Why We Ride
Scene from the documentary Why We Ride

Why do you ride? BMW offers prize for answer


It’s the most asked question of motorcycle riders. Why do you ride?

Why We Ride
Scene from the documentary Why We Ride

It’s also the subject of American feature, Why We Ride, film now screening at selected venues around Australia and your answer to the question could now win you the opportunity to win $1500 worth of BMW Motorrad Riderwear with the runner-up getting a $500 voucher.

The promotion until the end of October is open to riders who buy a new or demo BMW Motorcycle. Just send a photo of you and your new bike and answer in 25 words or less ‘Why I love to Ride’.

So, what is your answer? Freedom? Thrills? Danger? Travel? It’s probably all those things and much, much more. It can also vary from rider to rider.

There are so many answers that the question is the subject of the fourth annual three-day International Journal of Motorcycle Studies Conference at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. The conference began in 2010, attracting about 60 people, and is hosted in another country every alternate year. Last year it was held in London. 

Academics, filmmakers, industry luminaries and riders grapple with the mystique of riding in lectures, movie screenings and symposiums. Finding the definitive answer to the question is difficult.

“There’s a separating out from the norm,” says conference organiser K. Alex Ilyasova, associate professor of English at the uni. “It’s a different experience than when you ride in a car. It instantly bonds you to other people who ride, in a way that’s similar to bicyclists. There’s that exposure to the elements you’re taking on, and the sense of accomplishment that you can manage a 600- to 800-pound machine.”

Ted Simon to address conference
Ted Simon to address conference

The conference is based on a bi-annual journal of the same name, which contains information and news about anything motorcycle-related, including motorcycle and helmet laws, accidents, speed, gender and sexual identity, and traveling long distances on bikes.

Keynote speaker is Ted Simon whose book “Jupiter’s Travels” about his round-the-world travels in the 1970s inspired many riders including “Long Way” adventurers Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor. Other sessions include topics involving history, the machine, risk and safety, and film, music and the arts.

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