To paraphrase the magnificent Bob Dylan song Forever Young: “May you always be courageous, stand upright and be strong. May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every one. May you stay forever young.”
Motorcycles do that for me and I’m sure they do for you too. They are the toys we get to keep as we get older, objects of fascination, and something to tinker with and enjoy. They are a pursuit that lets us go places where the news of the day and troubles of daily life can’t find us – where we can be young again.
On a recent vacation I was swimming while my girlfriend Cori was sitting poolside with our friend Debbie. Debbie said, “There’s something about pools that make men act like little boys.” I replied with a smile as I backstroked away, “yep, pools and motorcycles”.
I don’t know about you, but there are few things in life that puts a smile on my face the way prepping for a ride and riding itself does. I have a back condition and knees devoid of cartilage after years of distance running – one of the many things life hits you with as you age. But riding eases those things, and my mind is free to wander – and there’s plenty of youth hidden there. When I’m prepping to ride, the air seems fresher, the coffee tastes better, and I feel alive and young.
I’ve gotten a lot from riding. I’ve ridden away from pain and into a world full of possibilities. On a 1200-mile ride in 2010, my life was changed. I got the idea that I might like to write, and to start a group for other riders like myself. I did both and that eventually led me to Cori, and we’ve been partners ever since, in life and in a new business venture. You would like Cori, she is a friend to everyone and a conduit for all the good in the universe. When you’re in a room with her you have a friend there.
Were it not for motorcycling I wouldn’t be in the position I find myself in today, which is one of endless possibilities. One simple, youthful decision to do something that many people told me was a bit nutty has changed the direction of my life. (“Bud, 600 miles in a day – isn’t that a bit far?” “Not sure, we’ll see.”)
Sometimes the mere act of starting out with a youthful open mind leads to great things and that can be done at any age. I’m not sure what the future holds, but I know three things: Cori will be there with me, we’ll get there on a motorcycle, and we’ll keep getting younger as we go.