For me this trip was a milestone reached. In August of 2005, I got this idea in my head that I wanted to ride a motorcycle from one end of the country to the other and back. I read a half dozen books and countless blogs on riding long distances. Looking back at a written journal I keep, I had originally planned to ride by myself. Even now that I know two dozen bikers, I could only get one guy to go with me. I had planned to camp along the way to save money even though I had only camped once in my life. I also did not have anywhere near the right gear to make such a trip comfortable. I would have pushed through and completed the trip anyway, that’s how I am, but I’m glad it took a little extra time to do this trip. I’m a better rider, I have better gear, and I couldn’t ask for a cooler dude than Robert Clark to make the trip with.
So what drove me to do this? For me this trip was simply about doing something that most people think is “crazy” or “impossible”. It’s amazing to me how people beat themselves down and convince themselves that they can’t do this or that. And I wonder if it’s laziness or fear that keeps people from getting off their butts and doing the things they’ve always wanted to do. I’m 42 years old now and when I tell people I’m playing a gig, or riding a long ride, or whatever, there’s one thing I see and that’s a longing for something more exciting than what they have. Yet, even though that little spark resides in people, they suppress it. The thing they feel compelled to do is “irresponsible” or “dangerous” or whatever. Bah!!!!
I believe we were put here to experience life and to create relationships with our God and with our fellow man. No, I don’t believe life is one big bike ride, it’s not all about adventure, but it is about not pissing away the time God has given us sitting in front of the TV. I went on this trip to see a bit of the world, to see what people are REALLY like and I’m telling you, that freaking box you plant yourself in front of for hours a day is a sorry, lame and sad substitute for actually getting out there and seeing the world for yourself. It’s a gorgeous, beautiful and VAST world that I saw out there and I’ve not even scratched the surface!
I do have some regrets about this trip though. I regret that I did not have enough time. Time to take the back roads and stop at all the oddball and interesting places that are off the beaten path. Time to visit my friends that live all around the country. Time to just meet more new people and hear about their life stories.
Despite that though, this trip was immensely enjoyable because of the relationships that were fostered among friends and family. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this trip it’s that it’s important not to let too much time pass before getting face time with people who are important to you.
So I was going to pass on all this great knowledge about riding gear and preparation and planning and all that crap. But honestly, the best advice I can give to anyone, biker or not, who’s reading this and wanting to go visit somebody or see a place; Turn that darn TV OFF, get your lazy butt off the couch and GO! Seriously, time is trickling away, and you can’t get it back.
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our little trip. Tomorrow this blog will return to it’s usual boring fare of what I’m eating for dinner, how hard work was, or what the weather is like…
…until my next ride anyway. 😉