Just so you guys know…I read ALL my (non-spam) email, and do reply if it seems indicated.
Thought I’d share one email that has a common theme with many I get.
I read the stories on your site and I enjoyed them, but I really must ask, why does so much interesting stuff happen to you? I’ve been riding a couple years now and nothing like that ever happens to me.
This is actually an easy one…I’ll take this in two parts…
I read the stories on your site and I enjoyed them…
Cool! Thanks! Now buy the books already! Tell your friends! Tell Oprah! I need exposure! I’d love to write more stories/books and someday hope to earn a living at it, but getting the word out is a real pain and I could use your help!
Why does so much interesting stuff happen to you? I’ve been riding a couple years now and nothing like that ever happens to me.
Simply put…interesting stuff happens to me because I expect it to. Also, exciting stuff doesn’t happen to me every day. I ride a lot…I mean a LOT…ten’s of thousands of miles each year…and I DON’T write down the boring stuff!
I commute a fair distance daily in Dallas traffic. That right there is enough for a book of adventures…many drivers don’t see you, and half the ones that do don’t care that you’re there.
I’ve left home for a two week trip that I didn’t even decide what direction to take until I reached the end of the alley. I’ve ridden a thousand miles in a single run just to say “Hi” to a wildthing I met on the internet and had never talked to or seen in person. That’s not the first time, and wasn’t the last.
Heck, I’ve ridden 500 miles for barbeque. When I tell my wife on the phone that, “I think I’ll stop on the way home for a burger.” she asks me, “In what State?” Keep in mind I live in a state that if I pick the right direction, I can ride a thousand miles in a straight line and not get out of it.
I’ve lost count of the number of “thousand mile in 24 hour” runs I’ve made…and “1500 miles in 24 hours” is not unheard of.
I know exactly how far a full tank of fuel will take my Valkyrie at a sustained 135mph indicated.
I take roads because they fade out on my map. I’ve made turns because “that way” seemed more interesting. My plan for at least one trip was “point ‘er west and twist the throttle.” A plan for another was “turn around and head for home when you get half way through the money in your wallet.”
The next trip the turnaround was decided when I’d gone through half the tread depth on my front tire.
I’ve change my oil in the Wallmart parking lot. I’ve cleaned crappy gas out of my tank beside the next gas station. I’ve changed a tire on my machines with a couple screwdrivers and a two by four in an empty parking lot.
I’ve laughed when things were going my way…and I’ve sworn and thrown things when it seemed I just couldn’t catch a break.
I’ve been known to travel several hundred miles to make the 20 mile commute home. The short way was broken ya see…
I rode to Alaska because I felt like it. I went down some roads because I wanted to, and didn’t go down others that I’d planned to because I had a “feeling.”
I’ve bought ice-cream for an old lady that thought I was a gypsy. I’ve changed tires for pretty women. I’ve lent money to stranded motorists. I’ve bought happy meals for poor kids, and tacos for blue-eyed blondes. On the back of my motorcycle, I took a frail old man that was lost…back home. We stopped in a half-dozen places he remembered from his childhood. Seems he wasn’t quite as lost as everybody thought. His past was just more real than his present.
I talk to people at gas stops…and I make a LOT of gas stops. I get away from the chain businesses whenever I can…favoring the mom & pop operations. I talk to the people there too. I’ve got plenty of the mundane…my job is full of it…why would I look for it on the road?
I keep my eyes open…pay attention to my surroundings, and see things others are so sure “couldn’t” be that they wouldn’t know it if those things hit them over the head.
me: (pointing) “Look at the size of that wolf!”
him: (barely glancing in that direction) “Can’t be. We don’t have wolves around here. If there’s anything out there it’s probably a dog…or maybe a coyote.”
me: “Dude, it’s right there!”
me: (watching the wolf wink, toss his head, and trot out of sight) “Oookay then.”
I’ve ridden many thousands of miles alone…perhaps several hundred thousand…and many thousands in the deep night. The scary things in the deep night…aren’t on the outside.
I ask people that look like they’re in trouble…if they’re in trouble. The answers often surprise even me. Sometimes the solutions do too. Sometimes I simply cannot help, and come away a little more subdued.
The world often delivers what you expect out of it…you find what you’re looking for…even if you don’t know just what that is.
Some folks won’t ride when there’s a prediction of rain. Sheesh…I basically ignore the forcasts…I ride in storms, heat, cold, wind, fog, whatever. I’ve chased storms…and caught them. Sometimes it’s the other way around. I’ve occasionally regretted it. Mostly not though.
On my last run out west, I stopped for a couple on a Yamaha Virago that had run out of gas (we had KILLER headwinds). At the next station, as I was buying a gas can and strapping it on my back seat to carry back to them, FOUR other riders commented that they’d spotted them but didn’t think to stop. Those four riders got where they were headed faster than I did…but who had the better or more interesting day?
I view the universe, every day, with wide-eyed wonder. No, I’m not naive…I’ve met my share of the dark…perhaps more than my share…but that’s part of the adventure too.
I’ve raced the moon through the city-scape…the most incredible moon I’d ever seen…only to find other people that didn’t even notice the thing.
I’ve tried to pack a lot of living in my life…sometimes my reach exceeds my grasp…I’ve fallen…but that’s part of the adventure too.
Passion as principle. It’s an interesting thing. It does…occasionally…bite back. It’s a risk I’m willing to take. How about you?
Are you looking for adventures?
They’re out here. Come and see.