Racing Away From Everything


Coming into the next turn I shift down and pull the throttle full bore. I counter-steer far past what I’m used to. I can feel the heat radiating off the road and making my knee feel warm and if I were to turn my head only a few degrees to the left I would be met by a face-full of road. What I’m doing now is highly illegal and dangerous, but that’s what makes it so much fun – and so freeing.

Getting out of the turn I’m still going 70km/h, and now I’ve hit a straightaway. Nothing but the crisp air and the straight dark road lay before me now. This is what life is.

I yank the throttle towards myself and the motorcycle jumps in the air, as if displaying a sort of mechanical excitement at finally being able to be fully utilized. It roars in satisfaction and takes me along the road at full pelt. The speedometer shoots up along the straight away. 100, 110, 120, 130 and then, finally, 140km/h. The stars are racing above me at apparently the same speed that the fields either side of me are. For a brief moment I take my hand off the throttle and I raise the visor on my helmet.

The brisk air hits me full bore. For the first moment it stings, but then I adjust to it. The pain is the same as if you were enjoying a well aged scotch for the first time – eventually all the flavors present themselves and you are fully aware of what it means to be alive. The grass and the mud and the road and the heat and the engine all mingle in the space between my helmet and my nose and the resultant experience is one of the greatest things I have ever experienced in my life.

Sex is biological. Drugs are neurological. But speeding faster than any living thing – that is something that isn’t per-programmed into your list of experiences. Your brain doesn’t understand what is happening and doesn’t know how to respond to it. Going at 150km/h down a straight at night, with no other distractions, you finally understand what you are. Because you feel nothing, you understand nothing, you are nothing.

The engines rev, the birds squawk, and the trees whisper in the night. But for all you care you are the only being existent in this universe. Nothing can touch you. You leave all your loves behind and you. just. ride.

Then another corner comes up and you slowly squeeze on the brake. After all – you don’t really want to die. In fact this moment feels like you’ve been sucked back down from eternity. You make the corner, your face once again almost pressed against the ground, and you keep riding.

After finishing the circuit you head back home and have a modest dinner. Even after drinking a few beers and smocking a joint, and maybe even snorting a few lines, you still can’t capture that feeling of going above the speed limit of any living animal. But there are enough drugs and enough distractions in this house to help you forget what living is.

Then you go to sleep, knowing that you will have to slow down to a crawl for the next week. But it’ll all be worth it, because in only a few days you can go riding again. In a few days, you’ll be freer than anyone has ever been.

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