Go or think about going
[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][COLOR="Navy"][SIZE="2"]There are always those who do, and those who think about doing. I don't find fault with either, and I do both. It's who you are, how you hang, and I don't think you need to be too self conscious about it.
I have always applauded the ON for seeking and printing decent pieces about motorcycle travel. I have been many places, but not every place. Time, money, responsibility, obligations, and health are among the reasons you and I can't go everywhere or do everything via motorcycle. Also, I think there is a semi-hardwired mindset, that can prevent us from venturing out. For example, just mention your plan to ride around Mexico, and the evangelically fearful will cross the freeway on foot to tell you how foolish that is. Ask around, and those who have been there will quietly tell you what a joy the place is. The same is true for more than a hundred other countries, continents and regions out there.
The important thing is to actually travel, or vicariously travel, or ride to the supermarket - but keep your mind open to reading about and hearing of motorcycle travels. Better yet, go threaten some part of the world with yourself and your motorcycle. But, keep an open mind to it all.
Most of us tune in to hearing and reading of others' adventures, and make our own contribution to the tales of travel. Most of us tune out those who dismiss others for sharing such joys. Don't dismiss sharing. It serves no one.
Finally, you just can't do everything. Get over it. If you haven't traveled to another country, or if you haven't seen that National Park, or if you haven't ridden that Iron Butt ride, dip your toe in. Make your own memories, remember the vistas, maybe pass around some photos, and keep making mental images that you can conger just by closing your eyes. And, if you like to write, create word pictures for others that sparkle in detail, ravish with color, and tantalize with motion. Share the wealth.
I can close my eyes, and once again be in a cafe in Paris in May, on an apple orchard on New Zealand's South Island in February, Oaxaca's Plaza Major in April, or riding through a flock of a thousand sheep on a mountain road in Utah in the sharp cold clarity of October. But you can ride your own ride, make your own memories, and build cherished friendships through motorcycle travel.
Or not. You pick.[/SIZE][/COLOR][/FONT]
As we grow older, we wonder a lot. Did I do enough of this or that and where am I headed? I ride a lot, all my life never having been without my two wheels of adventure. Maybe, as we get older we grow less responsible to answer why we want to play more! For some, this comes younger, but most its like all of us. Work,eat,work some more then play. Never growing too old to ride is my goal, whether to the end of nowhere or to my local fishing hole with my young folk, its all fine:). Randy
[QUOTE=txmxrider;779464]Even relatively mundane trips like riding the Alps or touring Europe seem extraordinarily bold and audacious to me.[/QUOTE]
Touring the Alps and Europe is hardly mundane or we wouldn't have so many riders heading over there to ride.
As for those riding across Siberia, China, etc. that you mentioned, remember, many of them are using organized tour companies, and any poseur can do that. The few like one of my students toured through there and the rest of the world on his own.
[QUOTE=txmxrider;779464]I think often about what causes one person to set out on a world-class journey while others only sit and read about such things.[/QUOTE]
Money, time, fear of the unknown...or they'd just sooner read about it.
[QUOTE=txmxrider;779464]And I wonder too about the expense. Travel is not cheap. International travel is even worse.[/QUOTE]
Sorry to break it to you, but my costs per day for my 2003 Alps tour was less than my 2003 Eastern Canada tour and the Alps tour even included airfare in the calculations. I'd probably spend more time touring this continent if it were cheaper....nahhhh, I wouldn't. ;)
Wonderful, thought-provoking responses. Not sure why I woke up yesterday with such a philosophical bent. Perhaps because I watched the movie "The Way" not long ago.
I ended up loading wifey on the back and went for a ride. It rained almost the whole day and consequently we cut the ride a bit short, but we still got in about 200 miles, had lunch at a nice little Tex-Mex joint, explored new roads and some interesting little TX towns.
I think it helps to step back a moment from the daily grind to get a different perspective and maybe see the larger picture. A motorcycle ride always seems to help in that regard. Even a short ride in the rain.
I'm not a lifelong rider. Started on dirt bikes in 1965-1970 and then didn't ride anything except a bicycle for 15 years. Went back to a dirt bike after that for 2 years and gave up riding completely until four years ago.
A friend and I were at an auto auction in Los Angeles and stumbled upon approximately a dozen CHP R1150RT's so as guys do when they are hearkening back to their youth, we purchased five of them for approximately $2,000.00 each.
After perusing a Clymers we started tearing them apart, re-wiring, painting, etc.
We sold off the three extras and actually had a positive balance with the two we kept. Both had less than 30K on the odometers.
Of course it wasn't long before we took turns dropping them at approximately 3MPH because the darn things are so tall. After correcting that problem we got serious about riding and took a few 4 and 5 day trips around Arizona and into Mexico. I WAS AN AM ADDICTED. Unfortunately my riding partner who always had a dream of living in Florida fulfilled his destiny and now lives in Clearwater.
But alas, my older brother (who rides a Harley with everything except a toilet) went on his first long ride with me last summer to Sturgis (approximately 5K miles by the time we returned) and now he also is hooked.
Next month we are leaving for two weeks to Hot Springs, Arkansas and are planning a fall trip somewhere. Before then (hopefully) my bike will be sold and
we'll both have Harleys. JUST KIDDING! Perhaps there is a newer R1200 or K1200 GT out there calling to me.
I'm fortunate to own a business that is structured so that at times I may work 15 or 18 days in a row but be able to go when I want.
My wife is an ER nurse so in her mind riding a motorcycle is trauma waiting to happen, but she has never asked me to give it up.
There are chances and then there are risks. If we all minimize the risks we should all get home safely.
SO WHY DO WE RIDE? Some of us have a type A personality and some of us don't. Somewhere in our brain there is a little voice that continually asks: if not now, when. Somewhere in that brain is a stop sign that provides an excuse to not do what we want; the kids need this, we need to do that, its too expensive, the home needs a little extra attention. At the age of 65, the seventh or eight inning is upon me and even though I know that financially all of the things we would like to do probably won't come to fruition, those that are important enough - we will find a way.
One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats - Iris Murdoc
Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today - James Dean
Food for thought.
And I guess there really is no one answer!
I sort of retired 5 years ago, but am building a new business, got into riding last year at the behest of my brother in law who said riding might be more fun than golfing. And he's right. I bought a K1200S last year and a S1000RR this year and am having a blast.
I'm going to Europe for a month in July, through the Alps and Dolomites. Then to Prague, Budapest and Berlin. And I will be back. I just know it.
Browning said "A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?". It applies to riding in spades. And no one is judging, so the answer doesn't really matter, does it?
BTW I just turned 65. I hope to be enjoying the RR in ten years time. God willing.
For me the thing that snapped me out of the "kill myself until I retire and then do it" mentality was watching the aging of my parents and inlaws and realizing that I have a finite # of riding and football seasons left. I'm 46 this year so I'm hoping for 20-30 more riding seasons. I try to take at least 1 1 week trip per year. That only 30 more . . .doesnt cost all that much to jump on the bike and ride 600 miles to the dragon or some location like that and even less if I camp.
Just my .02