So I have a little secret that only a few people know (hard to believe given my voracious sharing on social media). I am a proud, new owner of a motorcycle. And by saying that, I mean, I now ride a motorcycle.
I’m not sure I qualify to say I’m a “biker” yet, but I ride. It’s not something I ever desired to do. My brothers were shocked (and a little in awe) when I came home and told them I was getting my license.
“You don’t even know how to ride a dirt bike!” They exclaimed.
“So!” I replied. I drove a snowmobile from the time I was 12. Gear-driven tractors even longer and a standard car for several years. In hindsight, it only made sense I could drive a motorcycle. And it turned out I could. I passed the driving test at the end of the course with only a single point docked.
Then it rained. And rained. And was cold. And rained. Last summer passed, and suddenly, riding season was coming to an end and our plan to ride in Hawaii required a little adjustment. Four days on the back of a bike, and I was convinced I needed to get out there on my own.
Turns out, riding a bike is like, well, riding a bike. Within seconds it was all coming back to me. I rode up and down the paved local roads, then to town twenty miles away, and finally, up to my parents’ farm. All the while, my comfort and confidence increasing.
Never has the sky felt so big and have I been so acutely aware of my surroundings as I am on a bike. Riding defensively means your senses are perfectly tuned, and as such, you experience the world in a much richer fashion.
The sky envelopes me and I am awed by the sinking sun’s ability to cast its orangey purple glow across the east. Sweet alfalfa and fresh cut hay followed by damp wood, pine needles and buttercups fill my nose, while crickets somehow can be heard beyond the steady drum of the engine. Even in the dark, a drive I have done for nearly fifteen years seems totally new to me.
Not only does it seem this familiar world has changed but I feel like I have unlocked an entirely new set of travel possibilities. Maybe not quite to the extent of Carla King, but being comfortable on a motorcycle means an entirely new set of travel options.
Let the riding begin!