Every year, after months of sitting in our proverbial prisons for the winter, my friends and I go on our annual breakout run. Its usually about 125 miles with food and beers involved along the way. This year a New England April storm pushed our ride out another two weeks, giving us some extra time to do some maintenance. Fresh off the ride, here are my 5 thoughts to start the season:
1) Man was that ride good.
I missed my bike, and the road. I’m excited for the season and the adventures it will bring. There is no better feeling than being on my motorcycle. Case in point, this quote:
“There is something inherently beautiful about riding a motorcycle. With one hand on the clutch and the other eagerly on the throttle, you’re holding life by the reins. Boundaries become limitless: possibilities expand before you faster than the road unfolds: The Destination becomes less important than the journey itself.”
2) The noobs did well.
We had fairly new riders with us on the trip and they handled themselves extremely well. To me this is one of the most important things about being a biker: imparting your knowledge and experience to new riders. I absolutely love helping new motorcyclists. I think too many people have not had proper guidance on how to handle themselves out there, and how to ride in general.
3) The Wave is a dying gesture.
When I first began riding it felt like everyone on two wheels gave “the Wave.” A simple gesture recognizing each other for being on two wheels and being out there. A sense of unity. I always throw the wave, my arm down towards the ground. Two fingers out. Two wheels. A peace sign floating over the road.
Granted there are reasons not to wave back. Being in a turn, working a clutch, etc. But I was struck by how many I didn’t get a wave back. It’s an alarming trend but again maybe those bikers were never taught that lesson or think they are too good for it. Fuck it, I’ll keep trying.
4) Getting lost is part of the adventure.
During our ride we opened the bikes up on a well known stretch of highway and let them loose. Naturally, this meant we all missed our exit. Some reactions were that of despair. We are lost now! To me, that’s just part of the adventure. Once the guys settled down they realized that as well.
To get back on track we took a route that was 20 miles longer but it was an awesome road. It was wide open single lane road with lots of dips, curves, corners and straight-aways. That simple road ended up being the best 30 minutes of the trip. It’s about the adventure of the ride, not the destination.
5) No matter how close you think you are, a ride will always bring you closer.
I grew up with the people on this ride. We’ve known each other for over 15 years. We’re brothers and family. They’ve recently gotten into motorcycling while I’ve been riding since before I had a car. No matter how strong of a bond you have with people when you spend time out on the road riding with them, you feel that much closer to them.
There is something inherently embedded in motorcycle riding and the motorcycle culture that strengthens bonds and fosters relationships like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.
Live Fast, Ride Hard and keep your rubber down.
– Andrew Boisvert (Follow him @drewbovy on Twitter)