In the past 6 months I’ve had thoughts of buying a motorcycle in my head thick. It started with a book written by Neal Peart the drummer for the band Rush. Pert lost his daughter and wife within a very short period of time in the late 90’s devastating his life. He hopped aboard is BMW R1100GS and hit the road for 14 months and 55,000 miles to gain clarity or as he describes finding a reason to live. What resulted was the terrific book called Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road.
I traveled extensively after joining the U.S. Coast Guard in 1988. I continued to travel nearly non-stop even after blasting past my retirement at 40 culminating in my 3 year sailing journey. The 24 year span of travel left me weary. At some point I plumb burned out craving geographic stability. I wanted to stop moving and did exactly that in 2010 settling in Marin County California.
Now fast forward to 2014. That latent wander bug is asserting again. Nothing as grandiose as trying to sail around the world percolates, and in fact the ocean does not call to me….yet. I thought about backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail after reading Cheryl Strayed excellent book Wild or hiking the Appalachian Trail through Shenandoah National Park. These activities are still in the hopper. Bucket list stuff.
But the motorcycle thing. I owned a 1972 Harley Davidson and an old Honda that I bought when I first joined the Coast Guard. Pictured below is me and my old shipmate Christian Blanko in the Olympic State Park in Washington State in 1989. At some point I couldn’t maintain the machines and I vaguely recall I thought I might die in a wreck, so I sold the bikes.
Now I’m midlife right in the pocket where the typical midlife crisis presses and a man is either left to purchase a Corvette or typically a Harley. As recently as 2010 I rode some Harley’s down the open road in Arizona with my Uncle Joe. Man was it awesome!
While reading the Peart’s book I started to skulk around on the internet and came across the Ewan Mcgregor book and documentary documenting their epic journey in 2004 The Long Way Round. So this has lead me to start looking at Craigslist for BMW’s for sale. This is what happens with me. I don’t make immediate leaps when I get bit by some kind of bug thankfully. I usually need to marinate in things and let my intuition take over and see where it all shakes out. I’m not really sure when or if I will buy a motorcycle. It certainly is a temping proposition.
Living out west in California affords numerous directions to travel…save westerly. But taking a trip to Tahoe, Bend, Oregon or cruising down Highway 1 along Big Sur on a Big Bike gets me super jazzed.
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