The intimacy of a ride along…with the right person:
Most of the time I like the simple freedom of jumping on the Harley at whim. Sure, I use the bike for transportation, but even then it’s attraction of the ride itself, not practicality or gas usage that is the allure. We can talk endlessly about the wind in your face, easy maneuverability, the thrill of leaning into a wide turn, but that’s not really what this post is about at all. No, I want to share some thoughts on riding with a partner seated closely behind you, and how much sheer fun that can be.
Please don’t take offense that I’m not opening this discussion to anyone who might tag along two-up. Yes, I know there are times we give a male friend a lift to work, or older kids looking for their first experience on two wheels, and I certainly know that many female riders are capable of shepherding a guy around town. But there is a visceral thrill to having a pretty girl wrap her arms around my waist that is almost unequaled. Bodies pressed together close, feeling her chest nestled against my back, her face inches from my neck, legs nicely straddled next to mine…yes, the physical aspect is more than just nice. In fact, this can be heightened sexual tension at its peak. And yet, there is more. Looked at from an emotional level, the passenger is also entrusting you with her safety, letting go of some inhibitions about control. It’s a huge compliment that will boost any male ego. Saying “Yeah, I’ll ride with you” is an exchange of emotional comfort, an acceptance of the relationship between two people that we don’t often get to experience in other daily life or activity. Sharing a drive in a car, or having a drink together, might offer more opportunity to talk and get to know each other on a particular level, but these can’t hold a candle to the bonds created by an hour exploring the world together on a Harley, intimately attached by body and limb. Honestly, even though some of the elements are the same when riding a sport bike, I don’t think the same emotions are conveyed. In those cases, it seems both riders are more focused on speed and safety. I could be wrong about this, but that’s the way I feel about the differences between riding the two types of bikes on the whole — Harley’s, or cruisers/touring bikes versus sport bikes — one is relaxed, engaging the body, mind and soul; the other is an adrenaline rush. I’m generalizing, of course, but you get my drift.