So for nearly 30 years I've been a motorcyclist, although I've been without a running bike for about the last 10 or so — which has been a source of great frustration to me.

I love the freedom of a motorcycle, the solitude, the sense that you're in the world not separated from it.

Robert M. Pirsig notes in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance that (and I'm paraphrasing) when you're in car it's like watching TV. The windshield and the doors separate you from everything, you're watching the landscape go by. When you're riding, you're part of it. There's no climate control, no sound proofing. That's really the asphalt underneath you. You can reach down and touch it if you want.

Riding has always been something of a spiritual experience for me, when you're on a nice twisty road your mind tends to disconnect and you're simply reacting to the road, you're just being not thinking.

Modern Americans (me included) tend to spend a lot of time watching themselves living rather than actually doing it. Riding for me has always been a way to live rather than just exist.

So as I'm writing this on Saturday I'm preparing on Sunday to go look at a bike. It's not new, it's an old 1990 Yamaha FZR1000. It's a lot of bike, but the price is right and this was one of my dream bikes back when I was young.

My wife, being the wonderful, long-suffering woman she is, is being supportive of this. I've hated not having a machine to ride for years. I get antsy in the spring and summer when I see riders flying by and hear the insane race bike "whoop" of a big inline four. This is a stressful line of work and my wife knows I need this. Call it "Editor Maintenance."

So I'll drive to Springfield and look at this machine. If it's in as good of shape as it appears online and the owner and I can come to an agreement on price I'll bring it home and likely be riding it to work on Monday or Tuesday since the weather looks nice.

I'm not as young as I once was (who of us is) but it'll be nice to get back out there and feel the road under my wheels rather than just a car seat.

All IMHO, of course

— Patrick Richardson is the managing editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. He can be emailed at, or follow him on Twitter @PittEditor.