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Dodging the Roadkill: To Ride Or Not To Ride

 

Dodging the Roadkill - A Biker's JourneyClarksville, TN – From the very beginning of this journey, the first thing I noticed is how much attention a biker gets.  Whether sitting at a stop light, pulling into a gas station, or just “throttling” down the highway, EVERYBODY takes notice.

There’s a mystique, a fantasy, an image that most people get when they see a biker, and deep down inside, they want to be that guy.

As I travel the country, and meet other bikers, I hear different reasons for why they ride.  Each and every one of them though has that “passion” for the lifestyle and the thrill of the ride that pumps the body full of adrenaline.

Tail of the Dragon

Tail of the Dragon

“Been riding all my life!” they say. 

“My father was a biker and he introduced me to it” they say.

“It’s all I know” they say. 

But what about those who want to, but don’t? Those who have, but quit. 

Not a day goes by that I don’t meet somebody who says, “I used to ride, but it got too dangerous.”  Or, “I would love to own a motorcycle, but I have two small children.”  Or my favorite, “My wife won’t let me.”

Now I’m not making fun of any of those people.  Quite the contrary.  I’m curious about why, if you really want to do something, why don’t you do it?  We all know that riding a motorcycle takes a certain set of skills, and it’s dangerous.  We realize that.  

I tried to get my pilot’s license several years ago.  I soloed and was ready to take my check ride.  Then one day, I was flying and I got lost.  The visibility was bad, and I wasn’t instrument rated, so I really didn’t know where I was, or where the airport was.

So, I dropped below 1,000 ft, and found the interstate that runs right by the airfield, found the runway, and landed.

That was the last time I flew.  I did it, but I didn’t belong up there.  That was the end of that.

I met a young man the other day who told me he used to ride.  Had a BMW.  “But I had too many close calls” he said. 

Understood.  That’s how I felt about being a pilot.

I never thought I would find myself in this lifestyle at this stage of my life.  I say it all the time.  But once I strapped myself around my bike and took off, I have NEVER had such a rush.  

I studied all the factors around owning a motorcycle.  I test rode bikes for several months.  I took all the safety courses.  I counseled with close friends.  I decided this was something I wanted to do, and here we are.

It’s not for everyone, but if you want something in your life, what’s holding you back?  It doesn’t have to be a motorcycle, but what is it?  What do you fantasize about?  What would you really want to do?

It could be flying, fishing, skiing, hiking, or whatever.  If you want to live your life without reservation and fear, you have to face it head on and be determined that NOTHING will get in the way.

Fear holds you back.  Fear paralyses people.  Having a healthy respect for your circumstances is strong. 

I respect everyone who’s scared of motorcycles.  I respect everyone who wishes they could ride, but don’t.  But don’t fool yourself and keep making excuses for why you don’t live your life to the fullest.

I did that for most of my life.  If my life ends on the back of my Harley, then so be it.  I’m not in control anyway.  

Ride safe my friends, and thanks for following my journey.


About Hank Bonecutter

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