Clarksville, TN – Since I’ve been on this journey, I’ve met some incredible people. It’s been one of the great joys of being a biker. My Biker brothers and sisters are genuine and want nothing of me but my friendship and respect.
If you’ve never read my story of how I came to be a biker, you can read it here.
My story was featured in the March 2017 issue of American Motorcyclist Magazine. I was overwhelmed by the response I got, from bikers all over the country who had suffered from depression. If I was able to touch just ONE person who had been through the same experience, it was worth it.
Along the way, some of the people in my life have given me inspiration to stay true to myself!
David, a mentor of mine, was a huge influence on me and we only worked together for a couple of years. It wasn’t until I retired that I realized that what I had learned from him would be the reason for my professional success.
We had lost touch and hadn’t seen each other in over thirty years, but when we reconnected on Facebook, I knew that I had to find a way to go to him and thank him for his influence. It was an amazing experience to come face to face with him, after all these years, and to thank him for how instrumental he was in my career. He was one of the best salesmen I have ever known.
Not only that, but he’s been a a life long biker. When I decided to buy a motorcycle, he was invaluable to me on how to buy, what to buy and what I needed to know about the culture. He taught me things about how to ride. He helped pick me up when I dropped the bike. After all, he had been a motorcycle cop for thirty years. When I finally bought my first bike, the first trip I took was to Texas. I had to show David what I had done.
You never get tired of the approval you get from a mentor!
This motorcycle has taken me to places where I’ve met some incredible people.
Earlier this year, I traveled to Mountain View, Arkansas for their annual festival. “Mountains, Music and Motorcycles.” Read my story here.
While I was there, I had the opportunity to meet many bikers from all over the country. One stood out to me and I will never forget him. His name was “Chainsaw.”
I never got his real name.
He was about 70 years old and had battled cancer since 2000. It had come and gone, but this time, it had him. He had maybe six months to live. During the week of the festival he was scheduled for cancer treatment, but he said, “to hell with it, I’m gonna ride!”
We spent about 30 minutes just talking. Talking about life. He talked about the bikes he had owned. The places he had traveled in his life. He was old school.
We talked about motorcycles, women, brothers and bikers. We talked about life and death. He was at peace with where he was and where he was going. As he lit another cigarette, I prayed with him. I asked God to give him strength, and comfort and to bless him in a mighty way.
As I walked away, I had tears in my eyes and I knew I would never see him again. But he impacted me in a powerful way. He was comfortable with his life. His life as a biker. What he had seen, where he had gone. He wasn’t concerned about death because he had LIVED!
Finally, I was blessed to have met a special young man this summer. While I was on vacation, I met Dusty. Dusty was born with Spina Bifida, and has been disabled all of his life. Read the story here.
We spent many hours during that sunny beautiful week in Florida, just talking. Talking about life and what it was like to live his life in a “chair.” The challenges he faces each and every day. The things he will NEVER be able to do.
He is the strongest human being I have EVER met.
Dusty is a special person with amazing talent and a beautiful personality. He reminds me everyday that life is short and you only get one chance at it, so give it your best shot. Remember, it’s not the elephants that kill you, it’s the piss ants that stomp you to death. Don’t sweat the small stuff. There are people who would KILL to have my problems today.
So as I plan my next trip, I revel in the anticipation of what lies ahead. The people I will meet, or the friends I will reconnect with. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I don’t have to look too far for inspiration.
I just glance over the handlebars.