People who do not ride motorcycles cannot understand, and I feel sorry for them. Us bikers get it — riding “for the journey, not the destination” is a biker’s state of mind.
These past few weeks, I have been doing just that… getting out there and…
more or less, getting lost with intent.
There are times when the fun of just riding is what it’s all about. After all, that is one of the reasons I own and ride a motorcycle.
Granted, I commute with it to volunteer assignments, meetings, and run errands. That’s different. In each case, the destination is key.
Other times, I just want to ride. Clears my head. Calms. Brings joy to my heart to see my home state’s countryside. Brings back memories of many joyful rides with my husband on the passenger seat tapping my leg left or right with directions.
Non-bikers claim “oh my, you don’t want to get lost! Get a stupidphone with GPS! Have it navigate you home!”
Part of the pure joy of riding a dependable and stable iron horse with enough fuel to ride hundreds of miles is discovering new roads, places, and new sights.
If the sights look like what I saw behind me in the photo here:then I will turn away from the storm and toward roads where weather above appears to be less threatening. So what if that takes me the opposite direction from a direct path toward home? I would rather ride a longer route to keep dry than ride in a thunderstorm. (Provided I have alternative options. Some roads like I encountered in Utah do not have those options.)
As long as I do not encounter a body of water like a river or ocean, or a state border, I cannot really be lost. I remain in my home state of Maryland’s general central region, but perhaps on roads I have not ridden on before. With as much riding as I have done, I am generally familiar with most of the motorcycle roads of which there are many in my home state. However, I may not remember which way to turn at an intersection. My husband always said that I had a “nonsense of direction.” He was right!
What happens when I reach a fork in the road? As Yogi Berra would say, I take it.
I don’t need no GPS on a sillyphone to yell at me “turn right! no, turn left, no ‘recalculating’!”
I had a GPS on my recent bike and I have to say, it was better at giving me directions that were non-sensical than practical and correct. That GPS had a “mess-with-his-mind” mentality, directing me on the only water crossings in the state (“fords” over streams) which are, let’s say, “unfriendly” for motorcycling. Or directing me “off road” more times than I can remember — once, even off a bridge (that is if I obeyed. I value my life and my Harley not to pay attention.)
The joy of riding is just that — ride and smile with joy.Life is short: ride!