Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Can I Get By With Only a Motorcycle?

Grapefruit have become a favorite breakfast item for me lately, and the best grapefruit I've found thus far in my local area is the Pala-Rey fruitstand in Pala, CA.

So I put the trunk on my ST and rode down there yesterday.

As I placed the grapefruit in the trunk I wondered if I could do all my shopping this way. Could I just fit everything into my trunk and saddlebags and get everything I need?

No. The day before I bought a 12 foot long pruning saw; I have queen palms in the backyard that have grown quite tall. No way I could carry that on my ST. That's why I have a pickup truck.

Which raises a question...

"Why do I have queen palms?"

Well because they look nice in my backyard.

"Why do I need a nice looking backyard?"

And if you were to continue that line of questioning down, you get to the question of why we have so many things in our lives. The more stuff we have, the more stuff we have to maintain, which eventually requires having to buy a pickup truck, or SUV, or whatever floats your boat.

And then I have to maintain insurance on the pickup truck, registration, and then the costs for maintaining the truck. The madness just compounds itself.

If I simply rented an apartment, how much more simpler would my life be? At that point, could I just get by with a motorcycle? Well, probably.

grapefruit inside motorcycle
In college a motorcycle was all I had, and I got by for three years. I actually didn't buy groceries, I always did fast food or an occasional restaurant, and then of course weekends visiting my mom for dinner.

But what happened is that I got tired of getting rained on and tired of the bitter cold morning commutes. That's why I bought my first pickup truck. And once I bought the pickup truck, I just stopped riding the motorcycle altogether. And then the path towards luxuries and buying junk ballooned from there.

Before too long, I needed a bigger place to house all my stuff. And now that I have this bigger house, I have to spend more time and money maintaining it.

The more stuff you own, the more it anchors you down.

I like being able to hop on my motorcycle and ride for very long distances at anytime I feel like it. I want to migrate myself towards that position.

I look around my home office and I see so much stuff, 90% of which I hardly ever touch. Why did I buy all this shit? I can't help but wonder had I not bought all the things I hardly ever use, I could have had the second-mortgage paid off by now.

And if I had the second-mortgage paid off, my income requirements would be lower, thus putting me in better position to ride away.


  1. Good post! You can get along with just motorcycles. I sold my car last year, and I have been enjoying every minute since.

    -Chris in MN

  2. Steve:

    I have been following your Blog for a while now. You make so much sense. I end up agreeing with you a lot. I was also thinking of downsizing "stuff". I have hordes of Junque to get rid off. Life has to be simpler than what it has gotten to.

    For the past while I have just ignored the chores but now they have to be attended to before everything falls apart.

    We live in an area where you cannot necessarily ride all year around. During the winter we have FOG, Frost, ice and sometimes snow so a car cannot be eliminated.

    keep up the logical thoughts

    Wet Coast Scootin

  3. My wife and I live in a condominium in downtown Portland, Oregon. Every day I commute 15 miles each way on my KLR 650, rain or shine. My wife just took a job out of state and has our SUV - so the motorcyle is my only form of personal transportation. Of course I could take a bus to work, but that would take 3 times as long each way. Luckily downtown Portland is a great place to walk - shopping, restaurants, etc., and I can also take the MAX (light rail) to places like the airport, and the streetcar (think trolley) when I just don't feel like walking home. I have lockable hard luggage on my KLR, and a dry bag that straps to the rear rack. I guess what I'm saying is if you live in a city with amenities close by, you have the right kind of bike, and especially if you live a simplified condo lifestyle, you can easily live with just a motorcycle.

  4. Good topic, especially on Americans' tendency to own too much 'stuff.' Sometimes the stuff we own can end up owning us. I'm a big believer in simple living. If I haven't used something in more than a year, I sell it, donate it or throw it away.

  5. you can do anything you put your mind to!

    just a thought, get rid of the pickup & rent a truck for an hour from home depot when you need to haul a pruning saw home

  6. Great.. I finally get a second bike in the stable (Buell Uly XT) & you start talking about "too much stuff" ;-)... I agree 99%, but does this also have to apply to motorcycles?

  7. TriggerUltra, I guess "too much stuff" deals with stuff that we don't use, or stuff that just makes our lives more difficult. I mean, my two motorcycles do cost me money to own, but it's not like I have other toys. I've pared my hobbies down to just motorcycles. But then again, it all depends on what you're comfortable with.

  8. I get by just fine. No car for me. If I need one a friend helps me out.

  9. All thoughtful stuff especially since my job will be vaporized in July. I am not likely to find a similar job with equal pay, so a reduction in lifestyle is coming. I am motorcycle rich having four nice ones. Can I reduce the heard? One has a sidecar which my wife and kids like that so that stays. Now it's just a choice of which two wheeler for me. Maybe if I didn't have a mortgage and so on this would be easier.. What is really important? And how do we figure this out? I live in Detroit so a car is pretty essential, but how much car? Finally,I'm a newbie to this site and like it very much.
    Thanks, Todd


About Steve

A vagabond who hauls a motorcycle around the country in a toy hauler, earning a living as a website developer. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, craft beer, and/or public nudity. (Read more...)