So it’s Christmas today, or so I’m led to believe. I’d wish you a Happy Christmas, but my family and I don’t celebrate it, so it would be slightly hypocritical for me to do that.
It’s not because of any particular religious belief that we don’t celebrate it, we used to celebrate it, but it never sat right with me that we were celebrating what is essentially a Northern Hemisphere festival in the Southern Hemisphere, a festival that is the Christian version of the Pagan Harvest festival, to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Makes no sense at all, and when our oldest child also started questioning why we do this, we decided it was time to stop. So this year we celebrated the Summer Solstice. That happened on Friday the 21st of December, just in case you were wondering.
So what’s all this got to do with motorcycles, or motorcycling. Well Christmas has absolutely nothing to do with motorcycles, not the slightest connection, and that’s the whole bloody problem!
In all of my 42 years on this planet I have never been given a motorcycle related Christmas gift. OK, granted for the first 5 years of those 42 years I didn’t ride a motorcycle, but that still leaves 37 opportunities lost. How many times have you heard the lament “I just don’t know what to buy them”? Well here’s a tip folks, if they ride a motorcycle, BUY THEM ANYTHING TO DO WITH MOTORCYCLES! And if they don’t ride a motorcycle they should, so buy them a motorcycle related gift anyway.
As for the Summer Solstice, what does that have to do with motorcycling? An awful lot in fact. For those of you who are wondering, the Summer Solstice “occurs exactly when the axial tilt of a planet’s semi-axis in a given hemisphere is most inclined towards the star that it orbits. Earth’s maximum axial tilt to our star, the Sun, during a solstice is 23° 26′. This happens twice each year, at which times the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the North or South Pole respectively”. Thanks Wikipedia, but I prefer to think of it as the longest day and shortest night of the year, and obviously for motorcycle riders that is not good news. We have peaked, and we’re headed down the other side, the slippery slide to short days and long nights has begun for another year. So it’s not a celebration at all, it’s a cruel and tragic time for any two-wheel addict.
So enjoy these long sunny days while you can, get out and ride every opportunity you get. Don’t sit around eating and drinking too much, get up early and go for a ride, and if you’re lucky, really lucky, next Christmas you might get a gift you really like.
And when we finally do reach that time of the year that marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, you know what we’ll be doing at our house? Celebrating of course. And how will we be celebrating? With a beautifully decorated tree, lots of presents, too much food, and probably too much to drink.
Anyway, what are you doing reading this on Christmas Day, go and open your presents. It’s more socks by the way, I just couldn’t think what to get you.
Happy Christmas to you all, and safe riding. I never said I wasn’t a hypocrite.
The Perpetual Motorcyclist
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