Never give up. Easy to say, but oh, so hard to do. The path of least resistance can become quite the habit for many, but for a few they will settle for nothing but the best. But what about an average guy like me? I can dream, can’t I? Sometimes it takes goals (lofty goals at that) for them to be reached. Why is that? Goals are the easy part, it’s the doing that takes the effort. And of course, never giving up.
It’s easy to say “maybe someday,” but to actually find yourself achieving a goal you put forth – goes to show you if you want it bad enough, you can make it happen. How bad did I want this? Not as bad as you think. It seemed so far-fetched that it was more of a dream than an actual goal. This isn’t something I’ve been thinking about since I was a child, but only recently did I have the urge to put my thoughts into words. I think from a deeper sense, it was all the years of reading motorcycle publications over and over that put me in this spot. If it’s true “you are what you eat,” then surely you are what you read. And as luck would have it, I’m always hungry.
I could go all philosophical here and say it’s destiny – or that all things happen for a reason; and although I do believe in destiny and the whole ” happen for a reason” thing, I also believe you can make your own opportunities as you plug away through life. Slow and steady might get your there, but it has a lot to do with timing. Just the idea this could happen to a small town guy twenty-five years ago seems improbable without the help of the internet. As for my location, it isn’t in the heart of the motorcycle industry. The world is a much smaller place to me as an adult, but seemingly too big for a teenager with other things on his mind, to make the most of it. I’m not sure Mrs. Lawrenz in freshman typing class or Mr. Sweeney in English were convinced I was capable of putting my thoughts into words in 1977, but they should see me now – spelling my words all good (more better?) and using most of my fingers. They believed in me I’m sure, but I knew me as a freshman and, well… But that is exactly the point I’m trying to make here. You aren’t limited by the invisible boundaries we place around ourselves; we’re only limited to the boundaries of our dreams. The last time I checked, my dreams can be way out there.
I still have bigger goals I want to achieve, but even those seem like dreams at this point. Will I achieve them? To say “no” would undermine my own success, so I will plug away as I always do to make them a reality. It’s still a matter of timing and making your own opportunities, and it always helps if you have a dream to chase – and the support of friends, family and of course teachers!
The night has come. Too soon for me but it is what it is and I must keep going. It’s not often we ride into the night but the full moon is pulling me West beyond any control I have. It’s mesmerizing. I can’t look away. As if hypnotized by a cheap magician at the circus trying to get me to reveal some inner most secrets for all the world to see. It is big and beautiful but I must watch the road for any dangers that might present itself. But while I’m at it, I let the flood of memories hit me, and boy do they hit hard.
Moonlight can do funny things to you. It can bring light to even the darkest places and it can give you visions that are only reserved for dreams and angels. The daylight hours can’t reveal what only the night can bring, and the moon is the beacon of light to which they surface. Rolling down this back road I realize that as a kid chases fireflies after dark, I have been chasing something from my past. As the firefly lights up you know where to run, but as the light goes off you are once again running in circles trying to find your way. On, off, then on again, we are just two steps behind what it is we a trying to reach. Then, without warning, we see another and then another only adding to the frustration of which way we are heading.
But tonight the road is straight and the light ahead of me is not fleeting, but rather as constant as the hum of my motor. The darkness is split by the fence on either side and the only movement I see is the tops of trees as they sway with the wind – dark as shadows, moving as if they hear me coming. How far does this road go? When will I lose sight of the moon ahead of me? How could tonight be the night when the road I’m on is heading directly into something so beautiful? It is bright enough to cast tall shadows of objects to the left and right of me and for once it all seems to be in slow motion. My thoughts don’t match my speed and it seems I have all night to think about what things I would change given the chance and what things would stay the same no matter what. But I don’t have all night, much like a dream appears so real but only lasts minutes, this too will end.
So where is this road taking me? Just like all roads – it is my destiny. Whether a road is random or planned, it takes us where many have gone before. The unknown. Tomorrow will be another bright and sunny day but it is not guaranteed. With each sunrise and sunset we have just a few minutes – just like our dreams – to make those slight adjustments to the direction we are headed. With any luck at all we’ll have a little light to guide us.
Just like the wash hanging on the clothesline snapping and flapping in the breeze, a biker gets restless waiting to jump on the bike and go. Straining against those small wooden clothes pins just waiting for them to give way and set that pair of your favorite, faded old jeans free from what’s holding them back, dry or not, they’re gone. Whether it’s a weekend ride or a week-long trip, the closer it gets, the harder it is to contain the excitement. Who needs dry jeans anyway? Lets go! And “go” we do. Near and far – wherever the wind blows us. This time of year when the weather is a little more predictable, we gas up the old bike and load it down with whatever we think is necessary, just to feel that road through the seat of our pants.
Where do we go when that day comes to ride? I know we all have dreams of where we want to go, and for some of us those dreams will come true when we hit the road. For others, we settle for that ride to somewhere, or anywhere that gets us out of here. It doesn’t take much to make any biker happy, but just knowing there is a possibility of some road-time in my future starts the motor running inside of me. The closer I get to leaving, the higher that motor revs as anticipation is a powerful thing. That leads to the bigger question here – Is it the ride or the anticipation of the ride that cranks you up? I enjoy that anticipation as much as anyone but once I get on the road I realize that the ride is what it’s all about. When the day comes to leave there isn’t enough clothes pins to hold me back, even though the days leading up to my departure had me feeling like I was being held against my will; those jeans are finally dry!
We all have our reasons for when we leave and where we go, and in the end it doesn’t matter to the masses what those reasons are, as long as your laundry is done. Get excited this year and ride somewhere you’ve never been on your motorcycle. Go where you’ve always dreamed of going and don’t let anything hold you back. Those little things that hold you back are usually no bigger than a clothes pin anyway, so just go. You’ll be glad you did.