I was obsessed with the ideas of motorcycles. In my mind they were no longer crazy bikes for badasses, but the ultimate expression of freedom. It was a time in my life when more than ever I wanted to be free, in whatever capacity, no matter how dangerous. And so began my mission ride a motorcycle.
The first problem I encountered was that none of my friends rode motorcycles. And so a logical solution presented itself. I would go up to people with helmets and ask for a ride.
The first two times were busts. The men I asked told me they’d been drinking, and that they didn’t want to kill me on my first ride. So I continued to search, over a matter of a month or so, for a sober motorcyclist. Finally I found him. His name was Mike, and he worked at a Mexican restaurant where Ellen and I were enjoying a margarita on a Thursday night. When he got off work he gave me his helmet and told me to hop on.
And it was fucking terrifying. Never had I prayed so hard than that night, while Mike rode down the streets of Boulder at breakneck speed. He took on corners with no fear as I repeated my silent pleas to God “don’t let me die, don’t let me lose my legs.” When I got off the bike (after taking the above photograph) my legs were shaking and my pulse was throbbing throughout my body.
Now I (for some odd reason), have three friends with motorcycles, and they’ve all offered me a ride. Every time I politely decline. There’s a fine line between freedom and danger, and its one I’ve learned to recognize. Because as much as I want to feel free, I want to do it with my limbs intact.