Notes from my 5000 mile solo motorcycle road trip - Summer 2001:
There are a
lot of really good roads (Arizona and New Mexico- black asphalt... smooth
as glass) and a lot of really bad roads (parts of Nebraska and Minnesota)...
One of the tricks I learned on the trip, was... On the four lane divided
highways... The passing lane is used a lot less, and 80% of the time
is a lot smoother to ride on... So if the road got rough, I just eased
over to the passing lane... And if cars wanted to pass me, they didn't
even have to change lanes.
Most folks that
came West were probably in a wagon, stage coach, or on a sailing ship...
Roof, windows, and doors... A safe place to go and hide when the weather
got bad... But here we are... Motorcycle guys and gals... Out In It...
With no place to hide... Taking the extra time to prepare, at some level
could be life or death for motorcycle folks... Granted, most of the
time it just means being more comfortable.
the contrast... When perfection did happen... WOW... I said to myself
on more than one occasion... "It just can't get any better than
this"... And yet, it always did... The colors, smells, and sounds...
Moved me... Not to think... But to that place deep inside where words
have no meaning... Where time comes to a complete stop, and space is
forever... The place where all things are connected and fear can't exist,
because you are no longer separate.
I was expanding
my comfort zone to include all things new. I had unlocked my jail cell
in a way... Escaped from the prison of... "How It Should Be"...
And found the place of... "How It Is"... I found myself thinking...
Can I deal with all the stuff this journey is about to throw at me???...
Do I have the personal resources to meet each new challenge and win
or lose, learn something about myself??? Will I have the courage to
travel until I'm tired... Letting the day tell me when to stop, and
when to go... And not my watch?
Once I was on
the road, it took a couple of hundred miles for the feelings of loss
and fear to subside... To come to that place of... 'The Traveler'...
Where home... Is the place you hang your helmet... And any bed, becomes
your bed... It's back to basics... Food, clothing, shelter, and medicine.
I would get
up before dawn... Take a shower... Drink some water... And go out to
the bike... I would check the oil level in the sight glass... Check
the tire pressure in both tires... I found on some days the air pressure
could change as much as a few pounds because of heat, cold, or altitude
(I kept, 31 front - 38 back)... And if there was a big change in only
one tire, it would alert me to a problem... I would do a visual check
of the bike, and then start the loading process.
the eight to ten hours I spent sleeping and eating at the motel or
site... I could feel an attachment start to grow... I was becoming
comfortable... I knew how it worked... Food, Shelter, Sleep... It's
hard to leave those
behind when you have miles and miles of black asphalt and cement looking
you in the face each day.
It's a challenge
to find comfort on a motorcycle if you're looking outside yourself...
The comfort a motorcycle rider finds is on the inside... With acceptance
of the way things are, and faith in his/her riding skills and
not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in
a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly
used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... WOW... What a Ride!"
-- VolusiaGuy - Member #247