I Have E.S.P.

Over the years, I have grown to appreciate all the alluring attributes of riding a motorcycle. I was first drawn by the obvious. The growl of pipes and rush of wind. The responsive connection to your machine, where going faster is just a twitch of the wrist away. The feeling of freedom and vulnerability that is the open road. The sense of fraternity and community that all bikers share. All the things that make a young boy or girl turn their head to look when they hear one go by. That was the first nibble at the hook.

Then more subtle and ethereal qualities emerged. The quiet of mind and focus that comes with being exposed on the road. The knowing that all that is required of you, in the moment, is to remain attentive, stay upright, and arrive alive. Noticing the smallest things, usually hidden from us as we rush around in our metal cages. Living in the moment, because life and limb depend on it. The sense of adventure that is man and machine against the world. Mastering your machine and the elegant, graceful coordination required to do so. The feeling of being directly connected to the world around you. Feeling each ray of sunshine and the sudden chill of a shaded lane. All the sights, sounds, and smells around us pierce our usually distracted minds with clarity, as they are all literally “in your face”.

Then there are the little known and unanticipated benefits that come with riding. For me it was finding my superpower. I have come to learn I am clairvoyant. Yeah, I was really surprised too. I mean giving me E.S.P. seems like someone wasn’t thinking this through all the way but, by definition, I should have been less surprised than I was. Here is how it happened:

It was a beautiful spring day, after a long winter and weeks of spring rains. My lungs ached for fresh air, my face for the warmth of sun, and my eyes for the beauty that is the world around us. My motorcycle too had a perceivable, if unspoken, itch to leave the garage for its own reasons. We both needed to reconnect in a spiritual way, not only with the world outside, but with each other. So, midday we headed out to roam. I basked in the renewed joy of man and machine. I felt like I could not be more content at this moment. That is until I pulled up to the next stop light. Beside me sat a man in his bright red two-seater convertible, top down, aviator shades perched on his nose, and his music just about two clicks to loud. The car gleamed from immaculate attention and care. He was a middle-aged man and obviously stayed fit. His attention to grooming left him ruggedly handsome. His ‘plenty of time on the golf course’ tan, the classic but fashionable and expensive attire, the flashy and pricey car, the jeweled wristwatch, and his perceived “I own the world” attitude conspired to make me a bit jealous. Everything about him exuded success, wealth, confidence, and happiness. Even the smile beaming from his face had a “luckiest person in the world” vibe to it. I was almost shocked to see someone who appeared happier than I was when I was riding. Yeah, I was a bit jealous, at least at first.

He noticed me pull up beside him. I am sure he could hear my exhaust even over the music that rang from the speakers of his drop-top sports car. But even without that, my girl is a head turner of bright red paint and glossy black chrome. She can capture the eye of even the most faithful of riders. Or maybe it was my staring at him that eventually drew is attention. Whatever it was, he eventually slid his sunglasses down his nose and turned to meet my gaze. I was suddenly aware of my own jealousy and wondered if it was betrayed in my facial expression. His beaming and perfect smile sat just below the eyes meeting mine now. And that is when my superpower kicked in. I did not anticipate this unusual benefit of riding. Who would? I was suddenly clairvoyant. I had been blessed with extra-sensory perception. As our eyes locked, I could read his mind just as sure as I can read the words on this page. I knew exactly what he was thinking as he looked at me. He was thinking, “I wish I had a motorcycle”.

My jealousy faded and moved to the seat next to him. I had also exchanged smiles with him. Mine now beaming and his a fraction of what it was prior. If, at any point, I had felt some manner of want or desire, it now moved into his eyes divulging a sense of longing. The man who had so much was now less than content. Maybe he didn’t “own the world” after all. Maybe that was an exchange too. Because when the light changed and I let the clutch out, dragging me away from him, I have never felt more content. I felt like it was I who “owned the world”.

Safe riding and keep the shiny side up!

4 Responses to “I Have E.S.P.”
  1. Sherry says:

    Very relatable read. Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul. I too need to be outside in the air with the rubber on the road, free to feel the wind,sun, my pounding heart, as well as the occasional bug that smacks me in the face. Knowing that I have nowhere to be for hours and and this is my purpose.
    I don’t think anyone has ever looked at me from their car and thought I wish I had a road bike, but to me this was never the point. Not trying to imply it’s yours, because there have been days when I’ve been that guy in the convertible. More often though, on Saturdays, as I’m driving to my second job, I gaze jealously upon my type of rider with a longing that is truly palpable. I want desperately to be on my own two wheels for hours on end.

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Yes, the immediacy and focus required to ride allows us to leave the rest of the world behind in that moment. It is a disconnect we need on occasion to reset our own minds. Stay safe and pedal faster!

  2. I’ve never felt jealousy of anyone in a car, regardless of what they’re driving. Sometimes I get the women their with staring at me on the bike 🤣…..only sometimes, mind.

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