Frank Chen

Frank Chen

email newsletter #15

end of an era, quote of the week

end of an era

I sold my motorcycle. This marks the second motorcycle I've sold since I started riding back in 2011.

My first motorcycle was sold back in 2013, when I left the Bay Area to go do more schooling in New York. I couldn't keep it around and I think because it was the beginning of my motorcycling journey, there was a stronger draw to restart it when I had the next available chance.

That chance was in 2015, which marks a solid 5 years of riding 60,000 miles up and down the 280, mainly commuting and laughing all the way to avoid traffic. Funny thing is, the joke was really on me for having a job that made me commute an hour and a half into the city. 😂

Starting as early as 2018, remote work had made riding a little less appealing, and I wasn't bringing the moto out for weekend warrior rides or rides through twisty roads.

By 2020, my attention and obsessions shifted elsewhere (mostly jiujitsu), which meant taking care of my body became the priority, and the risks of motorcycling were directly antagonistic to that.

The greatest risk when riding is your own disposition. Sure, you're already someone who takes a risk by getting on an overpowered bicycle, but it's also what kind of rider you are. I can't control the actions of others on the road. In my 12 years of riding, I haven't had any accidents, and I want to keep it that way.

I think selling the damn thing naturally became easier when the activity wasn't so tightly integrated into my identity. This kind of happens with many of the hobbies I delve into. The deeper I go, the greater the risk of the activity integrating into a little bit of how you define yourself.

Whether that's good or bad depends on how you hang on to that piece of yourself. Hang too tightly, and when the time comes and it's over, it's gonna feel like someone's tearing away a limb. Hang too loose and you won't be in it long enough to capture the essence of any activity.

quote of the week

"The reason you want to be better is the reason why you're not." ~ Alan Watts

This quote hurt my brain. If your reasons for getting better come from an authoritarian place ("get better or else") there's a very small part of you that deems yourself a mistake. When you implicitly do that, you're implicitly resentful of some part of yourself. You open a rift for self-contempt, and that shows up in the culture of your life.