Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Inside my helmet...

One of the things I like about motorcycling is the solitude.  When I ride to work, I have some quiet time to myself.  No music.  No news.  No passengers.  People are less likely to try to make eye contact with a helmeted rider because they can't often tell if you are looking at them.  People still seem to try to talk to a helmeted rider though.  I'm not sure why.  When I have a busy or rough day at work, I'll often spend my lunch hour on the motorcycle to get away.  When I put my earplugs in and my helmet on, it's so quiet and peaceful.  I can certainly hear everything around me but the helmet and earplugs do damper the noise.  In fact, the earplugs seem to filter out the things I don't want to hear so that I can hear the things I do want to hear better.  The engine noises are less but the emergency sirens are clear, for example.  Maybe it's more about the noise that my car makes.  There is a lot of road noise in my 13 year old car with 250,000+ miles.  The windows no longer seal properly so there's more wind noise in my car than in my moto.  And I turn my car radio up to mask the other noises - door rattles, heater rumblings, a belt screeching that I didn't warm up the car properly.  My GS, for all it's noises, is blissfully quiet.  Or perhaps, blissfully calming.

Some days I wish I could wear my helmet all day at work to enjoy that calm throughout the day.  I'd have to lean into an imaginary turn from my chair every now and then.  Some days I sit for a few minutes on the bike with my helmet on after I've parked just to be in the moment a little longer.  I did that today after lunch.  I pulled into the parking spot and sat on the bike.  Listening to the quiet in my helmet before going back to work.  I guess I didn't want that ride to end yet.

Ride often everyone and ride safe.  Ohm....


  1. I am totally with you on this. I really love my quite time in my helmet, and I never ride two up. Radio or music is a no go for me, the only device I am listening to is a soft voice occasionally whispering directions in my ear (a.k.a. GPS). I have some experience with communication systems, when riding with a buddy but I have a hard time getting used to it. Quiet it is. Good post! Thanks!

  2. My husband and I bought a communication system for our trip last year to Devils Tower. It's so nice to be able to talk to him about logistical things like eating, potty breaks, and directions. But, we aren't very chatty normally and that didn't change. I think we both like riding because it's something we can do together and yet still be separate from each other. He's in his helmet and I'm in mine. It isn't usually until we stop, either for a long lunch or when we are home, that we even talk about the ride. We've never ridden two up together either. We've always had our own rides.

  3. I also enjoy the peace and quiet while riding. Though, I guess, quiet is a relative term. My GPS doesn't talk to me and while riding around Alaska, there is very little need for GPS directions. I just use it to store tracks and as a more accurate speedometer. I still enjoy riding by myself rather more than a group since I can stop whenever and for any reason.


  4. Allaina:

    commuting in the city requires monitoring traffic reports. I have been caught on the highway in dead stopped traffic and it is not easy clutching every 3 feet for miles, so I consider a radio for convenience so I can change my route.

    another thing . . . WHAT !! NO YELLOW helmet?

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  5. Bob: My city commute is a good 25 miles. I avoid the highway even in my car so don't need the traffic report. But, I get to travel into Boulder, CO every day and have many other more scenic and less stressful commuting options to choose from. ;-)

    another thing...if Icon made this particular helmet in yellow, you know I'd already have it! Unfortunately, this make and model fit me so perfectly, I couldn't say no to the white one. Maybe a custom paint job should be on my list..... :-)

  6. I, too, appreciate the solitude of riding. My sweetie is making noises about wanting to try 2-up. While I appreciate it is part of her process of exploring riding, it has thrown me a curve.

    Sometimes lunchtime finds me sneaking in a ride as well.