“There must be some kinda way outta here…” is a common refrain in far too many relationships. Long term relationships can sometimes just be work. You said something that got misunderstood, and you’ve got an argument on your hands. You might argue about whether the new organic peanut butter actually needs to be refrigerated because the label says so, or it really doesn’t, because its damned peanut butter. [That may have been a real argument I had with my GF]
Motorcycles have a lot to offer when it comes to making things work for long term relationships, keeping that flame burning brightly when many others have grown dim or fizzled out entirely.
Men Need Excitement & Adventure
Ladies, want to make pretty damn sure you won’t wake up one day to find your husband nailing that tart from accounts? Let him keep the motorcycle. Men generally need some sort of fun and adventure in their lives. Rest assured, they will find it somewhere. A pattern sadly oft repeated is that a man settles down, gets “domesticated” and pines for something that’s thrilling and exciting. Maybe things aren’t going well at home, and he gets put on a new project with someone attractive and things start to click. That thrill, the danger, the taste of the forbidden lies just around the corner.
A fantastic antidote to needing intense couples therapy is a motorcycle. The same motorcycle that is the first to go the chopping block soon after kids arrive, the down payment is needed for a house, or for a Metallic Desert Sand colored minivan because “it’s practical.” There are few things in existence that can mainline adrenaline quite like a motorcycle. You don’t need to go to Six Flags for a quick dose of excitement. You’ve got your own rollercoaster parked in the garage. The new Yamaha R1 has 167 HP to the rear wheel, weighs 414 pounds, does a sub-10 second quarter mile, and runs out of breath at 182 miles per hour. Even better, know how much that mind-melting performance costs? Roughly the price of a brand new Fiat 500.
Men Need Space
If a man doesn’t feel trapped by his life sometimes, he’s lying. Feeling trapped can take a lot of different forms, but it leads to feeling stuck, and wanting things to be different. It can be the big project he’s working on at work, or that his boss only sees him in a certain light, and he sees no room for growth. It can be all the family responsibilities that make him feel like his life is everyone’s but his own. He can feel like everyone gets first call on his time, and he gets what’s left over. A lot of adults want to run away more as a grown-up, than when they were 8 and mad at their parents because they couldn’t get the new Power Rangers action figure at Toys R Us.
Motorcycle time is alone time. Time with your thoughts, the road, and the wind. There’s no urgent emails cluttering your inbox from your boss, there’s no honey-do list, there are no poopy diapers to change. That all gets left behind. Those things will be there when you get back, but for a little while they shrink down into small issues, then float away into nothingness. That alone time is sacred. Time to think, and be alone with your thoughts. Women tend to talk through things. Men need a space to get perspective on things. Nothing like a fire-breathing mobile man cave to sort through things, and be ready to tackle them when you return.
Men Need Guy Time
There was a time when Manhood, capital M, was passed down from generation to generation, through rites of passage and strong guidance from a father figure. Though seen as anachronistic now, the yearning for men to bond with and be accepted by the male tribe is no less strong today.
Ladies, though men love spending time with you, there’s certain things that we can only do around other guys. This is one of the reasons sports bars exist. And hot wings. And cigar lounges. Motorcycle rides and meetups are a large part of this innate sense of belonging, and being part of a tribe. This in practice is much more I Love You Man with Jason Siegel and Paul Rudd, than Sons of Anarchy.
Women Need Bonding Time
Up til now all the points have geared to the guys. Ladies, you’re not left out here. At all. Motorcycling is not just a man’s pleasure. Far from it. Some of the sweetest time on a bike can be riding together. Many women choose to ride on the back of a motorcycle, and some choose to ride their own. Both are great options, although one does lead to more cuddling.
Guys, in case you hadn’t noticed by now, our innate need for US time is a lot less that the fairer sex. Gearing up, and hopping on the bike for a road trip is a great way to spend some time together. Very frequently women are a rather leery of hopping on a bike, or riding their own. But, once they get a taste of how awesome it can be in the right circumstances, they enjoy it as much as we do. In fact, a study showed that women riders tend to be happier than their non-motorcycle riding counterparts.
Women Need A Man Who’s Exciting & Adventurous
No doubt about it, guys who ride motorcycles have a certain allure to women. Just because a guy rides a motorcycle doesn’t automatically mean he’s the stereotypical bad boy. That’s an image the media and Hollywood has spent a lot of time repeating. But it does mean he’s a guy who’s often independent, strong, and has a strong spontaneous streak. Better qualities in a long-term relationship than a kale-eating, khaki-wearing, milquetoast. Ya, us motorcycle guys tend to be hard to handle, but we’re easier to hold. We’ll keep the spark in things long after other guys have resigned to vegging out on the couch watching the damn Yankees.
Motorcycles Can Bring Out Your Wild Side
Women and men need a way to let their hair down without making the local paper with their antics. Sometimes a girls night with copious bottles of wine loses its appeal, and guy’s night at the same old watering hole looks like a dim prospect of drinking too much and wondering what train you got hit by the next morning.
Head to toe leather attire is more than just a dress up prospect. It’s recommended attire for riding a motorcycle. Ladies get to wear high boots, leather motorcycle pants, and a moto jacket. This is often sexy as hell. I’ve been told that guy in motorcycle jackets look pretty hot, so I make it a point to wear mine everywhere. This includes the gym, the pool, and charity galas. I mean, if you add a black tie over your moto jacket, that counts as black tie, right?
You can say a lot of things about motorcycles, but boring is not one of them.
No Motorcycles Parked In Front Of A Shrink’s Office.
Motorcycles are on of the best forms of therapy in existence. Full stop. It’s a running saying in the motorcycle community that you never see a motorcycle parked outside of a psychologist’s office. Because I deeply care about you, Dear Reader, I asked my long-time friend and practicing psychologist Joseph Graham if any of his patients rode motorcycles. He said that none did. I have therefore confirmed my “Motorcycles Help Mental Health” hypothesis with a sample size of 1. *(Please note, a motorcycle is not a substitute for actual mental health counseling. If you have a real issue, please seek professional help)*
All joking aside, I’ve personally found motorcycles to be one of the best forms of therapy I’ve ever found. There’s nothing like hopping on the bike when the entire world has seemingly gone insane, and nothing makes sense at all. Turing off all that a while, your mind quiets down, and settles into a state that can best be described as calm and free. Things that bother you seem to matter less, tough decisions become easier to make, and the perspective of your place in the world becomes more clear.
50 Shades Of Beige is a cautionary tale I’m writing about suburbia and your life settling into a rut. Some say the answer is Miata. I say the answer is motorcycle.