Thursday, June 9, 2016

Where Did This Come From ?!?

I'm going to take a break from the usual Throttle Thursday aviation posts for a different, but still throttle related, kind of post.

This is happening.
Okay, it's more racer boy than Harley rider,
but I'm okay with that.
The gear is bought, the MSF class is paid for, and the motorcycle is (hopefully) coming home with me next week. There will be a post about that once I get it.

But how did this happen? What makes a married guy on the second half of his thirtieth decade, with a stable job and five kids to take care of go and buy a motorcycle? Okay, actually that's a fairly common scenario, let's be honest, most people call this a midlife crisis. And maybe it is. However, the seeds were planted several years ago...

Actually, if I'm being honest, motorcycle inception for me probably came from a childhood watching CHiPs reruns and M.A.S.K. Throw in some Top Gun for good measure.

No question about it, the CHP was never this cool before or since.
Okay, mine won't convert to a helicopter, but still...

Obviously a fighter pilot rides a bad-ass motorcycle

Anyway, that's probably where the seed got planted. But nothing really started to come of it until 2008.

On August 20th, 2008, I took off from Boeing Field (KBFI) in Galvin Flying Services' Diamond DA40 N856DS. It was my third solo flight, and my first without my instructor watching me from the ground. My logbook shows I spent 48 minutes in the air practicing touch and goes, making five landings. It was my last flight.

Shortly thereafter, I came to grips with the financial reality that the plan I had been working towards was not going to happen, and that with a third child on the way, driving my family further into debt to chase the goal of becoming a pilot was a wildly irresponsible plan.

It wasn't too long after that that I heard someone refer to riding a motorcycle as being "the closest thing to flying you can do on the ground."

That sold me right there. I missed the sky. I missed the freedom of feeling the earth fall away from you, of sharing camaraderie with the eagles. I wanted to fly again, but my wings were clipped. Where to go?

Oh, practical reasons were had as well. Motorcycles are much more efficient commuter vehicles being the primary one. But the truth is, the most fun I've had on a vehicle was when I was commuting on my bicycle, and had the opportunity go go screaming down a hill at ~30 mph. Not a great speed on a motorcycle, but sufficiently exhilarating on an 18-speed bicycle, particularly when the car traffic next to you isn't going as fast. I am very much looking forward to that again.

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