My husband has ridden a motorcycle since he was a kid. He would talk about how riding a motorcycle meant that you saw more, smelt more, and experienced more. He said, “It’s the ride, not the destination”. For me, I worried about what would happen to our children if we were to get hit while out riding, and it flat-out scared me. Why would anyone want to deal with heat, cold, bugs, bees, and crazy drivers? All that changed when a friend died after a three year battle with breast cancer. I told my husband that if he wanted a bigger bike, I was game to try it again.
I kid you not…. I found the bike online, we looked at it at the dealership, and I filled out all the paperwork while he was test-riding it. I was still VERY nervous, but our kids are out of high school now, so what the Hell! He always talked about us getting a bigger bike and riding once the kids were older, and we were retired. I told him… we are not waiting for retirement. Not after watching my friend lose her battle. If he was willing to take it slow, stay on the back roads, and avoid the freeway, I was willing to go along, with the understanding that I may never be ready for longer rides. He said that we could start with short rides, and slowly add miles when I was comfortable.
Now, here we are 6 months later, and we are complaining that we don’t have enough storage space on the bike for the longer trips we want to take. I now have 2 jackets, because I needed something cooler for the summer heat, and I’m getting ready to buy a waterproof one. I had to go buy boots today, because I kept getting hit with bugs and bees (no stings!) on our latest day trip to Lake Tahoe — a day trip that was MY idea. My Facebook page is plastered with pictures and videos of all the day and weekend trips we have taken this summer. And, we are debating what we are doing for vacation next year. Should we take the bike to San Juan Island, Washington and stay with friends next summer? Should we take the bike to Utah and visit the National Parks there? Should we take the bike to South Dakota and ride the Black Hills and Badlands that everyone raves about?
Notice how all the trips involve taking the bike?
My friends and family ask me… what changed? How is it you went from saying “No way”, and “I’ll follow you in the car”, to taking all these trips and logging all these miles on backroads, city streets, and freeways?
Well, I can tell you this. You see more from the back of the bike. You smell more from the back of the bike. And you experience more on the back of the bike. Yes, there is heat and cold. Yes, there are bugs and bees. But, there is also the music blasting in your ears while riding thru the redwoods on the California Coast. A bald eagle flying over your head in Yosemite, which you wouldn’t have seen in a car. Bikers coming down Tioga Pass while you are going up, and seeing another wife on the back of a bike with her arms above her head, yelling and grinning at you as she goes by. And, your husband’s hand on your leg while cruising home at sunset.
It IS the Ride, not the destination.