Sunday, February 23, 2014
To Ride Or Not To Ride
I've been puttering around a bit on the Gold Wing, riding with Dave and some other riders I've gotten to know through Facebook. All of us from this area are trapped in the same sort of motorcycle doldrums, that is, we live in an area where there is a dearth of interesting roads and to get to the few fun roads in Arizona means at least a 250 mile ride. Last weekend three of us wandered up to old copper mining town of Globe, AZ to have Mexican food only to find the restaurant was closed. Oddly enough, we found their other location in the town of Superior to be open. Food was good. Yum. I love Mexican food.
But apart from the meanderings I have not done any meaningful rides in a long time but I'm thinking about it. A friend up in Edmonton, Alberta (1800 miles north of me in Canada) is getting married this summer and would like me to attend. I could fly up there, it's a cheap ticket, or I could make an adventure out of it and ride. Along the way I'd pass through Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, and other scenic points that I've yet to see in person. I've especially always wanted to see the Grand Teton Mountains by bike.
Funny thing is, flying to Canada would be a lot cheaper than riding, riding would be at least a four day trip up there plus hotel rooms. And the ride back would be via the aforementioned scenic spots and several days longer. So what's the issue? Well, the first one is money. I racked up some doctor bills in December courtesy of some kidney stones and the bills are still arriving for that special torment. Side note: Drink lots of water, you don't ever want to get kidney stones. I thought I knew something about pain having broken assorted bones over the years, had a couple of head concussions, and suffered second and third degree burns on my arm in a motocross crash in ancient times. Kidney stones, especially ones that won't come out all on their own, are a special kind of pain. Someone said kidney stones are the only pain equal to giving birth to a child. I wouldn't personally know about birth pains but I know women often decide to have another child while no one ever wanted kidney stones a second time.
Anyway, I've been pondering the whole ride-to-Edmonton thing and trying to decide if I really want to do it. I'm retired so I have the time. Goodness knows the Gold Wing is the right machine for the ride. At 1800 miles it's not even that far, I did longer rides on lesser machines in days gone by. By June the doctor bills will be paid off and I'll have a few sheckles put aside again for whatever. I've always wanted to see Yellowstone, Banff, etc. I have not been on a long motorcycle trip since about 2001 so I'm overdue. What's holding me back? I dunno. I turned 63 in January and while the doc says I likely have a lot of good years left in me, it's not like I have an abundance of time to waste either. None of us do, when you get right down to it none us are guaranteed even another day. And yet I am reluctant to commit to the trip for reasons not clear to me. I know it will be fun and of course I could get a whole bunch of blog entries out of the trip. Too, there is the wedding, seeing friends I've never actually met in person, and I admit I enjoy good cake. Decisions, decisions.
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"When my mood gets too hot and I find myself wandering beyond control I pull out my motor-bike and hurl it top-speed through these unfit roads for hour after hour." - T.E. Lawrence
An Important reminder from the past:
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." - James Madison