The song “Time Stand Still” by Rush has lyrics that read:
“Summer’s going fast
Nights growing colder
Children growing up
Old friends growing older
Freeze this moment
A little bit longer
Make each sensation
A little bit stronger”
This song seems to fit my year last year. In this song, the singer is wishing that time would stand still. For me, as well, it seems like time flew by.
The other day, I did an early morning ride. It was 30 degrees, and I knew the nights were getting colder. My little son is now 32 and announced he and his wife are going to have a baby. As I get older, I have noticed that some of my conversations with my riding friends have gone from talking about motorcycling to Medicare, Social Security and retirement. Sadly, a few of my friends have had their last ride.
Each year, I write about riding, spending time with friends and making plans to do those things that people only talk about. I have often written about the “Walt Rule.” For those that have not read heard of this rule, here is a quick recap. Ten years ago, my friend Walter was killed in a car wreck. For years, Walt had asked me to join him on his boat at the beach to go scuba diving, and I never did. It seemed like I always found a reason – I was too busy or I had too much yard work or too much life. So, after Walt passed, I knew I would never get to dive with Walt. I wondered what a trip to the beach with him would have been like, and somehow, I felt I robbed him – and me – of an adventure. It was then that I made a new rule for myself. If someone asks me to do something, and if I can, I will, because otherwise I’ll never know what new journey might have been.
Since that time, I have been on a lot of adventures that I would have never, ever tried before. I have taken up adventure riding. I have ridden to the Arctic Circle, made hundreds of friends, traveled thousands of miles and loved every minute of it.
I often meet riders or “wanna be” riders, and I get a lot of the same story. It usually goes like this: “I wished I could ride, but …” My favorite is the guys with motorcycle vests and bikes who say they cannot ride across town because, although it may look cool, it is extremely uncomfortable. They say they want to ride, but their bike won’t make it.
This time last year, I had no plans. It wasn’t until May that I was able to make a break for it and get my first long ride in. Before the year was over, I was able to cover about 10,000 miles, 13 states and three different time zones. Not only did I see a lot of great sights, I was able to visit a lot of friends and family along the way.
This year, publisher Bill Bowman and I rode to Cody, Wyoming. Most riding days were 400- to 600-mile days. It was nothing to look at each other the night before and say, “I think we have about 500 miles tomorrow,” and we would smile and get at it.
So, as the new year comes, take that step out there, make a plan, write it down, and do it. Make sure that you do not let an experience slip away.
On a personal note, I would like to thank all the folks at Up & Coming Weekly who continue to print my articles and to thank all of you, the readers, for being so supportive over the years.
If there is a topic that you would like to discuss, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.