RoadRUNNER Zen Motorcyclist

The Great Bully

Jun 23, 2013 View Comments by

The Great BullyMy girlfriend Cori sent me a quote in an email last week (see below) and, as always with things she sends, it resonated with me. To be honest our lives are in flux at the moment, with houses we’re trying to sell and careers we’re trying to change. We have our marks to make on the world, and that takes bravery and an adventurous spirit.

When I was young, I was always amazed when I saw motorcycles riding by. I wondered how they worked—it all seemed like magic to me. But as you learn, mysteries fade slowly away.

Ever since I began motorcycling, people who don’t ride seem compelled to explain why they choose not to. I never really react because I simply don’t care. I’m not a judging sort, I’ve always accepted people as they are—it’s just the way I was raised. I do, however, sometimes feel a pang of regret for those who I think would love riding if they tried it. You know, the ones held back by fear or outside pressure, or those with a glint in their eye that contradicts their words.

I like to think I alter the course of my life every time I mount up. I thumb my nose at what most people call “safe, responsible, normal, mature” and embrace individuality, choice, free will, and the refusal to pursue someone else’s version of security. Too many people take far too much comfort in where they rank in the status quo.

I frequently get asked “don’t you get scared?” Sure I do. I’ve also been startled, surprised, pissed, amazed, and furious; but to that list, I can add that I’ve been moved to tears, inspired, joyous, felt lighter than air, tasted spring on my tongue, paid homage to lost loved ones, planned a future, charted a course, gotten away, and buried a grudge. I prefer to think of the things that have elevated me personally, rather than what some may consider a risk.

Riding has always been a conduit of change and growth for me. It’s not difficult to change your life; it’s just hard to decide to. The rest is just a process of believing in yourself, working your butt off, and to paraphrase Mr. Emerson: boldly tugging at the beard of the great bully, the world.

When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers”. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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About the author

I have been motorcycle commuting since 1998. I created Zen Motorcyclist (formerly Commuting Motorcyclist) in 2011 and work as a motojournalist, software developer, CAD designer and IT/CAD manager in the Surveying and Civil Engineering field.