Ah, autumn, when a young man’s fancy turns to…motorcycles. Or love. Of course, I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive. My insurance on the Radian expired last weekend, thus ending a remarkable season of riding. I put on 3000km this year. I don’t know how that compares with any sorts of riding averages, but I was pretty happy with that number. Not because what it represents in terms of distance, but because of what it means in terms of experiences. Consequently, the amount of miles is pretty irrelevant (although more miles are always better than less miles); it’s what happens between them that really matters. Nevertheless, I still find myself wishing I had a chance to ride more.
And now that I’m not riding and have a hundred things that demand and deserve my attention…I think about riding. Constantly. Don’t tell the Radian this, and I don’t even like talking about it in case she hears, but I’m thinking of getting another bike. Not another bike instead of, but another bike in addition to. And not because I’m unhappy with the Radian. On the contrary, she’s been so good to me this year that I can’t imagine ever getting rid of her. In fact, my goal is to give her some new life by springtime. James figures that after an oil change, maybe a carb cleaning and a general tune-up she might actually start again. I thought that sounded like a good idea. And while I might not know how to clean carbs or “tune” an engine, there’s an off-season where I have a chance to learn about the other side of riding: maintenance. The off-season also provides an opportunity to look at a few simple modifications: some new handlebars, tires, side mirrors, maybe a different seat, and perhaps something with the paint and she’ll be a new bike ready for a new season.
And then Lindsay can ride the Radian and I’ll ride…something else.
I’m leaning towards something that’s a little bigger: a little more power and a little more comfort. Those things aren’t necessarily a big deal around town, but become more important on longer trips. Also, with a bigger bike then Lindsay can ride with me, which we can’t really do, at least not very comfortably for very long on the Radian. Don’t tell her I said that. The Radian I mean, she’s sensitive to things like that. Besides, my garage can easily fit another motorcycle. My brother has three in his. Of course, the bikes in his garage run. Well, most of them anyway.
In any event, those decisions are for another day and for now I’m just thinking and wondering and dreaming. Right now there are no limits - only possibilities. And I love the place of possibilities simply because sometimes I forget that there are possibilities out there. Sometimes I am so preoccupied with just staying alive that I forget that I need to live. Of course, I ought to live responsibly- my life is not just my own, I have a family and I always want to do my best for them. But sometimes I wonder if I haven’t at times been so busy plugging holes in a dam to keep out the sea that I never imagined the possibility of sailing on the ocean. Sometimes my reality shackles my imagination instead of imagination liberating my reality. I don’t know if my imagination actually has any power to determine my reality, but I really want it to. And I think it deserves a shot because if you are anything like me, your imagination is always way better than your reality.
And if, for some reason, your imagination isn’t, it’s time you got a motorcycle.