Thursday, June 20, 2013

Motorcycle Wisdom

People often ask me why I ride. There are all sorts of answers out there. 

"It's fun"
"The wind in my hair"
"Better gas mileage"
... or my original answer: "It was cheaper than a car" (three motorcycles and lots of gear later, that answer has probably lost some of its validity)

But one day while navigating pot holes through a windshield splattered with bug guts and raindrops, it hit me.  My motorcycle has become my rose colored glasses that I see the world through. 

1. Be kind, even to those who cannot repay you. 
I brake for turtles!  Shenandoah Mountains, VA 
2. Sometimes life takes you through scary dark journeys. Just keep riding... eventually you will see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Rattlesnake Tunnel in the Shenandoah Mountains, Virginia 

3. Sometimes you just have to ride the open road on the verge of the unknown. I rode this orange Honda Shadow on unknown roads to follow a career adventure. It didn't work out.... But guess what? The road didn't end. Just keep riding. Life goes on. 

4. Life doesn't always give you ideal riding conditions. You'll go through all sorts of weather. Don't give up. Remember those close to you.  My landlord at the time added cheer to a dreary snowy situation by surprising me with Christmas ribbon that matched my motorcycle. When things are tough, find a reason to smile. If you can't find one, create one.

5. During my work in New Mexico, I felt so alone. I lived and worked in a rural area. I longed for riding partners and adventure partners. Sometimes instead of wistful longing, you just have to make your own with the patient process of teaching.  

After many skittish attempts, Cisco finally learned to ride the motorcycle with me! 
This is a lesson I'm continually learning in Seattle... I'm teaching friends to be climbing and adventure partners!

6. The day started in grey cloudy Seattle... I was in the midst of a depressed funk. On a whim, I packed my purple Shadow with camping gear and decided to find the sun. After riding through a cold and rainy mountain pass, I found sunshine and warmth on the other side! When you're sad and depressed, take an active role and find your sun, whatever that may be for you.

Leavenworth, WA

7.  So many times I've muttered to myself, "I wish I had a car." Three motorcycles later, I've learned necessity is the birth of creativity. Now it's a game to me to see what I can pack on a motorcycle. Finding the silver lining is more fun than complaining :-) 

No car, no problem! Transporting a vacuum cleaner across Seattle 

During my days as a rock climbing guide in Virginia, I would pack gear for up to eight clients on my Honda Rebel!

Spontaneous farmer's stand stop  in New Mexico

Four wheels move the body.  Two wheels move the soul.  ~Author Unknown

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