“This morning I got up early, before it was light. I dressed myself carefully, religously, then I went to wake up my beast. There she is, in the garage, the chrome gleaming softly in the shadows amid the perfume of cooled oil and fuel. When on the road I pull on my helmet, fix it in place and then the ceremony for starting begins: fuel, contact, starter, one or two kicks… and the engine roars into life. With little revs on the throttle I keep the engine ticking over while I climb into the saddle. To mount a motorcycle is like throwing oneself into a comfortable and familiar armchair. One last inspection, one last touch to the equipment and then it is off. Gently at first to warm up the engine and to listen to the revs, then faster and faster so that the engine noise is replaced by the whistling of the air. Then the rider finds a good riding position, one that avoids the motorcyclist’s cramp, which affects the base of the neck and is caused by the wind pulling the head backwards. It usually lasts for hours and sometimes even days. Once these manuevers are finished, one might think the road would become monotonous - not at all; one begins to admire the countryside. Here, there is no windscreen frame, no blind spots to block the view, and another advantage over the car is that all the scents of the countryside can be captured, the good, but also the bad. Furthermore one talks to one’s machine, one talks about the itinerary to follow, the roads that one will come to. One asks it to be valiant and faithful. One praises if it goes well and blames it if it fails. All this must seem childish and ridiculous, but it has to be lived to be appreciated. When it is all over one feels a little sad, like at the end of an adventure.”
-taken from p. 216, in the book “The Motorcycle” by Jean Pierre Beltoise.