Episode 17:  The Gift in the Garage - A reflection on why we ride.

Lawrence of Arabia, the movie from 1963 starring Peter O’Toole, won 7 Academy Awards.   TE Lawrence was the real “Lawrence of Arabia”.  Yeah that was a real person.  An amazing man who had an adventurous life.  He was an avid motorcyclist and he said this:  “When my mood gets too hot and I find myself wandering beyond control, I pull out my motor-bike and hurl it top-speed through these unfit roads for hour after hour”. This was a man who understood that riding a motorcycle made him happy.

Although I may not “Hurl my motorcycle at top-speed”, I, like many of you, ride my motorcycle because it makes me happy too.  It just does.  I once told a friend that my motorcycle is a gift in our garage.  He said “Now that’s very clever!”  I’m not really sure where the phrase came from. I just spoke it once and it seemed to resonate.  I’m re-reading a book now to determine if that was it’s source of this phrase that I probably can’t take credit for.  Either way, it’s still true for me.

Today, in the short, but reflective time together, we will consider what our motorcycles mean to us. Whether you're a seasoned rider or just getting started, I hope that this episode will give you a new appreciation for gift of riding. Thank you for listening!

Standing still, lifeless, and alone in our garages, they are awkward, these motorcycles of ours. Unlike with a car, gravity dictates that it must fall to one side or the other when it’s still. Standing still it has to extend a side stand, a little arm that’s folded up and mostly hiden, to stand upright, and then only at a slightly awkward angle.  It’s not until the we join it and we, together, start to move, that we, together, become stable. Stable, both in mind and body, even when we are moving.

The book that I’m re-reading is called,  “The Perfect Vehicle, what is it about motorcycles?, by Melissa Holbrook Pearson.  She wrote this in the forward. “At precisely this moment someone somewhere is getting ready to ride. The motorcycle stands in a cool, dark garage, it’s air expected with gas and grease. The rider approaches from outside. The light goes on.  A flame, everlasting, seems to rise on a piece of chrome.   

As a rider advances, leather sleeves or zip down tight on the forearms and the helmet, briefly hides everything as it’s pull down the chin strap is buckled, this muffled weight, with its own faint in permanent scent triggers recollections of hours, and Miles spent within it.”

14 weeks, but who’s counting. That's how long it's been now since my accident here at home where I badly injured my hand. 14 weeks since then I've been able to ride. but I go out to my garage and I pat my motorcycles on the tank and I still say thank you. 

I'm lucky to have some very good friends who have been somewhat overly enthusiastic to come over and ride my motorcycles for me. I like to keep them moving. It's good for them. And I'm not saying that I'm not moving because I am. The doctors may not be allowing me to ride a motorcycle now, but I'm lucky to have a 25-year-old Jeep Wrangler that just today I put my dog in and we went for a nice long drive, of course over the same routes that I would normally be riding my motorcycle. They didn’t tell me that I can’t do that!

One of my good friends came over just today to take my motorcycles out for me. Jeff will be helping me as host of the distinguished gentleman's ride in a week or so. when Jeff got back from his ride we talked about what the motorcycles mean to us both. Jeff reflected on how when he was going through trouble times with his health, he was fortunate to still be able to ride and it was in those hours and miles, out on the bike that life did indeed slow down and become manageable once again. It made him happy.

As mentioned I'm rereading a book, but I'm also taking time to reflect back on these past 16 episodes of Peace Love Moto. I was warned early on that it may be difficult to maintain a weekly podcast and keep it interesting. I do think of my listeners when I determine the content of each podcast but I must be honest with you, I do this for me also. I write the scripts and do my best to record a quality episode because it reminds me how very very blessed I've been in my life since getting my first bike at 11 years old. I was changed then. I felt the joy of riding then, and I feel it now.  

Over and over again in this podcast I know I've spoken on the importance of kindness. kindness to yourself and kindness to others. but I think we just have to do it for ourselves. because when we're happy those around us will see it. they'll see the shine in our eyes and the smile on our faces. I hope that you'll just go for a ride for the sake of riding. because it makes you happy. 

I'll close with this quote and it is my hope for you. 

Some motorcycle riders pick a destination and go… other riders just pick a direction and go.”  Next time you’re ready for a motorcycle, pick a direction, smile and go.

Thank you for listening, I wish you peace, I wish you love.