With the coronavirus pandemic reaching all corners of the globe, life as we know it has vastly changed and likely will not return to any semblance of normal for some time. People are locked in their homes, encouraged to avoid public spaces, implored by world leaders to help the vulnerable and help flatten the curve.
There’s something eerily appropriate about riding a motorcycle in times like these. The escapism, the rebellion and the ecstasy of the temporary release from purgatory you feel as you squeeze in the clutch and twist the throttle.
The isolation of riding a motorbike is one of its greatest gifts.
The isolation of riding a motorbike is one of its greatest gifts; a brief moment in time of complete separation from the world and everything that’s going on across it. Your phone in your pocket, unresponsive. Your brain, refocused, reacting instead to the noise of the engine, the sway of the road and the situation around you. Unreachable, and utterly uncaring of it.
This too is representative in Hollywood, as bikes have provided the backbone to many of film’s great apocalyptic narratives. Whether it be Mel Gibson fighting an outlaw gang of scavenging bikers in Mad Max, Will Smith fleeing swarming zombies in I Am Legend or Arnold Schwarzenegger chasing down a rival cyborg on the back of a Harley Davidson Fat Boy in Terminator – bikes have forever added soul and substance to the unknown.
So if you can, if you’re in a city or country where you’re able, throw on your helmet, zip up your jacket and make those little moments happen. Make that five-minute drive to the shops on your bike. Head down to the park for your half hour run on the bike. Kill that extra hour before you start work with a ride to watch the sun rise on the back of a bike. Just as it’s important to follow the rules, to stay informed, to remain safe, you need to find time to disconnect and regenerate.
Whether you’re driven by Hollywood’s nostalgia, motivated to retain normalcy or simply in search of a brief instant of perspective, we’ve never needed motorcycles more than we do right now.