Autism in My Eyes
You hear the roar, rumble, pop and growl of the engine, you see them, ranging from large to small, crazy looking and very mundane, fast and slow…...ITS A MOTORCYCLE! Hey everyone, its Eric, and in case you can’t tell this little blurb is on motorcycles. I am not just an Aspie, I am a biker as well, ride a Harley, wear a leather vest/jacket and the whole nine yards. But let me start by sharing a short tidbit about a young man with rather severe Autism who took interest in my bike.
I was walking to the gas station with my girlfriend to grab something (can’t remember what) and from out of a car I saw waving hands, a smiling face and the voice of a boy about to hit puberty yelling “HEY GUYS!” We waved back, we are used to this kind of attention when we are in our riding gear which we were. We spoke to the mother and saw the Friendship Circle sticker on her car, turns out this boy had a special interest in cars, trucks and motorcycles. The boy had intellectual disabilities the mother explained, and he had just learned to speak a few short years ago. I must say he spoke rather well, but as things were, I invited him and his mother to meet us at our apartment complex parking lot to see our bike. MADE THAT KID’S DAY! He smiled and if he had been dressed a bit more appropriately I’d have let him climb on my motorcycle and “try it on for size.” Regardless, I made that boy’s day and that’s the joy of my life, sharing my love for motorcycles with everyone.
Now for those of you who are curious, I ride an ’05 Harley Davidson Springer Softail. It has 5 gears and an 88CI/1450CC engine. I call her Black Betty and right now as I write this she is sitting cozy and warm under her cover in the parking lot. Now I have heard it from friends and family, “motorcycles are dangerous,” well…. yeah, duh…...but so is a car if you aren’t careful. For me riding isn’t about the danger or anything stupid, it’s about the simple relaxing effect it has on me. I have about 7 – 8 thoughts running through my head at any given time, so when I’m riding, one of thoughts is on the road ahead of me, another on the cars, the operating of the motorcycle and what’s going on around me, so right there my thought processes are slowed because more of my brain power is being used up. Hope that makes sense because I have no better way of explaining it.
Now I can hear you all going “what does it mean? What does his riding a motorcycle have to do with anything?” Let me explain it doesn’t have to be a motorcycle, it could be any activity, but I believe in order for us Aspies to slow down sometimes we need an activity that requires us to focus so much on it that the rest of the world fades into the woodwork.
Now a quick note about those who ride, we may look scary or intimidating but let me tell you 99% of us are genuine sweethearts, so if you like our bike just say so, we will probably smile and try to chat, I know I personally love making people smile when I’m on my bike, especially kids. Smile when you see us ride by, wave if you like, but most of all DON’T DRIVE TOO CLOSE BEHIND US AND FOR CRYING OUT LOUD WATCH FOR US! Sorry for the raging outburst but it’s something I bring up whenever I write about motorcycles. If you have any more questions about motorcycles and Aspergers feel free to comment them below.