Monday, December 26, 2011

The First thing to Prepare for Motorcycle Touring...

... Is your Choice of an Attitude for Motorcycle Touring.

It carries over into general day-to-day living too!

"They are the peaks one needs to recognize, and then down the valley we go to climb back up again... If it were only peaks we would never know what the taste of balance is"

The words that Ara wrote in his comment on this blog the other day say a lot don't they?

Pretty much the old story that the Shining Times don't shine, without some dark times to contrast 'em with. Without those dark times, the ones that shine would just become a dreary... average... right?

I find my self  "coming down into the valley... off the Peaks" each winter it seems... and sometimes... in the summers too!

A lot of folks (Myself on occasion!)... curse those that tell us, seemingly too easily, to grin and bear it... Those "cursers" find the grinning a tough job in the face of what's coming down on 'em. Been there/Done that so I understand that feeling, I surely do. But... what other option do we have?

There is an option... I understand that too... but... as low as I might get... I'm not willing to ride that one way road... I might grouse and complain, I might rage and wail... but, in the end... I'll climb back on... twist the throttle and put it back in the wind... I keep on ridin'.

Truth be known... hidden in amongst all that easy to say/hard to live; "you've gotta take the good with the bad" common advice that's given with too little thought... a road does exist.

If you search with an open mind, an unfettered imagination... and a Strong Heart... there is a road that will roll you through the low valleys and back up into the Shining Times among the peaks. It's potholed and confusing at times... but it's there to be found if you only Don't Quit Searching...

I've been on that rough road. I say this with Much thought... and personal experience. Finding that road  IS a Choice.

For instance... let's talk literal for a bit... Rain.

How many riders curse the rain? Their bikes sit parked if the sun ain't shining... they let the weather dictate to 'em... I wonder how much of their LIVES are dictated to 'em... by the "Weather" around 'em?

Before I left to roll two wheels up the Alcan a year and a half or so back, I'd happened across a video of a guy, sitting on a dock, somewhere on the Alaskan coast...

He was disgusted, cursing the weather. Him, and those with him were abandoning their Alaskan ride, 'cause it rained... It rained a lot. So, they simply abandoned the ride of a lifetime they'd dreamed about for years... because they let the weather decide for them... rather than Living the Life THEY chose.

Well Surrrrrrrprisssseee! and Welcome to the Yukon and Alaska!


To them and that sort I say; You Just don't Get it... so don't talk to ME about "Drinking the Wind" or the "Healing Power of the Open Road"... 'till YOU understand what it is you're talkin' about!

Yeah... I know... I'm bein' kinda hard nosed here. Well, guess what? Life is pretty hard nosed at times. Cowboy Up! Figure out how to deal with what comes along and Ride! If you duck and run every time it whacks you... ya'll ain't gonna get very far.

I rode the same roads. I got rained on... A Lot... For 3,000 miles, nearly 24/7 it rained. You know what I did? I grinned.

OK... a few folks along the way calculated that meant some sort of mental deficiency... and... I kinda agreed with 'em... though my thought was the deficiency wasn't in ME! ;)

Sure, I'd prepared before I went, and had good rain gear. So under the rain I was dry. But I rode all day in the rain. I set up camp in the rain. I ate supper in the rain. I slept in my good Hoodoo tent in the Rain... got up in the rain... had breakfast in the rain... packed up camp in the rain... and then... rode all day in the rain...

and sure... a time or two I started whining...

Until the advice of someone I have long forgotten came back to me.

"If you fight the weather it will crush you. You have to embrace the weather, and go with it."

I didn't really understand that... then...

"Go with it." you hear that a lot... "Roll with the punches"... "take the good with the bad" What the hell does that mean?

It doesn't mean you just accept the status quo... not totally. You make proper preparations, to deal as best you can with whatever you might expect going into whatever it is your Going In To... and then Savor... whatever it is you GET in to.

Like the rain... I could curse it... or... I could make sure I had rain gear to keep me dry... a good tent to shelter a warm dry bed...

and then revel in the Freedom of the Road I was riding.

I could be there, On the Alaskan Highway on a fine motorcycle, Drinking the sweet scent of the rain freshened Wind... or... I could be warm and dry... standing in the confining aisle of a hardware store, breathing stale air and selling plumbing parts to some townie cager that really had little understanding of how to put 'em together!

It's not easy. You have to focus your energy on what you're doin'... and you have to develop a tougher "Hide"... but the rewards are... You not only appreciate your Scooter more... You Learn to Taste Life Better.

Grab Your Handles and Ride!

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*Share...  Your Personal Motorcycle Philosophy with us!
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