It is who I am
My name is Dan and I am a motorcyclist.
This was the opening sentence of my very first post on this blog. In some of the ensuing posts when I wrote about riding I used these words:
"It is who I am, it is what I do".
Have you ever noticed how easily verbage and slogans can roll off people's tongues? Sometimes people are just trying to fit in with a certain group or image. With some folks the oft repeated affirmations may even have good intentions behind them. It's just that I'm always left wondering how strong those stated convictions would be if really put to the test. Would they trade away their words for a price?
I have just emerged from my own time of testing. The last two weeks have been literally gut-wrenching. Last night I came out the other side. The battle was to see if I could separate myself from commuting by bike. The effort has left me wearied and bloody. In the end I found it was not possible. It is like a surgeon looking to remove an internal organ. One thing clearly defined. Imagine them being given the task of removing the circulation system. It would theoretically be possible but at what cost to the patient? Motorcycling is as intertwined in my being as are my miles of blood vessels. It cannot be removed for it cannot exist apart from me.
For me, riding is not a hobby. It truly is who I am, it is what I do. That statement has been tested in battle and proven to be true.
I'm not going to share all the details. It is like family vacation photos. Nobody can really relate except the family who've been there. I will share the skeleton of the story.
For the past three and a half years I have been faithfully flying this desk. It is not me. This is the first experience of my life in being an office rat. Chances to get out are fairly rare. It was time to seek a change. The opportunity was extended to me to become a manufacturer's rep. My current salary allows me to be comfortable. Money isn't rolling in hand over fist but we eat well. The starting salary offered to me is $10,000 per year higher yet. The job itself offers a lot more freedom to be out and about which suits me well. I would be required to move closer to the "Big City" which has a population of over half a million. Katie, bless her soul, was up for the move. I'm privileged to have a soulmate with a sense of adventure.
The problem came when I gave notice here. Now the deed was actually done. I would wake up in the middle of the night with my stomach in a knot. I had the feeling I imagine one would get facing a messy IRS audit. You just have a sense of impending doom. A sense of something very unpleasant being forced upon you. After sorting everything out, I realized the knot was coming from one thing. It wasn't the move or the new job. I love adventure and new challenges. I realized it was because I would no longer be able to commute by bike. It would also mean the end of this blog. How can one write a blog about commuting on a bike when that's no longer happening? The new job would all have to be done in a cage. It would not be a matter of going to an office. It would all be on the road calling on current and prospective customers.
The situation clearly shows the difference between being a motorcylist on the surface and being one with the heart of a motorcyclist. Thinking about not riding didn't have a huge impact on me. I reasoned it might be time to "grow up" and move on. I guess that's how a lot of people look at riding. It's a pleasant hobby and a chance to socialize. The activity could just as well be playing cards or anything else. At this point it was only my brain involved. I had no warning of the pain to come.
Only after putting in notice did my heart get involved. Suddenly this was no longer a cerebral exercise. It was to become my new reality. My heart woke up to the fact that it was actually going to happen. That's when the knot and dark cloud moved in. Every day I rode home was one day nearer to The End. I rejoiced in the ride and cried over the loss.
I agonized for days. It made more sense to go but I couldn't give up riding. Once- in- a -while rides on weekends just aren't the same. At the same time my Welsh employer was horrified to lose me. Even though we had talked about the situation for the last year, I don't think he really got it. My resignation hit him hard. It seems we have come to terms and changes are being made. I feel like doom has passed me by. It was a learning experience of what direction to take in the future should things not happen here as promised. In the long term the turmoil was a good thing.
Now that the heavy, stressful, part is past, it is time to move on. I am estatic to still be commuting on two wheels! Spring and Summer are upon us and it's time to have fun. Time to write about great and happy things as seen from a bike's seat.
I can honestly say: "I must ride. It IS who I am, it is what I do". Things of real value have been left untouched on the table. It was a good trade. The treasure of riding is worth far more.
Smiles and miles.