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Old 12-23-2014, 12:30 PM   #1
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Why We Ride Movie | CODE BREAK

If you haven’t seen the film Why We Ride yet, I suggest you do. Not since On Any Sunday has there been a movie that so well captures the spirit of our sport from top to bottom, kids to baby boomers, choppers to Bonneville land-speed racers. Anyone smitten with the urge to ride will enjoy the infectious enthusiasm generated by the wide array of interviews with everyone from everyday riders, industry legends such as Mert Lawwill—who more or less starred in On Any Sunday—racing heroes such as Kenny Roberts , the multi-generational, riding-bonded Kretz family, mothers touting the sport, and countless youngsters bubbling with enthusiasm and unabashed passion for riding. Producer/Director Bryan H. Carroll’s own passion for the sport elicits touching honesty from each of the film’s participants, chosen from a wide spectrum of cultural backgrounds. (Full disclosure: I’m in it too.)

As the title implies, Why We Ride intends to communicate who we are as riders; how we got that way; how we enjoy and foster the affliction; and how we dig deep into ourselves through a wide variety of social venues and personal triumphs. The film focuses on the infectious allure of venturing outward, aggressively seeking the freedom riding offers and, for many, the desire to share that feeling. The film fills the bill as well as can be done without actually putting a set of handlebars in your grasp.

Why We Ride isn’t flawless. In an effort to seem less documentary, producers decided not to identify each subject as they discuss why they ride. You don’t know who is talking until the credits roll; you only hear their story. Producers let the interviewee’s character, bearing, and passion define who they are. The ride and the rider are more important than their place in the world. It almost works. I eventually was able to suppress my desire to identify the person and instead just hear what he or she had to say, but this took some effort on my part.

The motorcycle industry took a devastating hit in the financial crisis of 2008, an impact that, in fact, our industry has yet to fully recover from. Widely distributed, Why We Ride could be the most positive piece of promotion for the motorcycle industry that I’ve seen, and I believe it could play an important role in reintroducing our beloved sport to mainstream audiences.

I’ve had to admit to myself, over and over, that riding isn’t for everyone. There is an innate, indefinable element that encompasses the urge to ride. It would take a better writer than I am to succinctly state it. Shakespeare might have been able to plumb its depths, poets might approach it, but those of us who have the urge to ride yield to its draw with no more conscious awareness of “why” than planets have as they revolve around the sun or as water seeks its own level. It just is.

Why We Ride’s greatest benefit is its potential to draw out and awaken those latent impulses in people who simply haven’t been exposed to riding yet. Those who have that indefinable urge without any way to name it or any outlet to satisfy that itch. Perhaps it is as simple as an odd, pleasurable sensation experienced watching someone ride past—that tickle of freedom so obvious in the solitary image of yourself, the road, and an impending adventure, determined by nothing more than the completely self-regulated fantasy-in-motion that is inherent in every image of riders riding motorcycles.

No matter how we think, how we feel, or how we regard ourselves while riding—showing up in Times Square on Saturday night with a pretty girl perched high on the pillion; chugging down Main Street at Sturgis; two-up touring down Highway 1; dragging an elbow at Laguna Seca; or teaching your four-year-old how to ride in the dirt—it’s wonderful.

If you haven’t seen Why We Ride, watch it with a friend and enjoy.

Keith Code, credited as the father of modern track schools, founded his California Superbike School in 1980 and currently operates programs in 11 countries and on six continents. His A Twist of the Wrist series of books (and DVDs) are thought by many to be the bible of cornering.

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