In Praise of the Afternoon Ride

February 21, 2023

Here’s a truth we all know: As motorcycle riders, we tend to be passionate. When we love something, we throw ourselves into it 110%. For us, halfway isn’t the way at all.

So it’s no surprise that a lot of us – especially new riders, we’ve all been there – like to plan rides that are big. Epic. Cinematic. We love being on the road, so when we ride, we really want to go the distance.

But let’s not forget the joy of the shorter journey: the afternoon ride. Here’s a few reasons a couple hours out on your bike can still feel like the ride of your life.

1. Afternoon rides keep you connected with other riders.

We all know how it goes when you’re trying to plan a big group outing. Finding a destination everyone likes and organizing around everyone’s schedule is enough to make even the most patient person want to just take a solo ride off into the horizon, never to return.

But here’s the beauty of the afternoon ride: it’s a short-term commitment. Easy to plan around. And because the stakes are low, these kinds of rides usually end up being appealing for your riding friends.

In this way, an afternoon ride can be an essential way to keep your friend group together. Shared experiences are the real glue of friendships, and shorter rides are a great way to make that happen. And besides, building those friendships and making those lifelong connections with this amazing community of people is one of the primary reasons a lot of us love riding in the first place.

2. Afternoon rides can help you get to know your corner of the world.

We all love going on big rides because we can see something new. But how well do you know your part of the planet? Doesn’t it sound good to become an expert on everything within, say, a 200-mile radius?

Afternoon rides aren’t about going far. They’re about going deep. The more you get out and ride, you’ll start seeing the neighborhoods and landscapes closer to home in a new way. It has a way of giving you fresh eyes, and that means a fresh perspective.

You might discover a great new café. An interesting neighborhood. An area of historical importance. New hills to climb. Corners to take. We are motorcycle riders because we are adventurous, curious creatures. Afternoon rides give us the chance to satisfy some of that curiosity by finding out everything we can about the place we’ve chosen to live.

3. Afternoon rides can help keep you from becoming a “roder.”

Chances are, you have this friend: The person who bought a motorcycle and completely fell in love with the entire lifestyle. They lived and breathed motorcycles for a time. And then, something happened.

Maybe they switched jobs. Maybe they moved to a new area. Maybe there were changes in their personal life. Whatever the reason, they stopped riding. And now, their motorcycle gathers dust in a corner of their garage (which is, objectively, one of the saddest things you can see).

Afternoon rides are the antidote to letting riding slip into the past tense. It’s often what keeps a “rider” from becoming a “roder.”

That’s because the barrier of entry to an afternooner is so low. Minimal planning. Maximum spontaneity. There doesn’t have to be anything premeditated about it—just you and your freedom. And that connection to the purest riding experience can keep the passion for this lifestyle burning bright.

Every afternoon is an opportunity. If the weather’s right, give yourself the gift of an hour or two doing something you love. Because you don’t have to go far to get a lot out of a great ride.

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CA 92618, USA


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