Baby You Can't Drive My Bike

It bothers me when people say "drive" a motorcycle. Because you don't drive a motorcycle, you ride it, just like you ride a bicycle. In a way it would make sense to refer to “driving” a bicycle, since you actually provide the motive force for it -- but no one says that, probably because the sense of "drive" is really more about steering and controlling the vehicle’s speed and handling. On the other hand, if no one ever suggests you “drive your bicycle to my house" why do people so often say "drive your motorcycle"? The answer is in the stable, munching alfalfa, maybe the only other species on Earth with reason to celebrate the advent of the internal combustion engine. When most of our overland travel needs were fulfilled by horses, you would drive a carriage on the one hand, or ride a horse on the other. When bicycles came along, obviously you were riding one, something like riding a horse. But with the advent of motor cars -- motor carriages -- in effect you had harnessed a big team of horses, hence you drove them. Given that 200hp motorcycles aren’t at all unusual, I suppose there is some logic to the usage. But the only motorcycle you’ll ever see me driving will be on the bed of my truck, busted.