There is something atavistic about riding a bike. A ‘something’ that is close to the hunting instinct. I don’t think it is an accident that there are more men bikers than women. On the basic level a motorbike as a single-person, cheap method of transport is as good for one sex as the other. However there is an element of risk-taking involved. The hunter from a very ingrained and subconscious level gets satisfaction from going out and taking on the challenges and risk of the hunt. Hunters are proud people, the greater the game the prouder in most cases. Hasn’t this always been so, and hasn’t the hunter always looked down on the farmer safe in his wagon with a load of potatoes. The hunter goes out on his own, or in a small group, dependent on his own judgement and skill for survival. I have to admit to sometimes seeing the next car ahead as prey, to be caught and slain with the swift despatch of a smooth overtake. Although this ‘hunting is most pronounced in the sports-bike rider who collects his talismans (the ears) in knee-downs etc, I think it runs through in lesser degree more or less all who take to the challenge of two wheels. To some extent in the U.K. this is encouraged by the male/juvenile attitude of the mainstream bike press which places great emphasis on the competitive aspects in both rider and machine performance. I have to say that on the continent I think you probably find less of this extreme attitude, they have domesticated their steeds for more social pursuits.
I ride because I have always ridden since first boyhood mobility. I ride to be alone, to experience the world in a different way from the everyday, to challenge in small ways my own boundaries.