I remember reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance when I was in university and since that time, a lifetime ago, my fascination and love of motorcycles has never dwindled.
Though I've ridden many types of bike over the years, i've always had this dream to ride an Enfield through vast Indian countryside. I finally got my chance in Goa a few weeks ago and it was the shit, as they say.
We picked up an Enfield 350 for just under 10 bucks a day and rode the sucker all through South Goa. This thing was classic; the engines haven't changed in 50 years, they sound like a helicopter taking off, none of the blinkers worked, no side view mirrors and no helmet...
Any rational person would agree that such a bike is a recipe for disaster but it was what we got and i couldn't let the opportunity slip past...
We rode through quiet rural villages on windy paved roads, up steep hillsides and down the curving snake-like asphalt to the glistening beaches below. We slowed to pass cows and sheep and sped past rural villagers working the fields.
A motorcycle is truly the best way to see a country, especially a country like India. You witness a way of life that you can't quite see in the rush of the big cities where the trains and buses stop.
I remember thinking, the wind blowing through my hair, sun beating down on my shoulders, the bike settled and thumping in 4th gear that of all the damage we humans have done to each other over the centuries, all the pain we have caused and sorrow we have inflicted...the human spirit still managed to invent the motorcycle, that symbol of ultimate freedom.
...and if we can muster the ingenuity and talent to create something so beautiful and precious as the motorcycle, I have no choice to believe that there is hope for us all.