Early childhood notwithstanding, the majority of euphoria I’ve experienced in my life has derived from motorcycles. When you’re a kid, the days are usually filled with nothing but happiness—unmitigated joy found in almost every activity. However, as we age, there is a dulling of the senses and those simple daily joys seem to ebb, reduced to periodic flirtations. For me, when these flirtations do come, they often come while riding. A motorcycle can produce a sensation of elation bolstered by absolute lucidity. I refer to these all too infrequent brushes with clarity as “crystalline moments.”
The Oxford Dictionary defines “crystalline” as “very clear” and “moment” as “a very brief period of time.” It’s hard to fully articulate the sensation, but these crystalline moments are a coalescence of elements and emotions that manifests as ephemeral euphoria. It’s a sense of wellbeing that arrives and then evaporates so quickly that all I can do is savor it as a private, fleeting instant of happiness.
My most profound crystalline moment came about while traipsing through Spain on an Edelweiss Tour. My lady and I were aboard a BMW 1200 GS, happily weaving together the endless, sweeping turns of pristine pavement that snakes over the Pyrenees. We’d spent the previous two weeks on a sustained adrenaline rush, skirting the border between Spain and France from Barcelona to Bilbao and back again. Those 14 days were filled with phenomenal riding, great food, fun people, and stunning scenery.