I've been riding since around 12. I started off on a Yamaha Y-zinger 80. A clutch-less, 3 gear, dirt eating monster. At my young age, that yellow machine took me places I could only have imagined. The riding bug started there, but didn't have a full hold on me. Other things came along and I ended up selling the Yamaha, but the itch never left.
For my 16th birthday, Mom and Dad brought me a real street bike. In the back yard was a 1981 Kawasaki LTD440 wrapped with a small bow. I had no idea how to ride a bike with a clutch and I had no one to teach me, so off I went to the dirt again. Popping the clutch on a dirt road is a lot more forgiving than asphalt...the cops leave you alone too. I had that Kawi for years until the fateful winter season I left it outside. I never knew how much I loved that bike until I lost it.
Years later my wife pushed me to get a new bike in hopes that it would help end a long spell of depression. Selene entered our family and brought in much needed change. She's been with us since and serves as the outlet I need to get away and clear my thoughts.
Motorcycling dangerous? No...letting depression eat you alive is dangerous. Get out there and ride.