Me and The Black Whale at Agawa Bay, Ontario
Thanks for stopping by to see my pages. Motorcycling has changed my life for the better, and I use these pages as a means of sharing my experiences with others in the hope that my thoughts and pictures may encourage you to try something that you would normally dismiss. Had I dismissed motorcycling, I can't imagine where I would have ended up - nor do I want to.
In no way has my life been truly difficult, and I don't kid myself that I've had it bad. I know, realize, and appreciate that I have been very lucky, both growing up and in my adult life (although some would argue, myself included, that I am still growing up). Through my hard times nonetheless, motorcycling has given me the strength and understanding to learn from my mistakes and ensure that I don't repeat those mistakes in the future (at least not more than once).
In the few short years that I have been riding a motorcycle, I have experienced things that I cannot explain. While riding, I have felt as big and strong as an elephant and as small and insignificant as a mouse, many times, in the same day. However, motorcycling is more than just being on the road. Motorcycling is the feeling you get on a snowy winter afternoon, immersed in the rigamaroo of everyday life, when suddenly a memory pops into your mind. For that one second, everything makes sense. Being on the road is a state of mind. It's amazing that once you've done it, and returned from your journey, you can go back there anytime you want - just by closing your eyes. I think the Eagles said it best when they sang:
"You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."
Along the same lines, motorcycling has given me a glimpse into a lifestyle that has endless options and possibilities. In the past, I got all too caught up in "the perfect life" but didn't realize until I was knee-deep into it that my perfect life was something different, and not necessarily what society's view of perfect may be. Those days have long since ended, and I now find myself not just going with the flow, but asking why, and more importantly, why not. Motorcycling, and the feeling that I get on a deserted stretch of road, reminds me that on the road of life, we all choose our own path...even if you have to make a u-turn every so often.
The picture above is a little glimpse into how all of this began. I realize that it's not my first bike, as the Whale replaced the Seca II, but the Whale is and was the bike that really made this happen for me. She brought me to places that I never could have imagined. I still own and will forever posses this bike, and in her memory and honor, I leave her picture here.
I look at that picture and remember how far I have come (and I don't mean the sun-faded tank bag or ratty Samuel Adams sweatshirt that I still wear). I'm a million miles (or at least 150,000 miles) away from that young, dumb, clueless guy who took a chance and found something he didn't even realize he was looking for. From that moment, when I found the courage to take a chance, my life has changed for the better, so much so, that I can't even remember what it was like back then. The space that I now live in is my space, and I'm happy with the person that I see looking back at me in the mirror each morning. It was only after this point that I could expand my life with others, Penny specifically, and not only be good for her, but good for myself.
Motorcycling, for me, never answered any questions, rather it gave me the opportunity to think freely and see things in a much different light. It also taught me that it's OK sometimes to let your mind go completely blank and not think about a thing. It is the key that opened the door to a whole new world, and for that, I am forever grateful.
Through my trip reports, I can follow my progression over the past years, and be reminded not only of the experiences I had on the road, but also how those experiences affected my thinking and growth in life. I enjoy going back and reading them on a regular basis, and I hope that my words (spiritualistic and long-winded as they oftentimes can be) shed a little light on that which I have found. If they encourage you to take a chance or not dismiss the unimaginable, great. If you simply want to read and join me for the journey, welcome. If you find a little bit of inner peace either way, and for a minute, forget about all of life's little troubles, well then mission accomplished. That's why I read them...
Above is a map outlining my travels across the country (which is drastically out of date...). I often times find myself staring at it, sparking memories from the miles that have gone by. I know how lucky I am to have been able to see all of the places that I've seen, and I always look forward to both new adventures, and returning to some of my favorite places. It's not the number of miles you do that matters, it's what you take from them that counts.