Opinion: A resolution for New Year

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A year ago, I published my motorcycle New Year Resolutions and they were filled with good intentions: ride more (I did), pay less for insurance (I didn’t), read more motorcycle books (I did), and fix my old DR600 (I didn’t). I also wanted to make CMG even better, and that’s up to you to decide. Apparently, our “organic” readership is considerably increased – these are the people who come to us directly, rather than just clicking on links in social media – so I guess we must be doing something right.

This year, I think I’ll stick with those same resolutions, but I’m going to add a biggie, and I think you should too. This year, I want motorcycles to help me realize something that I’ve not properly understood. They can do that, you know. I’m not talking about something clichéd, like that all people are good underneath, or that “freedom of the road” is a myth – no, I want that time in the saddle, and that time talking with others who ride, to help me understand my world a little better.

Robert Pirsig and his son Chris found Zen by riding a motorcycle 50 years ago – so can you, if you open up to it.

If this sounds very Zen, then perhaps it is. I once wrote a book about it, after all, so I should be open to it. Motorcycles can have this effect in a way that cars cannot: it’s the combination of riding in restful peace with the potential for disastrous calamity that gets your thoughts going. In a car, as Robert Pirsig once explained, you’re watching the world through the windshield, but on a motorcycle you’re right in it, a part of it, and that creates something special inside your head.

A year from now, I’ll tell you what I learned, and that’s a promise. But today, if you have something to pass along that you’ve learned from riding a motorcycle and that you think may benefit others, feel free to tell us about it in the comments below. And happy new year!

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