Republished from OMM Bulletin 1998

Several times, after the conversation turned hot on motorcycles, I have been asked why I spend so much time on two wheels.

After all, friends argued, I am a decently educated person with a broad range of interests and a decent library.

Still, when I need to establish a sense of sanity and reality in my life, I move toward the garage for a journey on my bike.

In 40 long years of biking, the cry  “Forget everything I’ve always got my bike!” sustained my mental sanity through many ordeals.

Now I know what Biking is for me: a Teacher of Discipline and a Master of Self-expression …all we need to have a better understanding of life. If it sounds exaggerated, follow me for the next few lines then go out biking.

Biking taught me the pride in refining my riding skills and the humility to recognise that every day I have to learn more. With the changes in motorcycles, a road, riding conditions, road companions and objectives, every ride are a new one. If you believe that “you know” reality hits you with violence.

Humility is the only way out. When somebody compliments us for masterly avoiding a potential accident we should be more interested in “why” we placed ourselves in a dangerous spot.

In life and in biking self-confidence goes a strict companion of self-improvement.

Biking taught me the joy of expressing myself and meeting people from all parts. The skill of continuously adapting to millions of different messages that the bike and the road send to the driver opens your mind and keeps you alive.

Motorcycle crashes the barrier of status, sex, revenue, education, race or religion: nothing but dedication, passion and honesty can provide you with the true spirit for biking.

What you ride, the accessories you have, the clothing you can buy and all the latest gizmos can’t give you the Spirit to listen to the Road.

If you do not have it, you have to work hard to conquer it. In times of difficulties, when one faces and feels the hard times, the bike brings you back to the plain sense of reality. A good platform to start your search for answers and for awareness.

Finally, Biking told me that “going there” is as important as “being there”: if the questions are inside, the answers are always outside and we have to “travel” to reach a destination.

Keep eyes, your mind and heart open; with the only fear of missing the signs.

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well-preserved piece”  

By Paolo Volpara

"Si sta come d'autunno sugli alberi le foglie"

One thought on “(RP) Teacher of discipline and a Master of humility”
  1. Hunter S Thompson quote.
    In my case only my liver will arrived well preserved. Others would say pickled.
    In this time of Covid it seems the desire to arrive unscathed has stopped people actually trying live their life to the full in some, and a total recklessness in others.

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