More Than Words Can Say

Pictures really do say more than words. An image can bring words to life and put both the writer and reader right there on the same page, so to speak.

With technology today, we have forgotten how to thumb through pages in photo albums during a family get-together. The heavy pages were full of memories yellowed by time and fuzzy like the stories we told about each image.

Time passes and memories may fade a little, but they’re our memories and as long as we can record them – whether digitally or on film – they will be great memories.

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Destinations Unknown

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How can you write about motorcycles and not talk about the many roads we travel. Bikes and roads go together like the whole peanut butter and jelly thing, only we get more out of getting lost on a back road than getting lost going to the kitchen. Just as these highways we ride take us to destinations unknown, they will also take us to places so familiar that we can see them with our eyes closed. The kind of road that feels like walking through the house you grew up in. When you can walk through the house in complete darkness and not bump into anything, you have become one with it.


Have you taken a road you know you’ve never been on only to be convinced you’ve ridden it before? The scenery is vaguely familiar, the signs jump out at you as though its something you’ve already read, but you know deep down you haven’t been here. A classic case of deja vu perhaps? Maybe. It’s more likely a case of Biker’s Perspective. If you ride far enough you will eventually see how the landscape is put together. Rolling hills and green valleys with barns and silos dotting the scenery will eventually take you to either mountains, with their pine trees and elevation changes, or south to a drier climate with the road stretching out as far as you can see. Almost as if we are on a Hot Wheels track randomly snapped together to take us to the best places on earth. Just as long as the road doesn’t do a loop, we’ll be okay.

The Skiddy Basin


Early this Saturday morning during my usual ride to work, I spent a few minutes trying to put some thoughts together. It seems to me on this cool, damp ride that my head was as foggy as the Skiddy Basin as I passed through it. Listening half-heartedly to the radio, Lee Brice was singing I Drive Your Truck setting the framework for my mood and giving me plenty to think about as I followed the road to prosperity.

There are so many triggers throughout our day that cause us to pause or stop and reflect. If you read anything I write you know I spend a lot of time reflecting on life and events that have happened. This is a direct result of my surroundings which by the way, is full of said triggers. The road I travel to work on is a road I’ve downed many times over the last 45 years, and while it’s bumps and curves remain the same my view of it has changed. That old road will always lead to somewhere but it is always taking me back.

That old road will always lead to somewhere but it is always taking me back.

As a kid, the 23 miles to anywhere from White City always seemed to take forever, but the older I get the distance seems insignificant. What’s 20 minutes in a lifetime? Although there are days when I wouldn’t mind sitting on a front porch looking out at an old truck in the driveway, contemplating the sunrise or sunsets.  I suppose my blog wouldn’t be about motorcycles if that were the case. A small town guy riding and writing about rocking chairs doesn’t quite fit, does it? Hmm.

There is something about a quiet country highway on a motorcycle, a couple of bridges and the early morning to help you think. A country song on the radio doesn’t hurt either. Maybe the mixture of all the above is the perfect concoction to clear the fog and shorten the old road to anywhere.


The Actions of Wild Animals and Trained Humans

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There are so many reasons I ride a motorcycle. I don’t want to sound like a broken record but transportation and recreation are a start. The side benefits include a lower heart rate, clearer head and a prettier smile every time I climb off after a ride. Most benefits are hard to explain but I think you get the picture. I don’t ride to save gas but this too is a benefit, but I’m not bragging.

With all that’s good coming from riding motorcycles, there will always be a down side. Yes, wild animals can be a part of my daily routine. I’m not upset about it because I know living in a rural area, I’m traveling through their natural habitat. They don’t live by the same rules we humans do, so with that I give them a little latitude. The only wild thing a barbwire fence will keep off the road is a Wal-Mart bag… Deer, opossums and raccoons can be cute until they become obstacles in the road. Don’t they know I’m looking at the sunrise?

The only wild  thing a barbwire fence will keep off the road is a Wal-Mart bag…

But this morning’s commute, like so many days before, has a danger I don’t talk about much. As most of my 23 mile ride to work is rural two-lane highway my attention is always on those sweet furry friends that live in the country. About a mile from work, just on the edge of town, everything changes for the worse. At the junction of highways 77 and I-70 lies something more beastly than any four-legged animal. Traffic. In a span of less than an eighth-mile I deal with more cars pulling out in front of me than I care to talk about. Every day. Most don’t stop at all, some use the turning lane as a onramp to merge onto highway 77 exiting I-70 and none of them see me. Even though I have the right-of-way, they look right through me. Obviously, the desire to pull out in front of me is much too strong for them to stop to let me pass safely. I have given the “angry bird morning wave” to many.

This morning was a close one. Believe me, it takes a lot to even bring it up because history shows me it will happen time and time again. I can handle the drivers that don’t stop because they have already revealed their intentions. It’s the driver who stops and then rolls forward and stops again, that always has me worried. The driver this morning was unpredictable. After I had already slowed down, a sudden movement from him caused me to lock up my back brake causing a slight fishtail, followed with a few wild hand gestures and a mouth full of bad words. For a brief second I was ready to kick his ass. In fact, I’m still ready. After getting through the danger zone, heart racing and almost to work, I was inspired to write this.

So why do I ride? That’s a great question with an ever-evolving answer.

So why do I ride? That’s a great question with an ever-evolving answer. I lost my son-in-law Chanse to an inattentive driver this year. To say I’m hyper-sensitive to this very traffic situation is an understatement. Kicking this guys ass won’t solve anything but bringing awareness to it will. I can’t predict the actions of wild animals or trained humans but I can become a better rider and more importantly a better driver. To anyone who rides just remember, we are invisible. Educate yourself through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and check into the Motorcycle Industry Council for even more information. And gear up for every ride. Always expect the unexpected, because it’s a jungle out their whether its rural or urban, so be prepared.

Love you Chanse!

The Closer We Get


The older I get the more I find myself looking back. Memories, experiences and lessons learned are usually following me wherever I go and to recall them all I have to do is look back and there they are. But no matter how distant the memory, they truly are closer than we think. Although my childhood seems like an eternity ago, the memories of growing up are fairly clear. Friends and family are a constant reminder of who I am, and I know by the familiarity of the small town I live and grew up in, those memories are real.

But no matter how distant the memory, they truly are closer than we think.

Life’s experiences are an ongoing thing for all of us, but the lessons learned over the years are always reminding us of what or what not to do. Some of us learn a little harder than others, but we eventually learn nonetheless. Looking backwards isn’t necessary in this case as we carry these teachings with us like gold stars on the chalkboard of life. Looking back at all of my life’s experience would indicate I’m smarter now than I have ever been, but my palm slapping my forehead a dozen times a day would argue otherwise.

I also find the older I get the closer I get to the realization that you can’t live forever. I’m kind of caught in the middle of my life at my current age, and with each passing year you can’t help but think about it. I don’t feel that old, but my dad staring back at me in the mirror indicates I’m in denial. You’re only as old as you feel, right? Yeah, me too.

Buying Time


The power of words. A word or two can change our very mindset when we hear them but it is the power behind those words that give them the medicine in which they are delivered. Sincerity in its most simplest form can move mountains and change attitudes but a perfectly timed sentence, delivered by a kind heart at the right moment can point someone into the right direction. We have those days when we need to hear what is usually left unspoken. To actually say what we automatically assume is a form of confession that only reinforces the bond that brings us together. We don’t say it enough – to describe how we feel to those who mean the most to us and without that it’s left to interpretation.

We get so caught up in how we feel that we lose our sensitivity to how those around us are feeling. But it is the individual who can say what needs to be said to someone who is struggling, “I understand” or “chin up” awakening the positive attitude within them and allowing their eyes to open up to see the light at the end of the tunnel – no matter how far the tunnel goes. It’s the heartfelt way in which it’s said that has the most impact when someone needs lifting up.

 Focus is a good thing unless you are focusing too much on the wrong thing.

We’ve heard the words and felt the wave of change as the weight of the worry falls away. To say the problems have disappeared entirely would be unjust, but the idea of knowing we’re not alone in those dark moments says so much. I find solace in the hum of my motorcycle and a lot gets figured out when the wheels are in motion, but knowing there is someone who is willing to acknowledge they understand can put the mind at ease and change the thought process. Focus is a good thing unless you are focusing too much on the wrong thing.

My motorcycle can only do so much. It can push me down the highway buying me time to figure things out, it can drown out the noise that distracts and move me towards the end of the tunnel and into the light. Friends are the same. they can push you to understand, give you a voice of reason that will rise over the noise and lead you out of the darkness.