A friend of my commented the other day that I have been mentioning feeling older more frequently on this blog. Yeah, that comes with having a milestone birthday in August, but nothing more than that. I have a lot of miles left on my boots, so-to-speak.
However, it is harder for me to do some things now that I used to do effortlessly. One of those things is leading a long ride for my motorcycle club.
So this weekend, I am planning my last…
…ride that I will be responsible for leading for the club. I will “pre-ride” that unusually long-for-me ride, looking for road conditions and making sure that there are not hazards — the worst being poorly milled pavement — or other unforeseen problems.
A road captain who takes his job seriously always doubles his rides. He “pre-rides” the route in advance, makes required adjustments to the route when he completes the pre-ride, then rides again with a group of club members who show up for the ride.
Why is this the last ride that I will lead?
Mostly because it is harder for me to ride long distances. I fatigue more quickly and “nature calls” me to stop more often. I also do not have the time to ride with my friends as much as I would like to do that. Caregiving for the Spouse, other priorities for repairs on the houses I own (rental and primary), long hours at work… it all adds up.
However, I will not blame my decision to step down as a Road Captain on other people, priorities, or the minor aches and pains of being an older man. If it were that critically important to me, I would make the time to lead more rides. But it isn’t. I am less interested in leading rides, and the disinterest shows in my level of commitment.
Anyway, now that we are having a “chill snap” (that is, mildly cool early Autumn temperatures), I can use the cool temps as an excuse to wear my new Langlitz padded Columbia motorcycle jacket to break it in as designed and intended while riding a Harley (not standing around in it at some gay leather event.)
Life is short: ride your own ride and know when to stop at the top of your game.