Motorbikes or Cars?

Being a 90’s kid, I’ve always been a big fan of Jerry Seinfeld. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is a humorous and candid show with Jerry taking his friends out for a ride: simply talking and having coffee.

If you haven’t already noticed in the sitcom, Jerry is a major car guy (specifically Porsches). In an episode with Sarah Jessica Park, “A Little Hyer-Aware“, Jerry talks about his youth where he was worried about whether he would be a ‘motorcycle guy’ or ‘car guy’,  believing that there was no way to be both: “I’ve got to decide what I am and who I am and that will determine how I get around”

cars

Recounting a story in his father’s shop, one of the mechanics rode a motorcycle to work every day. During a rainstorm, Jerry asked the mechanic if he wished he had a car, but only to be bewildered by the response: “No, I just wish it wasn’t raining.”

Do you think you can be only a ‘motorcycle guy’ or only ‘car guy’?

I ask this because I’m seriously starting to question my “allegiance” to the car world. Having a small roadster is the closest thing I drive to a motorcycle. The low side-walls and open top makes you feel free and open. The little 1.6 trumpeting from the back mimics the fluttering of a two-stroke. It’s the closest thing, but it’s not the same thing.

 

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Dating In Your 20s: Part 1 – Early 20s

While searching for the next topic to write on, I was given this topic by a friend. I immediately thought ‘this is a great idea’ but then my next thought was ‘what do I actually know?’. So take everything here with a pinch of salt, as anything I saw is drawn from my own and friends’ experiences.

At the ripe age of 20, most people have just gotten into uni, or started to settle at uni. It’s a transitional period like no other, where people must quickly become independent or risk getting left behind. Everyone is at varying stages of maturity; mentally, physically, emotionally, and life. Most people don’t know where they’re heading; most people have a rough idea of where they want to go, but with the benefit of hindsight, we now know that most of us are have ended up in different places. So how do relationships fit into all of this?

I think it’s fair to say that most people finish high school and enter uni with the notion of finding ‘someone’. Post-pubescent kids getting thrown into a completely unfamiliar setting, with plenty of opportunities to meet the opposite sex; what’s going to happen? Of course, the answer is both ‘a lot’ for some people and ‘not much’ for others. There’s the guy/girl who seems to have a new boyfriend/girlfriend every month; the couple that somehow made it through from first year to graduation and are now married; the guy/girl who is single throughout it all; and the guy + girl who like each other for about 3 years but nothing ever eventuated from it.

My point is, it’s rare that anything long lasting comes from relationships in university. Most people are still discovering who they are; or becoming who they want to be. It’s quite difficult in terms of stability, a concept most people only really think of later in life. Stability is a cornerstone in relationships, something which is often lacking at such a young age. And most people don’t have a plan. Well, is it really necessary to have a plan at that age? Going with the flow, seeking new experiences, growing and maturing; isn’t that what the early 20s are all about?

Soundtrack of Life: Post-Rock

Post-Rock is this amazing sub-genre of rock where the songs are often more than 7 minutes long, and there are (usually) no vocals. The best way I can describe it is ‘Instrumental rock music with each song a composition and a story in itself. There is no need for words, as the music evokes all the emotions.’

I came across this music all by chance, as I was browsing this page, which is wonderful for introducing yourself to new music. The very first song I listened to was ‘Your hand in mine – Explosions in the Sky’. I must confess, the first time I played it, I played it through the laptop speakers – needless to say, I wasn’t very impressed. Shortly after though, I decided I’d give it a second go, and put on my headphones. I was blown away. Honestly, there is no way to describe what went on in my mind in those moments. I had never heard this song before, but listening to it properly for the first time brought me to many places in my mind, unlocked many memories, and stirred up a whirlwind of emotions like few songs had done before.

It was at that moment I felt a connection to that song – it moved my soul. Similar to being on a motorcycle, this was something beyond expression – it was just a feeling, but a strong, primal undercurrent, coursing through my veins.

That was one year ago, and I have since discovered a handful of bands which I listen to almost on a daily basis. The amazing thing about their music is that it can be played in almost any situation, and it can evoke different emotions depending on the setting. I’ve listened to post-rock while working out, while driving, while riding, while writing, while hiking; the one similarity the bands have is that their compositions have the ability to draw you into the moment, regardless of where you are.

After discovering this music, I often found myself with my headphones on listening to these songs, time just ticking away into the night. Of course, it does help if you have a good set of headphones which bring the sounds to life – but that’s another topic for another day.

For me, one of my favourite things to do is having this music playing while out riding my motorcycle at night, just cruising the empty roads with this in my head, letting my mind wander – the combination of this music freeing my mind, while the motorcycle frees my body – it’s pure magic, a unique experience like no other I’ve come across so far.

Everything in the world feels right in those moments; these are the some of the soundtracks of life.

In this vein, I’d like to introduce you to some of my favourite bands. Please follow the links to my favourite album of that band and give it a listen! And definitely support the bands if you like them.

I’m going to the MONO concert in December, so you can expect a post on that after I’ve gone.

Explosions in the Sky – The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place
MONO – Hymn To The Immortal Wind
This Will Destroy You – Self Titled
Sugar Plum Ferry – 金光之鄉
God Is An Astronaut – All is Violent, All is Bright
Mooncake – Lagrange Points

Why I Ride

Riding a motorcycle is dangerous. I could get cleaned up by a car any second. I could lose traction and hit a tree. I could go wide in a turn and go head-on into another car.

But why do I do it? It’s not the negatives that spur me on, because if it was, then I wouldn’t be doing it. For me, the positives outweigh the negatives.

The freedom. The sensation: the wind in my hair (boys and girls, keep your helmets on), the breeze on my face, the smell of the rich exhaust, the rasping roar, the low but rumbling idle, the thrill of going faster than you actually dare, leaning further and further into corners, the realisation that my life is largely in my hands – these are some, but not all, of the many things which make riding a motorcycle an amazing experience.

My right hand controls how long I live for – seconds? Minutes? Hours? Or how soon I come to my end. If I feel lucky, maybe I’ll give it a bit more of a twist. If I’m lucky, nothing bad will happen. And if nothing bad happens, then that means I’m blasting my away from everyone else, in my own world.

I’m yet to come across an apt description of what it feels like to be cruising along at, clear road ahead, beautiful blue sky, warm sun, cool breeze, peace and quiet around except for the exhaust, one with the bike. My head inside the helmet, in its own little world – drifting away, yet at the same time 100% focused on riding, feeling the bike, feeling the road. It’s surreal, addictive and exhilarating like nothing else I’ve ever tried.

The beauty is that I could be rocketing along – or I could be cruising along, it wouldn’t matter. It’s the experience that counts. Not how fast you get there. Not how many turns you took. Not how low you got around the corners. And the best thing about it all?

That’s for you to answer.