so many adventures not yet taken. I daydream about it often; Kenny and me dancing along the asphalt. I’m working hard to give myself over to the process and to learn to trust again. One step at a time…
How about you – Do you ride with your partner? Is it wonderful, terrible or maybe a little of both?
It’s Not You, It’s Me
I love you, you’re wonderful. Don’t ever change. Except for the part where you want go riding with me.
Sometimes you really like someone and yet their riding habits don’t mesh with yours. Maybe they ride too close, ride too fast, ride too slow. Maybe they take forever at gas stops, never show up on time, wait until we’re about to leave to decide that they need to fill their tank. I have a very small threshold of tolerance for these nit-picky things. My liking a person enough to hang out with them doesn’t seem to bridge the annoyance gap. I’m callous that way.
Dysfunctional Relationship Riding
This is another strange predicament, much like that break-up where the sex is good so you still hang out occasionally. You share exhilarating riding but the stopping is a drag. Maybe you don’t click on a conversational level. Different politics, points of view, maybe they’re just a drip. You want to drop them like a bad habit but the riding is good so you just can’t quit ‘em!
I So Want To Make Out With You Right Now!
Every once in a while it happens. You meet a riding partner that fits you like a glove. You meet that someone who shares the same mindset, a comparable pace and the same thirst for adventure. This is riding partner nirvana! Someone whom you never have to wonder if they’re going to be riding up your ass, dragging behind, leaving you behind. You don’t worry if they are into the route, if the day is too long, if they are enjoying themselves. You just know. They’re like you. They get it. When you find this relationship, cherish it. You’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs before this prince(ss) shows up.
Have you had similar experiences? Do you have another relationship type to add to my list?