Episode 8: Hope for Becoming a Better Rider - Just look up

I begin with an expression of gratitude. As I described in a previous episode I had an unfortunate accident injuring my hand.  It's keeping me off my motorcycle for now And of course it is a beautiful day outside. I've done an excellent job lately of feeling sorry for myself. But the thing is,so many have reached out with words of encouragement and words of advice. So to my dear friend David, I thank you for the very specific advice you've given me, For the incredibly stupid jokes that you have texted to me, and the love and kindness that you have shown to so many.  Thank you buddy.

George Harrison was a Beatle.  One of the Fab 4. 

Give me love

Give me love

Give me peace on earth

Give me light

Give me life

Keep me free from birth

Give me hope

Help me cope with this heavy load

Trying to touch and reach you with

Heart and soul

As I get older I guess I find myself paying more attention to the lyrics of songs that I've heard most of my life. always seem to focus on the music. I don't know why now I'm paying so much more attention to the words. wow deep words. deep meaning.  

George Harrison described the song as "a prayer and personal statement between me, the Lord, and whoever likes it".  George Harrison has since passed away but I think we can look to the heavens and say “thank you George we do like it, And the Lord probably does too”.

 So as we come together for another visit today we'll talk about overcoming both physical and emotional challenges and where perhaps the joys of motorcycling may certainly help with that effort.

As I mentioned in a previous episode, in my day job I work at a computer.. I'm either typing or in a video conference most all day long. Now please don't get me wrong. I have a great job. I love my job.  But do you know what happens when you can't use your dominant hand to type or use a mouse? What happens is you go crazy. All our lives most of us become accustomed to using our dominant hand for a serious task and our non-dominant hand in just a supporting role. Then what happens if you can't use your dominant hand, you can either get really mad and frustrated or you can figure out how to  overcome the challenge.   Note that  I didn't say "overcome the problem”. The reason I say challenge instead of problem is because a close friend told me that there are no problems, only challenges. I've taken that to heart and that simple simple concept has made a world of difference. Joe, you were right.


Ambidexterity is the ability to use both the right and left hand equally well. 

Valentino Rossi (also known as "The Doctor") is a professional motorcycle racer from Italy. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time, having won nine Grand Prix World Championships throughout his career. Rossi retired in 2021, but from the reports I'm seeing now he's getting into racing cars..  anyway over the course of his career, he won a total of 115 races in all classes, including 89 wins in the MotoGP class. 

In an interview with Moto Sprint magazine, He takes the opportunity to reveal one of his best-kept secrets, something that has contributed to helping him make history. He said  “I’m left-handed but that’s not all., I can do the same things with my right hand”. In other words he could write, throw a ball or do just about everything else with either hand equally well.  So where’s the advantage  in motorcycle racing? Through the turns: “Not all riders can be quick through both the left- and right-handers, for this reason, in managing the accelerator”.  Cornering speed has long been his strength: “I felt I could ride with a little more speed, and perhaps that was the reason” I was a champion..

So as for me as my right hand recovers I'm actually getting quite good at using my left hand as the more dominant hand. I've learned how to use a mouse on my computer. I have a natural tendency now to reach for most everything with my left hand and now by necessity my right hand is the supporting hand as best I can.  So we'll see how it goes but maybe I too can become a better motorcycle rider because of skills gained with my left hand.  That's my Hope that's my goal right now. and with that I'm staying encouraged. 

What about emotionally? Is there a correlation between what happens to us physically and what happens to us emotionally and attempts to recover from that? Well I'm certainly no expert on the topic but what I have discovered about myself lately is that managing my emotions through this injury has been tough. I'll spare the details on that but thanks to good friends and a loving wife I'm doing much better with all of that. 

What I'd like to describe to you though is an experience that I had with a gentleman who was indeed experiencing emotional trauma and how I believe his motorcycle very much helped with that situation.

I stopped at a gas station and noticed him sitting on a park bench near his bike.  Just sitting there alone.  After I filled up with gas, I walked over to tell him how much I admired his Ducati motorcycle.  It certainly looked brand new.  He said he had planned to ride somewhere for a coffee.  Well if you visited my website Moto coffee stops.com you'll know I know where the cool coffee shops are.  I asked him to join me on a backroads ride to Howling Cow Cafe' about 20 miles away.  

Now I had just met this guy. didn't know anything about him. Honestly, I thought it was really odd this dude just sitting there on a picnic table outside of a gas station really doing nothing. Seemed like he was just staring out into space. but he clearly knew what he was doing as far as motorcycling goes. As I mentioned, he had a beautiful bike, he had all of his riding gear, a really nice helmet, Very nice new jacket etc.

So when I asked him to follow me through the mountains through some very twisty and challenging roads, I watched him in my mirrors. I wanted to make sure he was keeping up okay. The last thing I wanted to do was get somebody hurt. We cruised North on our way up to a place called the stove Prairie school In a tiny Community called bellevue.. if you want to look that up just Google stove Prairie School colorado. and you'll find it. At the Stove Prairie School we stopped for a few minutes just to check in to see if everything was going well. He said he was loving it; he'd never been on this road before. I said fantastic , now let's go east. so from the stove Prairie School we went over another  mountain  and descended down to the howling cow cafe.

It was at the cafe over coffee that he let me know what was really going on. I had no idea.He shared with me at the coffee shop what had happened just 3 weeks before.  His wife passed away.  He said that her wish for him was to buy a new motorcycle because she knew he loved to ride..  As  it turned out he had come directly from the dealership. He had just ridden that motorcycle off of the showroom floor. but after topping off with gas he said he just needed to sit for a while. He had a lot to cope with.  He told me “until you came by and said hello, I was completely lost.

Certainly, nothing I could say would help to heal the pain, I guess in certain situations like this, our only job is to just sit and listen.  It seemed that riding his new motorcycle to a coffee shop with a new friend did indeed help.  He was so proud of the engineering behind this red Italian masterpiece.  He loved the sound of the motor and described its handling on the route we had just ridden together.  

How I regret losing his contact information, but my hope is that he has found healing From riding that beautiful motorcycle along those mountain roads we love to ride.  

It seems to me that it is those folks who go through trials in life who give the best advice. they have lived it. they have felt what it's like to find themselves at the bottom of the well. but they've also discovered that it's in those dark  moments when you look up that's when the stars are really really bright. and You are reminded from the heavens above that there is indeed hope. 

In conclusion, as I Circle back to the words from George Harrison he concludes his song by saying:

My Lord

Please take hold of my hand

That I might understand you

Won't you please

Oh, won't you?

Give me love

Give me love

Give me peace on earth

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