I rush through the house, my boots heavily echoing on timber floors, as I scramble about, throwing on my leather jacket, grabbing keys, helmet – fuck where is it? Gloves, do I have my gloves? Arms full, I propel myself through the back door and into the yard, eyes straight to Percy, gleaming, waiting, in the soft morning sun, ready as always.
Sunnies on to guard against the spitting of rocks, muck from my front wheel and those blasted bugs. My right foot is positioned on the kickstart, key in ignition and fuel tap on, I push down with soft force, past the top dead centre, up a bit and down, just a bit… squeezing the decompression lever. I find the right spot, pull my leg up and kick like I hope to push through the very concrete holding me up. Percy thrums to life.
His faint gurgle becomes an uneven purr, roaring loud and smooth as I open the throttle, feeding the engine a mix of air and petrol. Side stand up then tap into first. I shoot down the muddy drive, skidding slightly as I head out onto the damp asphalt streets.
A wet morning. The air bites at exposed skin as I race through the sleepy back streets of Brunswick; the smell of petrichor lacing its delicate fingers through the closed visor of my helmet.
Sighing deeply, I try and push away the chaotic thoughts that encapsulate my life. I theoretically push aside a large amount of work lying dormant on my desk; I’m late for the next rendezvous and my anxiety simmers, threatening to sputter.
Too many things my encumbered mind can’t seem to or doesn’t want to cipher.
I sigh again… slowly… deeply.
The wind tugs at the loose strands of hair on my neck, playfully tickling me. The thrumming of Percy’s engine, ticking over 1,000s of times per minute, is therapeutic with continuous repetition, contrary to the constant chatter that can take over my mind.
Resonating with the words of the late philosopher, Alan Watts, who believed people that think all the time, have nothing to think about but thoughts. Overthinking leads to a disconnection from reality. He said:
“We so-called civilised people have lost our sense of reality; we have become self-destructive, identifying true wealth with an account balance rather than wealth that is more tangible… finding more joy in filming or photographing something, rather than experiencing it completely in the moment it is presented to us. We have lost our senses by looking through a contorted lens of the world and need to take a step back and be.”
And to me, this is riding.
Sharpening my thoughts on the task at hand, I pull onto St. Georges Road, flicking back the throttle, picking up speed as Percy guides me down the long, straight stretch of road. I’m absorbed in every element around me; those intoxicating smells, sights and sounds, propelling every uninvited thought out of my mind.
Absolute concentration is required on demand when I’m in control of Percy, for the danger is something that acts as a meditative tool as much as the act of riding itself.
This is a typical morning for me in Melbourne as I ride off to whatever it is I may be doing that day. Grounded when I arrive after the liberating experience that is motorcycle riding.
My name is Emily and I’m a freelance contributor here at Woman Moto.
I’m halfway through a BA in Creative Writing and have found that I love to express my thoughts and feelings through the written word in the hopes that others might find the same beauty and power in those words that I do myself.
One way I illustrate this is with poetry I meander through the webs of my thoughts forever trying to articulate my ineffable feelings with the careful choice of pretty words.
Photo Credit to Josiah Sebregts, thank you.
If you like expressing your thoughts through poetry, I encourage you to send it to Woman Moto so others may delight in your riding experiences.
Hope you enjoy the talents of this creative young lady, welcome to the moto women sisterhood Emily.
Emily has her own website where, in her words: “I like to share my nonsensical ramblings with the world, or at least the thoughts I’ve managed to gather into something decipherable and maybe, hopefully, beautifully enjoyable.”