Thursday, May 01, 2008

Sharin' the Road!

Welcome to the very first appearance of a new feature on this blog. It's called "Sharin' the Road" because that's what we all do. With some of you it's been literal. We've exchanged waves on the road. With most of you it's figurative. We're all so different yet united by our shared love of riding. The coffee pot's on and you all have a standing invitation to drop by and share some conversation. Introduce yourself and your bike. Share your stories. Have some fun.

My first visitor is Paul Malone from Glendale, Arizona. He's a school teacher and rides to work. Well, I'm going to let Paul tell you his story himself.




My name is Paul and I commute on a motorcycle. At least four days a week I roll up to the elementary school, where I teach fifth grade, and park my Harley to wait until I get back on and ride home. That way there is always something to look forward to at the end of the day. I have been at my current school for four years and have ridden to work at least 80% of that time. Before anyone thinks that is hard to believe, I need to add that I live in Arizona. That same Arizona with an average winter temperature of 35 degrees and 100+ days between rain fall.

The first two years I rode a Suzuki 1500 Intruder and parked in front of the school. Students every day asked about the bike. The last two years I ride a Harley and park on the other side of our campus, because my classroom is a house that is next to the campus. The bike is hidden from the general population of the school, but they all know it is there. They see me riding in the area sometimes on weekends or after school. It is almost rock star status when I wear my leather jacket across campus. Students are intrigued with my “Real Motorcycle Boots” which I wear almost every day. Younger students, in particular, seem to enjoy asking if I ride a motorcycle and many have come to my classroom asking if they can see it. Even more come to share stories of family members who also ride. The romantic side of motorcycles is alive and well with the youth of America and I am happy to share it with them.



Then there are the adults. The young women think it is cool, with at least two professing their desire to ride a Harley when they can afford it. I try to tell them if they buy now it will be paid for before they can afford it. The young men and older women are indifferent. The older men ask about my bike rides and experiences all the time and my principal talked about buying a bike until his wife said, “No!!!” I was riding in one morning in a light rain when I passed two teachers who I didn’t see. One of them came up to me and asked if I was nuts, riding in the rain like that. I assured her that I was as dry as her and had a lot more fun getting to work than she did. After a few minutes of talking, she walked away feeling better about my mental state.

But, I am not a really hardcore commuter. I don’t grocery shop on my bike, my girlfriend doesn’t ride, and I drive both a car and a truck. All things being equal I always prefer to ride the bike, but reality being what it is the Harley isn’t practical all the time. However, putting on an average of 25,000 miles a year I do OK. Reading about becoming more dedicated to commuting has made me aware that I could use the bike more. Maybe even become a fanatic about it. Then I think that I have always ridden just for the love of riding and don’t think that will change. Riding is what I do for me and keeps me sane. Funny that something as crazy as riding a motorcycle in the middle of city traffic can be considered being sane, but it is.


I ride a motorcycle to work and also tour this great nation on it. I write about my adventures on the road at http://www.azharleydude.blogspot.com/. Stop by and check it out. Feel free to post a comment if you feel so inclined. Suggestions are also welcomed.

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There's some other riders coming down the road to vist, as well. Next up will be David from Illinois. I'd be honored to have some more visitors. You can write a post or just send me some information. Between the two of us we'll make it happen. Drop me a line at intrepidcommuter@comcast.net.

Miles and smiles,

Dan

3 comments:

Arizona Harley Dude said...

Dan,
It is an honor to Share the Road on your blog. Thanks for allowing me that privilege.

Allen Madding said...

WOW! A harley on Dan's site. I shook myself three times, took another swig of my starbucks, and rubbed my tired eyes to make sure I was seeing right.

Thanks for the excellent write-up AZ Harley Dude. Thanks Dan for the increased visual beauty of Harleys on your blog :)

irondad said...

Paul,
Not only that, but you are the first! I'm the one honored that you thought enough of Intrepid Commuter that you wanted to be here. Thanks.

Allen,
Never really thought of it. There's just not too many Harley's in my world, for some reason. My first thought was that this blog was about riding to work on a motorcycle. Paul rides to work, and a Harley is a motorcycle the last time I looked.

Sorry to wake you up, though! Come to think of it, the Harley does kind of spruce things up around here, doesn't it?

Take care,
Dan