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Easy Rider: The Fastest Way to Become a Motorcycle Person

Get your motorcycle career in gear with the new Ducati Scrambler.
relates to Easy Rider: The Fastest Way to Become a Motorcycle Person
Photographer: Philip Montgomery for Bloomberg Pursuits

If you’ve said it once, you’ve thought it a hundred times: This is the year I learn to ride. But for whatever reason—work, kids, relationships, time—that cool-guy motorcycle lifestyle just never materialized. I, too, had always been intimidated by motorcycles, until I realized that those roadblocks are mostly psychological.

Five years ago, in a parking lot in Queens, N.Y., my friend Mark coaxed me onto the back of a decade-old, electric-blue Honda Shadow. I practiced until I felt comfortable enough to hurtle a high-performance Ducati Monster through the back roads of upstate New York, or cruise through Venice Beach on a Kawasaki dirt bike. By the time I found myself, three years later, riding one of the new Ducati Scramblers through the serpentine tread of the Santa Rosa Mountains in California, I felt as cool as Steve McQueen.