Bring It On

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And just like that, 2016 is behind us. Last year when I wrote Mind Over Matter I made some generic resolutions, much like everyone else around me – to eat better, exercise, appreciate stuff and be nice to others, blah, blah, blah. You know, like we’re supposed to do anyway. Well, I did some of those things except for the exercise and eating right. There’s just something about food…and furniture, that keeps getting in the way. This year I’ll try, I promise.

This was a year to remember for sure. I actually hooked up with three fellows from across the ocean and rode with them on their epic journey across the U.S. My part of it had me riding through Kansas and sharing some of the fine roadside attractions such as the World’s Largest Ball of Twine. The Ride 50 at 50 crew of David, Adrian and Andrew made me feel welcome and not only took me in as one of their own, I also made some lifelong friends in the process. Thank you fellows! We also discovered Blip Roasters in Kansas City and Ian welcomed us with open arms as well.

But I did ride my motorcycle to the east coast.  A trip that came together at the last minute, it was something I didn’t think I would accomplish any time in the near future – but it happened. Along with the regular trip to Sturgis, it was a month full of miles and smiles. Somewhere in the mix I mamaged a ride out to Colorado Springs and that, combined with the usual commute to work, added up to a lot of miles. It was nice to get my head cleared a bit and see some different scenery. You know the kind, where although you’ve never been there it all looks eerily the same but just different enough to keep you wondering “have I been here before?”

You know the kind, where although you’ve never been there it all looks eerily the same but just different enough to keep you wondering “have I been here before?”

It’s hard to believe that we’re entering the year 2017. If I still wrote checks this would be that awkward time when every check for the next thirty days or so would have the wrong year written in and then scratched over with a 7. But that doesn’t happen any more.

So instead of making some other humorous resolutions for this coming year, I’m going to turn the tables around and challenge you to a few;

Be nice to a stranger. Not in the sense of just being a decent human being, but to actually put out the effort and engage with people you don’t know. This is easy for me as I don’t have a problem interacting with folks I don’t know.

Believe in yourself, and have the confidence that you can. Because when you believe the rest will come.

Take a moment for yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in everything around you, focusing on the needs of others and it’s easy to forget about stopping to breathe it all in.

Remember those we’ve lost, but also share that precious time we have with those standing around us.

Happy New Year!

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“The world’s largest…3 miles ahead”

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I know what you’re thinking, every state is known for something. The obvious – Grand Canyon, the Royal Gorge, the Sears Tower just to name a few. Riding along the byways of Kansas, you definitely have some interesting sights to see. There is no doubt the ride South of Council Grove through the Flint Hills is beautiful. The rolling hills when the fields are green is amazing. But the wind…

The wind blows mostly all day and only lets up when you put the motorcycle back in the garage. But its what we do here in Kansas. You ride in it or you don’t ride at all. I’m used to it but I do hear a lot of people complain that it takes the fun out of riding. Sure it does, just as the Northwest has its drizzle and the Southeast has it’s humidity. We just adapt to our surroundings. But back to the roadside attractions.

In Cawker City Kansas we have the World’s Largest Ball of Twine. It’s big. So big it has a roof over it! I’ve had lunch at the bar across the street and I will say it is impressive. That is true dedication and I will hand it to the folks of Cawker City – they have put the city of theirs on the map. Just think of the town that currently has the “Second Largest Ball of Twine”. How would that make you feel? You work so hard but it doesn’t help get your ball of twine in the “largest” category. There are no road side signs saying “turn here to see a medium size ball of twine”.

And then we have Greensburg Kansas with the “Worlds Largest Hand-dug Well“. Not to be confused with the “Second Largest Hand-dug Well.” It must really suck to work so hard at digging a well BY HAND only to come up short. At any point during the dig I hope his wife didn’t say “see, I told you”. At what point do you convince yourself there is no going back to a normal ball of twine or a regular well. As bikers, we usually have to have to the latest and greatest of everything. Whether it’s the biggest engine, or the fastest motorcycle or loudest pipes, some of us have to have it. But the field is very small when it comes to water wells or balls of twine.

You have to hand it to these folks. They have started something and finished it in grand fashion. To those that don’t care it matters little. But to the friends and families of these individuals it is something to talk about through-out the generations. It makes me feel like I need to get off the couch and do something! Wait a minute…I think I might have the “Largest Pile of Dirty Clothes“…