Every year I say the same thing: “This year I’m really going to ride a lot! I’m going to take a lot of trips, day rides and long weekends every chance I get.” What is so odd about my situation is that there is really nothing stopping me…well, maybe my right arm, but I will get to that later. My kids are grown, I’m gainfully employed and have a lot of vacation time available. My wife is very supportive of my riding. In fact she often says, “Why aren’t you riding today?” or, “I didn’t expect you back so soon.”
So, what’s the problem? Well, to tell the truth, I’m not really sure. I do have one legitimate issue right now but it should be resolved by Spring. I’ve been battling a Ulner nerve issue in my right arm for 16 years. It has flared up in a big way so if all goes well, a surgeon is going to take care of that soon. Right now it makes the clutch pull on my 690 almost intolerable. Beyond that, however, there is no good reason I should not be out enjoying the hobby I obsess over so much of the time.
I am not a superstitious person and don’t generally buy into that sort of thing, however, once in a while something odd happens that makes you wonder. Take, for instance, my recent visit to my auto mechanic. The shop owner is a super nice guy and real car enthusiast. He has an appreciation for my love of bikes and usually asks me how that is going. On my last visit he asked if I had taken any cool trips lately. I told him I didn’t take many trip last year but really wanted to correct that. His response got my mind spinning. He launched into a passionate dissertation about the precious nature of life and how short it really is. He went on to say how we need to get out and do what we want to do while we can do it. I sounded exactly like…something I would say!
I walked away from the conversation saying to myself, “Was he just talking to himself? Was there something going on in his life to make him talk that way? Or was he talking to me in some sort of creepy, cryptic way?” Was he just rambling about his life philosophy or was there a message in there somewhere for me?
Well, who knows, but I’m going to try to heed his advice!
So far I’ve got a group trip planned in early June that we are calling the “Asheville Beer Run 2017.” Yes I said group trip…something I never do. More to come. I’m also looking at a week long trip in July, either to the Northeast or a nostalgic run into the Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ontario area. Then in September I intend on a taking a week long trip back to the North Carolina mountains. Some of the alternate ideas I have considered are: Colorado Rockies, a fast and furious run to the Beartooth Highway or maybe an April run somewhere in the South.
I’m hoping for more long weekends too. Grand Rapids, Michigan is high on the list. Why? Well, they have more breweries than Asheville, including Founders, which is a personal favorite. Not only that, they have a great coffee roasting shop called Madcap. Oh, and there is the lakeshore and the Tunnel of Trees too! You can never go wrong in West Virginia either. And as close as I am, there is no reason I could not make a weekend Cherhola Skyway run. No shortage of options. Heck, I even considered a fly and rent trip out West.
Plans, schemes, dreams; I’ve got them all. I hope that this year allows me to fulfill at least some of them…just in case my mechanic is a part-time prophet!