I remember back in high school when riding my motorcycle was my only way of getting from here to there. It was so easy and simple. The bike was always there, tucked into a corner of the carport. On the spur of the moment, I'd hop on it, jump down on the kick starter, then head most anywhere with hardly a moment's thought.
Now, however, it's different. It's just not so simple anymore.
Before taking a ride, I find my regular glasses, then my sunglasses, and the case for the unused pair. Then there's the full-face helmet and the earplugs or the custom earplugs hooked to the iPod via a dangly wire that needs to be wound though and tucked into a half dozen openings.
Of course, there's the armored jacket or the armored winter jacket, plus the Gerbing's vest and the electrical cords and plugs, or maybe the armored summer jacket. Changing into my special boots is an absolute must. Then there's the special pants (did I remember to put some money in the pockets) and the water resistant overthings (just in case it rains).
And let's see, where did I put that garage door opener and my wallet. Should I take the summer gloves, the mild-weather leather gloves or the heavy-duty winter ones. And oh yeah, I need to carry my laptop and also drop by the store, so should I just bring some bungies or get in the closet and pull out the saddle bags.
Then finally, after disconnecting the battery tender and getting about three blocks from the house, I turn around and head back home because I forgot my cell phone. Thirty minutes after my first idea to take the bike, I'm actually on my way, but first, I need to stop off at the gas station to check the tire pressure. Ah, maybe I won't go to the store after all. I don't like walking in there looking like a space man, and besides, I think I forgot my credit card.
Where did the spontaneity go that was half the appeal of riding? Now I need a checklist as long as a space shuttle pilot's before launching out of the garage.