It was my trip to Sturgis in August of 2016 when DJ, Gary and myself stopped for gas in Beloit Kansas when we crossed paths with Staci Wilt. Of course we had no idea at the time what kind of Motorcycle Industry insider she was, or was about to become. But this riding motorcycles has a way making paths cross, building friendships and expanding horizons. And it seems no matter which way I turn on the virtual highway of social media, I see Staci doing her thing. Hey, I know her!
I have a confession. When I first walked over to her at the gas pump to see if she needed anything on her solo trip to the rally, (because Gary, DJ and myself had enough packed between the three of us to supply shelter for a small city) I wasn’t expecting her response. With the small black bag on the back of her Dyna, she had everything she needed. As I walked back to my RV of a Harley, I realized the insanity of my packing skills. 30 miles down the road at the Largest Ball of Twine, we bumped into Staci again – only this time I dazzled her with my familiarity of the area when she asked me directions. And just like that, she was gone.
As I’ve mentioned, she has been building her profiles and making those important appearances at rallies and events, all the while her Dyna was in the shop for a major engine rebuild. But that’s what you have to do. Be seen, be present and be creative. She has all those bases covered. And she knows her stuff.
Her latest endeavor is called Ride to Food. We as bikers like to go places and if you’ve seen my profile, (and not my social media profile) you would see I like to eat along the way. But let’s stay away from those common food chains and strip mall eateries. Lets get together for a beer and a taste of local flavor that requires some searching and exploring. She does some of the legwork for us, and that saves time and broadens our experiences on the road. And she’s also a straight shooter telling it like it is.
Although our paths crossed just that one day, I consider Staci a friend. She gets it. She knows the why’s and where’s of the motorcycling communities and lives the lifestyle. Follow her on social media and her blogs and buy a t-shirt from her. Her blog is worth a read. Until we meet again Staci!
Road trips can change you. The more time you sit in the saddle watching the miles go by, the horizon change and the sun move from one spot to another, you realize you are getting closer to something as you move further away from where you started. As the scenery changes so does our frame of mind, and as we stop and mingle with the locals, we realize we are all the same no matter where we’re from, and they are just as curious about us as we are of them. “Where are you from” is the universal question, but it really means “I wish I had a motorcycle like you.” We know deep down we will probably never meet again, so we say our goodbyes until the next gas stop where we start a new conversation about our origination and destination.
Reflections about days gone by and past trips come to mind, as well as images of people we’ve known our whole life and those we’ve met along the way. They become clear as the sky above us. Who we are and who we want to be is a constant knot in our head but it all seems to untangle on the road and sort itself out. The greater the distance we ride, the longer we have to sort the dirty laundry we call our life. It’s easy to say that when every trip ends we are neatly folded, with a clean and fresh outlook on each and every day. At least until the clothes hamper gets full again.
” The greater the distance we ride, the longer we have to sort the dirty laundry we call our life.”
We are determined to make each mile count because as all trips start, they too will end. “If only I had one more day” or something along those lines always seem to escape from our lips. No one hears it so it just seems to get lost somewhere on the way home. Where does the time go? A week at work lasts what seems like two weeks in non-motorcycle time, but a week’s vacation is like a weekend off. Every road trip takes us through a time warp where clocks stop and days disappear right before our eyes, only to reappear during the work week. Ah, so that’s where they go.
So as we get closer to whatever it is that is pulling us away from the everyday life we live, we know, that at some point that everyday life will win. We return to a normalcy we so tried to outrun; to a place where time didn’t matter and the water tasted different. Boy, do I need to do laundry.