Long Way Home

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I travel the same roads almost every day but it’s always in the same direction. As the seasons, colors and temperatures change things can look a little different but it’s the landscape and landmarks that we relate to. Some are only a few miles from home while others take us back home.

It’s the long way home. Some days it’s just required to take a different route – one taking us away from the well-worn path we’ve created between point A and B. Remember, it’s the regularity that keeps the grass down. We don’t always have time for a detour, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a need. Just a few extra minutes to see some different scenery – you know, stuff you haven’t seen for a few months or years – to clear your head. We don’t do it enough and when we do, we’re always glad we did.

 

I travel the same roads almost every day but it’s always in the same direction. As the seasons, colors and temperatures change things can look a little different but it’s the landscape and landmarks that we relate to. Some are only a few miles from home while others take us back home. An abandoned house, an old bridge or a valley that has always made you look – and smile, are always there for us whenever we need them. As a motorcyclist, it can be hard to find a day in January where the long way home can happen, but it always seems to. Sometimes you have to just do it even if there is an internal struggle to follow the same old habit of taking the usual way home.

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Why is this so important? It gives us a few minutes for ourselves. It can be just what we need to see our small little world that surrounds us and give us a different perspective on the day. It’s no different from taking a minute from our busy day to watch the sunset, or turning around on your way home to take a picture of something that catches your eye. It can be on a road we have traveled before, but for whatever reason we overlooked it every time. Maybe it’s the time of day that gives us a different light on the same old scenery. We win either way.

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I’m lucky to be surrounded by familiarity and memories. For those who know me also know of the area around me. You are familiar with my landscape and landmarks as you know them as well. Take the long way home – not every day, but someday. Pull over and take it all in and let the scenery take you home.

 

 

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A Back-Roads Summer

100_4734Living in a rural community in Kansas, it’s not hard to travel the “back-roads.” After all, you have to take these quiet highways just to get anywhere. In about twenty minutes these two-lane roads around home can get me to any of the neighboring communities while throwing in a little bit of scenery along the way. Sure, in some parts of Kansas you can see the next towns elevator or water tower in the horizon, or maybe it’s wheat fields and sunflowers for miles. I truly can find the beauty in this being from Kansas and all. But as I travel these roads almost daily on my way to work or running errands, sometimes I just let it roll by without taking it in. We bikers always talk about taking the long way home or we listen for someone to speak of an interesting road they were on that we have yet to find. I have found that if you have the same predictable pattern of where you ride, these roads become stale and a bit boring. Sure the seasons change and that will give you a different perspective, and we all know every little bit helps.

But what would happen if we just reversed the route in which we take? How about taking the long way to work? Hey, I’m a creature of habit, and the long way home after work always leads to, well… home. But what about taking the long way to work? Sure, it can be done. I just have to get up a little earlier and be mentally prepared for wild animals and unfamiliar corners that sneak up on you. Who knows, maybe by changing my route to work I can convince myself that this back-road is a new, untraveled road that I can tell my friends about. Of course by changing my route, those that I regularly see on my way home or to work will wonder where I’m at, while the new route will bring brand new people to wave at and curiosity will make them think a biker has moved into their community. Just like the family that lives near the train tracks, after a while you don’t hear the train. My new route will have people thinking a train is coming! Come on, my pipes aren’t that loud…

So make this a “back-road” summer. Take the long way home or the long way to work. Change it up and make it interesting. Do what you would normally NOT do. Be different. But make sure you do the one thing you want to do-RIDE.