Why I Ride; Why I share
With nothing but a Red Bull and some Denver Diner green chili cheese fries, a Joe Rocket jacket, and 3 hours of sleep I start rolling through the rain. I should have turned back hours ago but this bike just won’t let me stop. I swear all it does is eats miles and oil. I’m pretty sure it will eat me, too if I ever stop riding it. The plan was to leave the diner, swing by the grocery store, and then go straight home before the rain catches up. But home just looks better when I pass it on the motorcycle and after the ice cream melted I thought, screw it- I will just get a bowl of soft serve somewhere else. Somewhere, maybe in Wyoming. On the way, the rain got heavy. I stopped under an overpass to wait it out and enjoy my now warm root beer. I was soaked to the bone. Hair stuck to my face, mud stuck to my pants, and I just sat there- watching the raindrops disappear into the sheet of water as it rolled off the road. It was just me, my bike, and that overpass. I thought, ‘I wouldn’t trade this for the world but right now I might trade the world for some rain gear.’ I never made it to somewhere in Wyoming that night, I never thought to regret that.
There’s just something intangible about being on a motorcycle and I, like many others spend a lot of time inventing ways to prolong that experience. When I think about being on the road all other senses shut down. It’s only there that I have no concept of time; sounds disappear and sleep is inconsequential. When I can’t ride I feel awful. On two you are free to see whatever you want and sleep in the middle of it. Traveling on the road has called to me since I was little and I know I am not the only one. It is not easy, it is not always comfortable, and even if you travel with other people; when you are on the road it is just you and whatever is inside your head. I like that. Being alone with the sunset that at that time was built just for you. It makes me feel like I am doing something in my life that is worth talking about.
Many books have been written about just that; being on the road. It IS worth talking about and while I love the fact that people who speak more eloquently than I do have taken the time to describe the trips they have taken, I am left with a feeling of frustration after reading their stories. I want to have stories of my own. I want to take a large-scale motorcycle trip just like they did. I want to get sunburn on my wrists like they did, stare at the other side of Kansas and demand it be here already, and kill a big June Bug with my neck, just like they did. I want to travel with a tent on the back of my bike, not a tub of melted ice cream.
But how do you get ready like they did? Not every motorcycle traveler can afford a pace car to house heavy camera equipment and an espresso machine for those cold start days. In fact, not every motorcycle traveler can even afford equipment… or even know WHAT equipment to buy given even a modest budget. If you have not traveled on a motorcycle how do you know how to get started? So this is my goal. When I travel for clients, or just for fun; I want to give everyone the tools to do it themselves. I want to be a passthrough of the stories I come across but also use it as an opportunity to share what worked and what didn’t in the logistics of the journey. I don’t want to leave anyone with the sense of frustration but rather, the tools to make my stories become our stories.