I seem to have survived the night. Wish I could remember who it was on Gary's blog who suggested a cure. When Gary had the bad ear infection. Seem to remember something about a bottle and a hat. Put the hat at the foot of the bed. Drink from the bottle until you see two hats. Thought about trying it but was afraid the hangover would kill me.
It is amazing how you can be so cold with your body so hot. I was freezing but with a high fever. Katie says a little over 103F. The sheets were soaked yet I was shivering. Anyway, today I am at home. Not that I would mind infecting some people at work. I'm just too drug out to go anywhere. Managed two handfuls of Cheerio's, a yogurt and a cup of coffee. Think I will let it rest there a while. Too tired to go to work. Still have energy to blog. I need the connection, I guess. If my brain is not totally fried this should be somewhat lucid.
The picture is of my grandparents. It is a grainy picture from long ago. Perhaps I should have sent it to Steve for enhancement. His pictures are always so awesomely clear. Their names are Ralph and Betty. The horses are Terry on the left and Bud on the right. As a child I fell off Bud more times than I can count. It was a long way down. Long story short, they pretty much raised me. ( the people, not the horses )
You may be wondering what this has to do with commuting by two wheels. Glad you asked. A while back I wrote asking for input on what gives a person the "heart of a motorcyclist". There are many reasons people ride. Some are just practical folks who ride for utility. When the weather is bad they drive. There are those for whom it is a social thing. They enjoy "belonging" and sometimes have a great need for this. Again, most are fair weather riders. There are recreational riders. Then there is "us". What makes us hardcore? Not "what" we do. That's readily apparent. Rather, "why"? More exactly, "where" did this come from?
Consider. We ride for recreation but there is much more than that. We ride for utility but that does not explain it. We socialize to a certain extent. I love the connection on these blogs. For the most part, though, we ride our own rides. Mostly because in the winter there's nobody to ride with, I guess! Think about it. We go way above and beyond most riders. We do things that so called "sane" people call crazy. There is a new welder who started at the shop yesterday. When he saw me ride in on the bike he told me I was crazy. Remember it was during a torrential downpour. There is a freight driver who came by the other day. He said he saw the bike there in the extreme cold. His first thought was "Dan's flat out lost his mind". We take risks but we also arm ourselves with skills and strategies. Do we get this "hardcore" attitude from exposure to riding? Do we find we like it and just gradually take it further than most? Or does our raising inculcate this in us? Will it only be satisfied by motorcycles? Or would any outlet we come across serve us?
In my case I think it was my raising. Motorcycles seem to have been a progression from horses. I want to share some of it with you. Maybe you can see yourself in this writing. Maybe you will have other input.
Gramp was the ultimate "Marlboro Man". He passed away in early December 2004. Grandma is still with me and I cherish these days. She is 87 years old. I will write mostly of Gramp. Ralph lived "large". You have heard of the "work hard, play hard" ethic. Gramp embodied it to the full. He was a farm hand, a cowboy, a log truck driver, and later, a cop. He retired as Assistant Police Chief. Gramp was rowdy but had a code of values. I was taught about "macho" and was taught about "responsibility". I was raised to have fun, find adventure, but never cheat on my values. I was allowed to be a hell-raiser but was expected to defend a lady's honor. Gramp was the one who taught me to be "strong enough to be gentle". For me, it was Gramp's influence that put me where I am today. To the world I am an Ironman. To my family I am "Honey" and "Daddy". My wife calls me her "tough creme puff". Tell anybody and I shall hunt you down!
There's still a little more to it, though. I know, the mind reels that there could be more. I saw early on this great difference in people. Some of us accomplish things by doing them ourselves. Some people find accomplishment vicariously from watching others. The horses are a perfect example.
For a long time we had our own horses. It was not a fancy stable. It was more like a barn on the back acres. Gramp and I were weekend rodeo cowboys. He would always call me "Dude". Not the common lingo today. This was the cowboy term for a new cowboy. You know, a "dude". I think Gramp forgot my real name. For years he never called me anything else. I seriously was on horseback before I could walk. I think becoming bowlegged from horses helps me wrap around a bike. We did many things. Together we did what is called "head and heel" calf roping. I did steer wrestling. We did a little bucking bronco thing. I never had the desire to ride bulls, though. Smashing my groin into pulp did not appeal to a late teenage guy who hoped to one day have children. For many years we enjoyed the rodeo. Time goes on and Gramp was worn out bodily.
The desire to be involved did not go away. We switched to horse shows. Less wear and tear on the body. Our rodeo horses were not show horses. Like me, they got the job done but were not pretty. Gramp worked out deals to show horses for others. We did the training and work. The owners lived through us. These people bragged about what their horses were doing. It was if they had accomplished something huge. Truth is, they were only the bankroll. They had the money and facilities. We had the skills and sweat. I see this with parents and their children. You've seen it. A father who never went out and lived life on his own. All of a sudden he wants to be a hero through his children. Sorry, I don't buy into that.
I never want to be one who lives vicariously. At the same time I will not accomplish everything myself. So I have settled on a few things. A few things I can do well. A few things done to the full. My children were raised with this same attitude. It is not enough just to read what others have done. Reading and hearing of others should round out your experience. Not BECOME your experience. When I read of those who explore I take satisfaction in having done my own exploration. When I read of race car drivers I remember my bike racing. And so it goes. I want to bring something to the table, as it were. It is hard to explain exactly. I trust you get my aim, here.
My riding reflects my raising. For me, "hardcore" motorcycling is an outlet for something already in me. Motorcycles are not the cause, only the means. It suits me perfectly being different from the "crowd". While I respect them I do not identify with them. The day will surely come when my mind writes a check my body can't cash. I may be reduced to a hopped up wheelchair but, snow or no snow, off to the Senior Center I go!!
This was fun but I am exhausted. Time to go back to bed. Take care.