There is a cliché of a saying that I am rather fond of despite how corny it is. It goes, “the journey is the destination.” We as motorcyclists know that the ride itself is typically more enjoyable than whatever event you are traveling to on two will be. However, in those rare instances when riding a motorcycle is indeed mere transportation to what promises to be a damn good time. Then what awaits at the end of the ride may indeed be far more enjoyable than the commute. I’m not typing about a ride in the rain to whatever dryer conditions await you. I’m not referring to the ride home from work after a long and tedious day laboring towards making your supervisor’s dream come true. I am not even talking about that late-night booty call to which you respond by throwing some cologne on your neck and a leg over the bike. No no no, nothing so obvious. I mean those rides to a good time where you either anticipate the arrival to the point that you lose focus of the journey altogether.
When it would not have mattered how you got there just that you did. When the bike just happened to be the fastest or most convenient way to get there. This is no simple ride to nowhere or ride for the sake of riding I am discussing with you. Does it take away from the ride when what awaits you is much more alluring, relaxing, exciting, or promises to be more rewarding? I don’t think so, but I know in some cases riding a motorcycle can make the mundane journey an event in and of itself to rival the good time to come and other times it can be a challenging start to what’s yet to occur. Going to the beach, attending a formal event where your style of dress and riding gear do not mix well or anywhere where you need to bring or drop-off your child or children are just a few destinations where making the journey on two wheels does not enhance the enjoyment of the destination. Riding a motorcycle may not be the best transportation choice for some activities. The wrong journey for the destination, if you will. How do you carry all that you need for the activity to which you are riding? What do you do with your riding gear once you arrive? What if in preparation for the ride back to from where you’ve come prevents you from fully enjoying that destination?
These questions become even more important when the destination is better than the journey and may, in fact, make the journey an uncomfortable means to an end.
To be completely honest, I have been uncomfortable walking around in riding boots that were purpose-built for being atop a motorcycle with no evident forethought put into engineering or construction of these boots for walking around. I have been sweating in my riding jacket where I was headed on my bike because I had nowhere to place it that was safe once I arrived where I was going. There have been plenty of times when I had to sleep at a friend’s house because I had one too many drinks there to safely or responsibly ride home. You have to stop and think before throwing a leg over for sure.
What happens if you have to play a pick-up game of basketball or a backyard football game and all you have to wear is long pants, a textile jacket, and race boots? You can’t comfortably run a slant route or make a layup wearing leather boots with slider pucks on the sides. How are you supposed to have a good time at the pool party playing Marco Polo wearing gauntlet gloves? I know you rarely give much thought to your comfort level at the endpoint of a ride while you are completely protected in leather, and CE pads in a full tuck hugging the gas tank, kicking gears. I doubt you are considering that “to go” bag from the restaurant you’re headed to for dinner while at the traffic light staging for the green light because you are late for your reservation. How many of you are giving much attention, if any at all, to what to wear in the water as you are dragging a knee and weaving in and out of traffic on the way to a family cook-out where the pool will be open, and the diving board is calling your name? Sure these examples may be far-fetched for some and easily remedied for others, but the point is that unless going out on two wheels just for the ride and not with a destination or trip endpoint in mind, you have to give some thought to what happens after you dismount the motorcycle. You have to consider what to bring and how to carry it in preparation for what comes after the bike stops. You have to think about what happens when you get there.