he ’ d make the call himself when and if he felt the pull . And then he did . “ Dad ,” he said to me one day , “ I think I ’ d like to ride bikes .” “ Is that so ?” I said . “ You ‘ think ’ you ’ d like to ride bikes , do you ?” He nodded . “ Let me explain something to you ,” I said , motioning him to a chair opposite me . “ This bike-riding stuff is not for everyone . And it is certainly not for people who just ‘ think ’ they want to ride . Motorcycling is a blood-sport . It will kill you or maim you if you are crap at it . Do you understand ?” He nodded . His eyes wide . “ And in order for you to be not crap at it , in order for you to be good at it – and you have to be good at it or it will destroy you – you must burn with an unquenchable passion to ride . It must possess you like Satan possesses young Catholic girls in Hollywood movies . You must live it and breathe it and masturbate to it as much as you masturbate to whatever young Internet supermodel you ’ re masturbating to at the moment . This is the truth and the way and the light ,
world without end , Amen . Do you understand ?” “ I do ,” he nodded . “ Good . Next weekend we are going to Darren ’ s property and we shall measure the depth of your passion .” And so we did . And Andrew went dirt-bike riding . And then Andrew crashed into a tree and hurt his leg a little . And then Andrew ’ s dad explained to Andrew that if he was to make such an error on the road , his life may well end . And as Andrew picked up his borrowed bike and limping heavily , pushed it back to the shed , he must have given my words a lot of deep thought . Because I did not raise an idiot . A few days later he said words to me fathers rarely hear from their sons . “ Dad ,” he said , “ You were right . I don ’ t think I want to ride bikes bad enough . I thought it might be a bit of a laugh ; something you do now and again ... but it ’ s not . It ’ s an all or nothing thing , isn ’ t it ?” I hugged him . He understood . Motorcycling is and must always be an all or nothing thing . It has always been that way for me . I cannot see it or deal with it in any other way . It does not compute in any other format .
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