Like Matt, I grew up around motorcycles, although I spent the majority of my time on the back of them. As I got older, I was ready for a view that wasn't 80% helmet of the rider ahead of me, and I was tired of begging friends and family to take me for a ride. Taking the plunge to get my motorcycle endorsement was one of the best decisions of my life.
My timing for that decision could have been better, as it was just months before I moved to China. I've always had the bug to travel, near or far, metropolitan or off the beaten path, with others or solo. So, when I was granted the opportunity to experience eastern Asia on a Fulbright Scholarship, it was like Christmas! Naturally though, as fate would have it, Matt and I met just weeks before I was set to move abroad for a year... but we met over motorcycles, flirted over travel, and fell in love across the miles and time zones.
On the way home from the airport when I returned, Matt and I stopped at the local BMW motorcycle shop on (somewhat of) a whim, and there we were ruined: we just had to get the R1200GS. Not so long after that, the F650GS joined it in the garage. Between our adventures (big and small), I often commute for work on my bike, which scores me big points with the kids I work with when I roll up at their houses. Like everyone out there, though, I always look forward to the days when I don't have a destination and schedule.