I took my bike out for a ride today and had some more good thoughts about the comparison between realist painting and motorcycles. The amount of work that goes into the painting process is very similar to motorcycle riding. When you see someone on a bike, that's the result of months or years of practice, a really difficult process to get a license, motorcycle maintenance, and many other factors.
Great riders make everything on a bike look easy, but the truth is that riding is very difficult and always unpredictable; even making a simple turn requires a great sense of balance and coordination. There is also a bond between motorcycle riders that is beautiful, much like the bond between realist painters. I think the connection has something to do with being different in a way and almost like an outcast.
Riding is an art form that is also constantly perfected exactly like traditional painting. There's no end goal, but the feeling of riding and painting is the ultimate reward. I really love painting simply for the feeling and sensations of oil paint. There's a specific smell that the motorcycle leaves on me when I'm done riding, much the same way oil paint has a specific smell. I always get a lot of thinking done when I ride and when I paint and I'm thankful every day that I get to do both.
I just took my bike out for a ride before the winter sets in. I'm really excited for the spring to come because my best friend and I are going to do an advanced rider course at the Riding Academy of NJ. Anyone looking to learn how to ride a motorcycle should definitely check out the Riding Academy. It's really important to take a safety course before you get on a bike and the Riding Academy has a fantastic program. I'll write a blog post review after I've taken the advanced course in the spring.
I love my motorcycle dearly; there's a lot of fun involved in riding and working on my bike. The thing that I realized quickly after learning to ride is that there's a lot of work required for a motorcycle. I have to take care of my bike, keep it clean and ride it often. I can't let it sit for too long. I also have to ride often to keep my skills sharp and to avoid fear.
All these feelings are the same as when I asked my parents for my first dog. My parents didn't discourage me from getting a dog, but they made sure that I knew of the responsibilities involved. My Mom and Dad don't ride motorcycles so they only knew the danger factor involved in riding a bike. Of course, there is a dangerous side to riding that I realized before getting a bike. But, I learned a while ago that risk is relative and the risk of riding is worth the freedom it allows.
I've loved motorcycles for a long time, but I'm still fairly new to the world of riding and ownership. So I'm learning that a basic knowledge of bike maintenance is an absolute necessity. This is also true of pet ownership. You don't have to be a veterinarian to own a dog, but you have to know how to feed, walk and care for your dog. The same is true of motorcycles; you don't have to be a mechanic to ride a bike, but a basic knowledge of motorcycle functionality is required.
I'm grateful for every day that I get to ride and I'm learning new things every day. There's been setbacks and the learning curve is pretty steep, but that's all part of the journey.