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Street Strategies: The Forward Pass

Sunday, January 28, 2018   (1 Comments)
Posted by: David Grant #143166

"Can I go again?" and "Now that is fun and challenging!" were the comments I heard the most from BMW MOA members who took advantage of David Hough’s personal instruction in the sidecar and Hough Circuit training seminars. David, who is an AMA Hall of Fame member, noted author and developer of the Sidecar/Trike training program, said this was needed skill development for our members, but the smile created when those riders flew their sidecar, or made that run on the Hough Circuit faster than their last run, told me different. This was a chance for David to impart some knowledge to the next generation and hope this generation learns from his experience.

Think back to when you first rode a motorized, two-wheel machine. Close your eyes for a moment and try and picture where you were at, what you were doing and whom you were with. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Didn’t that feel good going down memory lane for a minute, recalling why you have (insert machine name here) in the family and why you go to (insert place or activity with machine here) on such a frequent basis. That initial feeling learned on that magical machine of two wheels became a part of your life, even if it was only in your dreams for a time.

Fast forward a bit, and now you’ve made it past the initiation to motorcycling: the first bike. The hardest of the critics (the one in the mirror) has been appeased, and now you have graduated to being a seasoned motorcyclist on your second (third, fourth, etc.) bike. Each machine has become a bit more specialized, like how your life has become. Some days you may have opened a bottle of (insert favorite beverage here), just to walk into the garage and stare at that machine(s); to dream of rides that were and rides yet to come. But the glass of (insert favorite beverage here) is now empty and the lights must go off, for tomorrow is a new day and more memories to create.

The days do not go as easy as they once did. Falls hurt more, your body takes a few more days to get back to normal than it once did, and just doing the normal jobs takes its toll on you. But the energy to go forward is found in the little victories of life. You keep going everyday for various reasons, and the recent AARP article, which shows a study that their members who ride motorcycles have the lowest rate of vehicle mishaps, live longer and live stronger, helps justify the daily commute of the long way back home from the coffee shop. Then when cleaning out the (insert room here), you happen upon a picture of (insert relative who rode motorcycles here) on his (insert motorcycle here) from 1947. The image of the half-smile, confident person on the motorcycle bears a striking resemblance to the picture of yourself on the (insert motorcycle here) taken last fall. You also see that the mirror is showing the hair has a tinge of grey to remind you that the end of this trip is coming near. Time to make the best of each opportunity available to you.

Some of the memories are not solely made on the ride; some of the memories also were created by the time spent wrenching on motorcycles over the years. Walking to the edge of the garage, past the row of bikes, to the toolbox, brings back many good memories spent in that area. Opening that box, scanning over each tool, picking each one up to feel its heft, it’s familiar feel and what you learned using it on your personal machine. Then the old half-fairing you mounted on the wall catches your eye. You put the tools down and look longingly at it, remembering that long-gone motorcycle, and the journeys you took on it. On those journeys, you learned who you really were and what you can be capable of. Then, that little movement you’ve seen before catches your eye.

The little guy/gal, so many years ago, was just a shadow behind you. Mimicking you, crying after you as you rode out of the driveway and screaming in joy as you returned. There was so much you wanted to tell them, to get them to learn what you had learned, but sometimes they had to learn it on their own. You where there when they fell down to lift them up, to give them another view when they had that hard choice to make, and even when they didn’t take your advice, you gave them 100 percent backing so they could have the possibility to be successful.

Maybe their choice of career was not what you wanted; but they did it with a passion to be the best, just like you taught them to do in all their endeavors. Now, they are bigger than you, smarter than you and working on creating their own life, just like you did when you where their age. Remember back to that person who got you that very first motorcycle ride, that ride which started you on this path to who and what you are today. It might be time to repay that act with one of your own.


Originally published in BMW Owners News in October 2013.

Comments...

Timothy I. Lindstrom says...
Posted Tuesday, January 30, 2018
I started riding in the dirt. Bridgestone motorcycles. Mainly for saving gas... however now when someone wants my advice on saving gas with a motorcycle. I recommend them to find a Honda Civic.. The surprised look on their faces! Then I explain, "Saving fuel isn't what motorcycling is about. Tires on motorcycles wear out so fast that to save money it is better to find a small car, Now if you want to enjoy the fresh air or ride some twisted roads then buy a motor!" Then I tell them of the many miles or smiles I have done.

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