Monday, February 9, 2015

Defining the Great Motorcycle Escape

About a decade ago, give or take a year, there was born a magazine called "Motorcycle Escape" which celebrated the motorcycle rider who spent most or all of his/her vehicular time on two wheels, with an emphasis on going far, far, far away.

I guess that's really what Sash and I have coined, "Road Pickle". But where Motorcycle Escape covered it more as a recreational phenomenon, we look at it as a lifestyle that affects even your time off the bike. It doesn't matter than you still make the commute to work everyday. What matters is that your preferred choice of transportation and thrills has changed the way you live, reassessed your priorities, and shaped your perspective on the Universe.

When it comes to "escapism", I see so much of it going on in our lives that I'm often surprised how much escaping we do.

  • Sitting at the bar with a beer is an escape.
  • Watching a movie is an escape
  • Playing a video game is an escape
  • Writing blog posts and journals is an escape
  • Taking a walk around the neighborhood is an escape
  • Looking at social media is escape
  • Going to the gym is an escape
  • Sleeping is an escape
  • Even when I'm developing a website for a client, it's an escape from reality
All of these things I do everyday. If so much of what I do is escapism, then what is not escape? What exactly am I escaping from?

"We don't create a fantasy world to escape reality. We create it to be able to stay." - Lynda Barry
"We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality." - Iris Murdoch
"A few years ago, the city council of Monza, Italy, barred pet owners from keeping goldfish in curved bowls... saying that it is cruel to keep a fish in a bowl with curved sides because, gazing out, the fish would have a distorted view of reality. But how do we know we have the true, undistorted picture of reality?" - Stephen Hawking

What Hawking is saying in a round-about way is much like what I'm asking. "What am I escaping from?"

If so much of what I do is escapism, can there be a point at which the act of escape becomes reality? Will I get to a point where I need to escape from escape?

Sash might tell you that I live in a fantasy world only because my tolerance of reality is so low. But living in fantasy is not a black and white thing. Each person does it in varying degrees. I'm still perceiving reality, but I typically see just enough of it to know that I'd rather sit on my bike.

The brain has a way of filtering information to better serve you. Whether it's filtering out noise so that you can see the danger, or that it's filtering out something traumatic that you don't lose your sanity, it's true that we each create a perception suited to protect and comfort us.

Hence, the act of escaping may be a way to keep our filters in focus. Maybe getting a headache is our brain's way of saying, "I'm confused, I need a break." All that's needed is some time to watch television, drink a beer, or play a video game.

If you're reading this, most likely you're someone who finds escape from reality on a motorcycle. To think that we take our bikes out on the highway so that we can immerse ourselves in fantasy, is perhaps the ultimate irony when it comes to keeping our eyes on the road. 

But it only goes to show how complicated the human species is. 
  

1 comment:

  1. It is what it is. If you need to get away... get away. It's not rocket science, motorcycle, butt, boom....gone :)

    ReplyDelete

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...)