Sunday, December 14, 2008
From the Eyes of a Passenger...
Being a passenger on a motorcycle has brought incredible joy and satisfaction to my life. If you ask anyone that knows me they will tell you I'm motorcycle obsessed. Guess what?? I'm proud of it!
The motorcycle experience began for me in high school. My girlfriends and I would ask guys for motorcycle rides. I remember my first ride was on a sport bike and I could have cared less that it was raining. Then there was senior prom. My date owned a Kawasaki and we took it cruising in our prom wear. We must have looked like two crazy kids.
I took a hiatus from the motorcycle life during my twenties and early thirties but that freedom and joy that I felt from riding stuck with me all those years. One day out of the blue I talked my husband into renting a Harley. We had it for the weekend and the feelings of complete freedom came rushing back. The next step was purchasing our own bike. I'll never forget the thrill of ringing that freedom bell and knowing wonderful adventures were ahead of us.
Riding for me is a passion. It is always an adventure. Being on two wheels with nothing around you to protect you. Rubbing shoulders with the elements is the greatest rush I've ever felt. I've experienced things I will never experience in a car. I am sheltered in a car even if I roll down all of the windows. I will never experience what is going on outside in the same way as I do on a motorcycle. I am in the thick of it, feeling everything going on around me. Smelling every smell, seeing all the sights, and hearing every noise out there. It is a spiritual experience.
I've had two of the most amazing experiences of my life as a passenger. Both in South Dakota during trips to Sturgis Bike Week. The first was in 2004. Kristen, Big Don, Marsha and me were on our way to Winner, South Dakota for the night. It was dusk and a storm was brewing ahead of us. It began to rain and the wind picked up. South Dakota can be windy. I was watching the sky and I couldn't believe what mother nature was sharing with me. On one side was a beautiful rainbow, straight ahead were wicked bolts of lightening, and on the other side was the most beautiful pink sky I've ever seen. I was right out there in the middle of it. To this day that memory still gives me chill bumps.
Another memorable experience happened on our way to Sturgis this year. We left Mitchell, South Dakota in a misty rain. We were motoring along and could see this dangerous looking cloud ahead of us. The closer we road toward it the larger it became and before we knew what was happening we were riding through this wall cloud. Living in Iowa, I honestly have to say, I have never seen anything like it. I held onto Dan tighter then I ever have before because I felt at times like we might blow over or I might blow off the back. It was such a rush. I kept thinking to myself how incredibly fortunate I was to experience that. That is the point of two wheels, it's all about having the amazing adventures.
I've logged many miles as a passenger and with every ride is a new memory made. Some of the best have been early morning rides out in the country. No traffic, just my husband Dan and me on our beautiful iron horse moving across the countryside. No words being said between us, just quiet time. Time to let all the stresses leave our heads and all the freedom of the open road. Miles of farmland surrounding us. Another beautiful time to ride are those last winter days when we can't take it anymore and the roads seem OK. We bundle up and ride out with snow still on the ground and the non riders of the world starring at us like we are nuts. I know they are correct, I am nuts about the feeling that is forever in my soul.
Being part of the motorcycle lifestyle has made my life richer with the experiences I've been fortunate enough to have and because of the many people I've met along the way.
There is a saying, "If I have to explain you just won't understand." Mere words can't explain the feeling. It is like describing the color blue to a sightless person, until it has been experienced it is virtually impossible to describe.
In March of 2006 I got my motorcycle license. I have yet to own my own scoot but I know someday it will happen. Until then I look forward to many more adventures with Dan on our beautiful Street Glide.
Happy riding! And to those of us that have to wait until the spring, Happy Riding Memories!