Motorcycles

Author riding Harley-Davidson Heritage Springer

The book Motorcycles, Planes, & Revolution is about a woodworker named Noah Pratt, who built homes and furniture – and who fought as a Minuteman in the American Revolution.  When I tell people this, many times their first question is “how did motorcycles get into the book?”  Well, even as the book tells about Noah’s life and the early battles of the Revolution, it also explores why these men chose to fight – what did freedom really mean to them – what does it mean to us?  To me, the very essence of freedom is my experience every time I get the chance to ride my Harley-Davidson.

When we talk about freedom, almost anyone will think of freedom of speech or the right to worship as they please.  Our Revolutionary forefathers were most certainly focused on winning their political freedom.  However, there was a deeper sense of wanting the rights for each of us to choose how to live life and revel in our freedom on a daily basis.  Our Declaration of Independence focused on our unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  In my book I use this sense of freedom I have while riding my Harley Davidson to ask the reader to think of how they live and celebrate their own freedom every day of their life.

From the earliest times, motorcycles were not just a means of transportation – not just a reasonable substitute for a car. Given the choice, bikers will overwhelmingly choose to ride their motorcycle whenever they get the chance even though they have a car sitting in the driveway.  Those of us who ride – often talk about the overwhelming sense of freedom out on the open road.  Because you are right out in the open you are so much more a part of nature.  Your senses are heightened by the wind, the sun warms your back, and the trees and clouds are so close you sometimes feel like you could reach out and touch them.  The engine of your bike rumbles right there between your legs and you feel every nuance of the road.  Your mind and body are completely involved in making every move as you lean into the curves.  Your bike instantly responds to the throttle, and acceleration can be such a rush.  When you ride, there is also this sense of “getting away from it all”.  This is not just exhilaration; to me it is the very definition of freedom in how I choose to live my life.  This is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!

Now I realize the majority of Americans have never been on a motorcycle, and some who have didn’t enjoy it as much as I do.  I realize the love of the ride may not be contagious after one short paragraph on a webpage, so perhaps you should purchase my book to be convinced.  Anyhow, it would be crazy if I meant to convince all of you to get a bike.  My intent is to get you to understand why this freedom is so vital to me – and to think about how you would like to live yours.