Saturday, April 20, 2013

Black Leather & Saddle Leather

I have this theory that a large portion of motorcyclists are actually equestrians at heart, whether they realize it or not. They strive for the same feelings of joy, speed, escape, meditation, and fellowship any band of trail riders on their quarter horses feel. But since horses have this stigma of money, land, and effort—many folks who would love to feel leather reins in their hands are drawn to motorcycles instead. To ride a horse is to control great speed, power, and skill—so is riding a bike.

So they forget the horse dream and get a bike. The more into their bikes they are, the more I feel it proves the theory. The constant maintenance, oil changes, washing, waxing, coats of paint, meet ups, riding events, clothing, gas, parts, etc. are probably just as expensive as any trail pony could ever be. And those folks who baby their bikes would do the same intense care and feeding of their steeds. No, it’s not about money, not really, as it is about commitment. The love of the horse and the desire to be a cowboy also contradicts the freedom of not having to return to the coral every night. A bike doesn’t need to go home. It doesn’t need to go anywhere. Which is exactly the appeal. And unlike a horse there is no mind of its own to decide to bolt, buck, or simply get tired and stop.

Motorcycles are super horses, but they are still horses in the romantic sense. The people who ride them can feel that, and know it. It could be a blatant choice, or buried deep in their subconscious, but I stand by my observation that a lot of people in black leather really just yearn for saddle leather.

photo from