Episode 40:  The Road We’ve Traveled - Summary of Episodes 21-39

Late November and that means it’s Thanksgiving holiday here in the US.  Hard to believe that 2023 is beginning to reach its close.  It’s been snowing the past couple of days here in Loveland, Colorado.  Time to browse through our motorcycling magazine and plan for rides on those nice days coming up.  

Yeah we do have a lot to be thankful don’t we.  This motorcycling thing that we’re so crazy about, what a gift. Maybe now it’s good timing to reflect back on some stories and interviews we’ve shared these past weeks.  

Seems that it wasn’t that long ago that we reflected back on the first 20 episodes, starting with breakfast with a stranger on Route 66.  I had no idea.  No idea, that conversation in Gallop, New Mexico would turn as it did.  I’ll never forget that man.  That was Episode 1.  

So if this podcast is new to you, maybe start with Episode 20 to hear summaries of the first 19.  But for today, let’s talk briefly about where we’ve been starting with Episode 21.  Thank you for joining me today!

Episodes 21, 22 and 23 are all about Rocky Mountain National Park, specifically about riding a motorcycle through that area and beyond.  Practical tips for your best experience by motorcycle.  I work part-time as a tour guide in Rocky Mountain National Park; Just love it!  I work some summer evenings and weekends for Green Jeep Tours out of Estes Park taking tourists on 3 hour tours around what I’d consider some of the most beautiful spaces on Earth.  After well over 300 tours, you learn a lot about best times to visit and where to go.

So many times, in and around Rocky, I would encounter motorcycle riders who have no clue as to where and when to ride in the National Park.  Oh my, it would drive me crazy when I learn that they’ve come all this way only to miss the very best routes, or arriving during the peak of seasons where traffic jams all but ruin the trip.  So yeah, at least for my own satisfaction, I shared in those 3 episodes details about where, when and how for having a fabulous trip on your motorcycle through Rocky Mountain National Park.  Not only that, but I detailed two very different amazing routes you can take through the National Forest for an extended journey, crossing the Continental Divide,,, just having a blast.  

Episode 24 was a visit with Dan Cordonne with Fort Collins Motorsports.  Dan has a view to motorcycling that most of us do not have.  Dan shares what it’s like to talk with both experienced and new motorcyclists when they are looking for their next, or first ride. As a very experienced rider himself, Dan knows the joy of riding the right bike, one that’s a best fit for you, and he demonstrates that he cares for his customers by guiding them to the safest and most enjoyable ride for their current state of experience.  

I admit that Episode 25 was really special for me, because after 4 months off the bike recovering from an injury to my hand, two surgeries, about 40 physical therapy sessions, yeah, brutal, I could ride again!  For those who didn’t know, it wasn’t a motorcycle injury, nothing to brag about, but rather a very bad cut I experienced here at home.  So yeah, with Episode 25, I borrowed the old Gene Autry song “Back in the Saddle Again”, then from there, we talked about the importance of balance and how we learn to keep it loose when we ride on the dirt, but also, living a well-balanced life and what that may mean.

Episode 26 was called “Going out to Play” and that was a lot of fun, brought back so many memories of my childhood.  Maybe you too were in the generation where there were no cell phones.  Your friends would call on the phone built into your house and ask if you could come out to play.  

And that’s the beauty of this sport, isn’t it.  For many of us,motorcycling is just like like playing as we did as children. When we go out for a ride, we are going out to play. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to do that. The conclusion for this episode, I think, especially as the responsibilities of life add up: going out to play with our motorcycles is more important than ever.

Episodes 27 and 28 featured an interview with Rob Hamilton, one of the coolest people I've met. Rob's work is amazing; Through his very popular Youtube videos, he takes us on motorcycle trips to visit Mother Nature at what I called the speed of life. Did you catch that?  The Speed of Life.  Yeah, I like it.  There's no complexity or artificial intelligence here—just Rob, his bike, maybe a friend, and the beauty of nature. With over 177,000 YouTube subscribers and over 13 million video views, Rob's moto camping videos are unlike anything you've ever seen. This is art, plain and simple: a celebration of our passion for motorcycling and the wonders of nature, all without saying a word.

I recorded Episode 29 right after a week long trip with my brother-in-law, Jim, where we explored Southern Wyoming then all the way down into Southern Colorado.  We talked with a lot of people who began as strangers and quickly felt like friends.  From gas stations, to outside our hotels, because we were on motorcycles, conversations with strangers were just so easy and enjoyable.  I shared about meeting a fellow named Fred in Durango, Colorado, an older gentleman who felt compelled to leave our sitting and come back with pictures from back in the day he rode his custom Harley Davidson chopper along the very same streets.  I called this Episode Motorcycles and the Kindness of Strangers, because all that it took was a “Hello” and “Do you ride motorcycles” to start an awesome conversation.  What a great guy Fred was.

Episode 30 was a short, I called it “Think like your Dog” yeah funny enough, but I think a powerful reminder to live in the present moment. We hear that expression all the time, but I thought referring to my own dog, was a good practical example.  My dog Sally doesn't know what day it is or what the future holds, but she doesn't care at least not right now. She is pretty content to live in the moment and enjoy every second of it. Even when that enjoyment is just looking out the window to watch the birds land at the feeder, or when our neighbor’s cat is out on the loose again.  In this Episode, we tied this attitude back to motorcycling.  Going out sometimes with no other intention but to be in the moment.  To smile simply because riding a motorcycle is fun.  The future is uncertain, but the present is what we do have. Let's make the most of it!  Get out there and ride.

Episode 31 was rather personal.  I called it “Riding with your Eyes Closed, don’t let this happen to you”.  If you didn’t hear it, I’d really appreciate it if you would take a listen.  I think it’s an important one.

Here’s what I think Episode 31 meant.  Maybe the message that I was trying to convey.  We on motorcycles need to be approachable.  I guess if I did anything right in the story on that day, I appeared approachable in that situation.  But we also need to keep our eyes open to others who may be in need of help, but they’re just not using the words.  I need help.  I think I missed hearing her say that, way out there in the middle of nowhere.  

I believe that sometimes we on our motorcycles are put into situations for a reason and if we’re not paying attention, we can miss opportunities where there is no second chance. I suppose the lesson from the experience that I shared is, let’s keep our eyes wide open, for each and every opportunity to do something good for someone else.  We need to be watching and listening with our hearts.

Episodes 32 and 33 were called “Views from the Saddle; a two part interview with Brett and Mellisa Wilson.  This interview with Brett and Melissa was so much fun!  I didn’t really know what our conclusions would be!  You see, they are not motorcycle riders. They ride horses.  We both sit on saddles, so that’s where the title came from. I didn’t realize that we would have so many ah-ha moments; how insightful this would be.  Melissa and Brett described how it’s about gratitude, it’s about appreciation for our ability to ride because of how much you love it!  I think we found ourselves amazed by the parallels between motorcycling and horseback riding.  Both transport us physically, yes, but also emotionally and even Spiritually.  Yeah, this one gets deep.

Epsiodes 34 and 35 was my two-part interview with a gentleman with a depth of experience with motorcycling, but who also demonstrates a heart for others.  Doug Logston is not only the State Director for the Motorcycle Sport Touring Association and a certified motorcycle safety instructor, he also embodies what this podcast is all about.  A passion for motorcycling and a care for the community.  

As I have described, a large credit for the idea for this podcast, Peace Love Moto, is due to the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, an international fundraiser for men’s health issues focused on prostate cancer research and suicide prevention.  This past year, I was honored to be the host of the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride event in Fort Collins, Colorado. I mention this because Doug was the top fundraiser for this past year's event.  It was such an honor to learn from Doug in this interview.

I met Charlie Hansen-Reed purely by chance and I’m so glad that I did.  Episode 36 is my interview of Charlie whom after we met, I learned is the design engineer for Janus motorcycles out of Indiana.  You should see these Janus motorcycles.  Amazing!  Parts built by the local Amish Community.  Yeah, the same folks to use horse and buggy for transportation.  Talk about a quality machine!  And yes, Charlie let me ride his Janus motorcycle.  Oh man, that was cool!

Episode 37 was a blast. It started with a quote from Keanu Reeves about his need to ride motorcycles. Then we talked about a slogan that really caught my eye: "Go Fast, Don't Die." I was loading my motorcycle onto a ferry in the Northwestern US while on a solo trip, and  talked to the guy wearing the shirt. He and I agreed that the slogan means to live life to the fullest and do what makes you happy.  Yes, I have my own “Go Fast. Don’t Die” t-shirt and made it a point to wear it while recording that episode.  Ha ha

I think that episode is also about a balance in life.  We have to take care of ourselves, to stay healthy as best we can.  Because, as I certainly learned from the injury to my hand, if you lose your health, a lot of fun opportunities tend to fade away.  It’s certainly not our choice most of the time what happens to us, but health is certainly something we should treasure.

Episode 38 was based on what many of us believe; that riding a motorcycle is not an escape from reality, but rather a return to it.  This episode was a reflection on the modern world ya might say. Motorcycling is a real and tangible experience, unlike the virtual reality and artificial intelligence that are becoming increasingly part of our social and business world. When we go from looking at a computer screen or my phones to going out on our bikes into Mother Nature, where we see the birds fly, where it rains sometimes and where the sun is shining at other times.  That’s real and that’s really amazing and I’m convinced, a dose of reality is what we need in this ever increasing artificial world.  For those of us fortunate enough to own a motorcycle and have the ability to ride it, we are truly blessed and should feel grateful, all the time.

Finally this, Episode 39 from last week.  I must say, I’m really happy with this one.  It was a shared story about feeling lost and confused, meeting a cowboy, yeah a real cowboy, out in the middle of nowhere.  Ha ha.  But most importantly, it was a reflection on the amazing insights of Henry David Thoreau, and one of his writings from the 1860s.  Yeah, that’a a long time ago, but what he said so amazingly matches what many of us do, wandering around on our motorcycles.  Yeah, that one spoke to me.  

So here we are, with Episode 40 during the week of Thanksgiving.  Among many things I’m grateful for, is this opportunity to spend time and share with you.  I’m very thankful for those who have listened and let me know that it’s been meaningful.  I’m certainly enjoying this experience and if the stars align, be back with you soon with more thoughts and interviews on why this motorcycling thing that we do, is just so much fun!

Until we visit again, I wish you peace.  I wish you love.

Music by Hoene Mike from Pixabay