I’ll admit it’s been tough to sit down and write lately. After months of focused attention on preparing my home of fifteen years for sale it sold in under a month, which left me scrambling to give away or sell the bulky items that I couldn’t take with me. It’s funny how many things you collect (whether intentionally or not) when you own motorcycles.
As I emptied and purged the rack in the garage I found a wide array of items: an air box for my Yamaha Maxim that never got installed, countless pairs of gloves, balaclavas, and helmet visors, a spare mirror for my V-Strom left over from my run in with a Pennsylvania white tail, containers of spare bolts and plastic bits, a spare battery, the helmet Devon wore on our rides together (pictured above), sets of handlebars and risers, spark-plugs, brake pads, and too many tools to count.
It was fun to pause and remember the fifteen some odd years I’ve been riding and all the miles I’ve put behind me. It also led me to think about the other collection I’ve amassed over those fifteen years: the friends I’ve made as a result of simply riding on two wheels. I’ve been fortunate that way. I’ve discovered that if you extend yourself, even a little bit, in someone else’s direction and stray from your comfort zone, quite often you make connections that will last a lifetime. The bike is merely a conduit that allows the connection but I can’t help but think that we all share some commonality that binds us. I often think of the “One equal temper of heroic hearts” that Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote about in his poem Ulysses.
My friend Henry, in a recent email, likened large scale change to the cleaning of a pot; it’s a nasty process that drags up all sorts of ugliness; but in the end you are left with a clean and empty vessel ready to be filled with whatever you wish. I think of that analogy often as I make this transition.
Cori always reminds me of all the friends I’ve made as a result of motorcycling and what a beautiful thing that is. So as I explore unfamiliar roads with my trusty old friend I carry a bit of the familiar with me. That being the positive energy and spirit of the friends I’ve made over the years; those who, to paraphrase Stephen King, have built their houses in my heart and for whom I am eternally thankful.