As a motorcyclist, I have often struggled to articulate why I ride, moreover the beauty that comes with being on a bike.
When I read the following passage in the opening paragraphs of Robert M. Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, I felt as thought I had written it myself - it was so familiar. So accurate. A shared knowing.
"You see things on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realise that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.
On a cycle the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on, it's right there, so blurred you can't focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness."
As a cyclist and motorcyclist, I seek refuge in movement on two wheels. The preferred roads are secondary roads; bitumen country roads are the best - tensions disappear on roads like this. It's best when plans are deliberately indefinite, more to travel than to arrive anywhere.
Don't take my word for it though. Don a helmet, throw your leg over and get out there and embrace your heightened senses, and revel in the joy that comes with the nowness of it.