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Motorcycle Empathy

Posted on Wednesday, October 29th, 2003

Dave!Tonight while eating dinner here in downtown Seattle, I look out the window to see some guy pull up with his beautiful Yamaha sport bike, wedge it between two cars (isn't it sweet being able to park a bike anywhere?), and then proceed with that long process all motorcyclists are all familiar with: securing your gear.

It's kind of a fancy restaurant, so he's shedding the riding gloves, jacket and helmet... then trying to make himself presentable by straightening out his dress shirt and fixing up his helmet hair... all the while trying to cram his gear into an already-full soft-pack he's got mounted on the back rack. It doesn't fit, so then he's got to take all his stuff out, rearrange it so it will fit, and then fid a way to strap his helmet in there somewhere as well.

As I sit there watching the poor guy struggle to get all this handled in the chilly night air, I find myself totally empathizing with the situation, having been there myself quite a few times. Let's face it, you just don't have a lot of storage on a motorcycle, and it takes some creative thinking to be able make the most out of what little space you've got.

And that's when it hits me.

I realize that when I am in the same situation, I don't get upset about it. I love riding. I love it so much that even the annoying bits are great because it's all a part of being a motorcyclist. Having to cram your gear into impossibly small spaces is just part of the experience. So it turns out that I'm not actually feeling sorry for that guy after all... I'm feeling sorry for myself... I didn't get to bring my motorcycle to Seattle, but he's out there riding. He's the one who should be empathizing with me!

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