So, I thought about it for awhile. Pondering with the irreconcilable ignominy of having any sort of respect thrown my way. Cause I really don’t deserve it. I have always posted mainly with a passion at creating content rather than discontent. Though the very types of posts I’ve been known for here have me basically banned on the bmwlt.net list. Some people will burn those who they don’t understand, and are unwilling to listen and gain understanding. I don’t hang out with the K1200 Internet crowd anymore.
Watching as scouring fires of parked motorcycle syndrome rage around the Internet I wonder why any of us subject ourselves to the conflagration. I really want to be a pithy wit with sarcasm and humor studded emails flying from my fingers like the fires of hell rampaging across the Internet. I would really like to have a cool moniker to be known for and a reputation as bad assed anything. Let alone being a long distance rider or Iron Butt rally finisher. Though many have that level of respect it will never be for me. I’m just not that smart.
Early on as a newbie neophyte among long distance riders and the big dogs of the Iron Butt I stepped on my tally whacker more than once. Some of us stomp on it just for the sheer joy of it, and some of us ask others to do it for us. I’m a rider. I ride for the inconceivable and twinkling joy of star filled nights with horizons hidden in the unknown and bounded by the headlight beam. I ride since so many miles are left untouched and find some solace in the twirling odometer as it counts off those miles done, and just to see what is around the next bend. It is hard to ride when the road is covered with snow, and the ice is dripping daggers to the street.
This year as we close in on the official beginning of winter and truly end the riding season I consider the things I could have done better as a motorcyclist and long distance rider.
I wish I could have done more as a volunteer for the Iron Butt Association. Helping out what little I did was minimal at best and a poor effort on my part at worst. To say that others were magnanimous in thanking me would denigrate those who have helped much more than I did. I moved from Colorado to Indiana while the Iron Butt was occurring. Partly to drown my sorrows in the sweat and pain of an August move from state to state. I do think it was entirely too cruel of Mike Kneebone to schedule the next big ride in the city next-door to where I just left.
I wish I had ridden much more. I put on almost 18 thousand miles this year, but the 22 weeks of travel at the beginning of the year hammered my total mileage. I will always remember doing a SS2K in March as a business trip. It almost got me fired. Finally I quit that job anyway. With a few more weeks to the year I’m looking to put in a ride when the weather cooperates. Probably no more riding this week. Maybe next week I can hope.
I wish that I hadn’t cut off some of those motorists who had an infatuation with the left lane, and a total disregard for respecting others. I wish I had spent more days riding mountain passes than sitting on super-slab trying to remember what clear lanes were like. In some ways I wish I hadn’t totally abandoned going to rallies, and was a little more whimsical in how I paid attention to my work ethic. In some ways I wish I didn’t miss my kids while away and felt more at ease just taking a ride and coming back days later. Then again I work for a paycheck that takes care of my kids who get mad while I’m gone.
Riding is a reason to challenge my own preconceived notions of who I am, and just what the heck I’m doing here. Riding allows for a certain mental hygiene and increases my performance at work and with my family. Sitting in my office while the drizzle slowly malingers over to snow just robs the senses of character. Even in the peripheral level of involvement I find myself helping I am a better person for the level of person I find in long distance riding. The people who achieve at endurance touring are success driven and live lives of meaning. When I was new to this community I was castigated and driven to the penalty box by my own arrogance and sheltered from the storm by those who showed me success. I have been challenged on more than just my motorcycling career. I wish I had listened earlier.
Maybe I’m not a great volunteer. Maybe I use a howitzer for a spit gun problem from time to time. Just ask Dale Wilson about what Sydney (SWMBO) and I sent him when he asked for some help last time. He hasn’t talked to me since! Sydney figures that we are toast should we ever get invited to ride the big one. There are roads to ride and miles to travel. I’ve got a long way to go in my own efforts at rides that look interesting. There are some places I’ve always wanted to see, and some people I would like to meet. I don’t know where they are, or who they are yet. I’m sure I’ll find out someday. Maybe PMS this year will be “Planning Motorcycle Seasonâ€ .