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.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Are We Safer With More Rules?

One man's chaos is simply another man's grace. The rules of the road were written to ensure that we can travel along the highways in an orderly fashion.

Some of these rules we just take for granted. I mean, whoever actually thinks about driving along the right hand side of the road (or left hand if you're in Britain)? It's just something that you do without thinking.

If a pedestrian is walking across the street, do you actually take the time to think if you or he has the right of way? At least in the USA, you always give the pedestrian plenty of space and just stop until he's passed by. You don't really think about it.

So, watch this video of traffic in Vietnam...



Vietnam is obviously a different society, one that seems to have fewer rules along the roadways, despite what we see as a hardline totalitarian regime. What appears to be a very chaotic intersection is probably something graceful to them.

Vietnamese riders obviously have to have a wide field of vision, and a deep field of vision as well, in order to navigate through that. It shows that when humans are faced with chaos, they learn to become more vigilant, and diligent.

In the United States, we expect drivers to stay on their side of the road. We expect drivers to stop at a stop light. We expect drivers to yield to pedestrians. Our system demands that we place a lot of trust in each other, in order for things to work smoothly.

I'm sure traffic accidents still happen in Vietnam, just as they still happen here in the USA. But considering Vietnam has so many more motorcyclists, I'm betting the number of accidents per miles traveled is far fewer than in the USA.

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About Steve

San Diego, CA-based motorcycle rider who likes long road trips, old rustic bars, craft beer, and tough women. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, writing about the mysteries of life. (Read more...)