Thursday, January 17, 2008


Why is it that humans only seem to reflect in times of stress? My brother is in Intensive Care and thankfully expected to pull through, again, even though it seemed to be touch and go during the weekend. So, during an illness, so close to home, I find myself reflecting.

Just what the hell is important in life? Money, job, stuff, or impressing the neighbors? What would it take to make me happy? I teach, partly because of my brother. About twenty years ago he was in the hospital and had brain surgery. We were told on at least three occasions that he wouldn’t survive the night. I was able and stayed at the hospital for many long hours. During that time I reflected. I wondered why I was working so hard to make my plumbing company grow. Why I worked for so many hours when life was so fragile. I realized that I wasn’t truly happy doing that, so I shut the company down. After a short period I qualified for a commercial plumbing license for a friend and went to work for him. It didn't take long to find our ideals weren’t compatible and I quit. That is when I made the decision to become a teacher.

How does this relate to motorcycles you might ask. Because of the question of why a person rides. I was thinking about my brother and realize that he, above anyone else I have ever known, lives life by his rules and on his terms. World be damned if anyone doesn’t like it. He is an individual that doesn’t conform to the expectations of others. He is who he is and if anyone doesn’t like it they can just build a bridge and get over it.

Riding is like that for me. I’m not looking to impress folks. I’m not a brand snob and I don’t care what you ride or even if you ride. I ride for me and only for me. There is a freedom on Petunia that doesn’t come from anywhere else in life. I think I am a tad of a loner and traveling solo on Petunia feeds that part of me. Sure, I enjoy the company of people. We all need people in our life, but we also need something that allows us to be what we are.

Riding allows me to be free. Riding makes me happy and when I come to a fork in the road I can choose to go left or right. The very best part of riding is leaving with an idea of a destination, but without it set in stone. In seven weeks I will set out headed to Seattle. I may or may not make it there. Whatever, I’ll have a good time and stories about the fork I took that didn’t allow me to reach my planned destination. Sort of like my brother, my rules, my terms.

1 comment :

  1. That is a great perspective on why you ride. Having ridden since I was a kid, I can truly relate. I was away on a trip for the weekend, and reflected some on life and what is important during the long plane ride home last night. In teaching, you really can make a difference in the lives of kids.

    I hope you enjoy your ride to Seattle. I am hoping to ride my bike to Daytona for bike week the first week in March, weather permitting. Right now, we are having a cold snap here on the east coast, so my bike hasn't been out for the last week.

    My best wishes to your brother also.