You don’t ride for long without discovering that there are certain styles that either fit you, or not. Every group takes some adjustments before finding their own idea of what makes a great day of riding. Not every group will arrive at a mutual understanding that keeps them rolling peacefully. That’s okay. We’re all out there for our own reasons. I’ve had friends I couldn’t wait to travel with, and some that well, let’s just say that I was really busy and couldn’t go.
It’s taken some time, but I think if I had to put down some rules that I look for in riding partners it would look like this:
- No whining. <–Period
- No dining at a chain restaurant. Road trips are for discovery. You can’t discover the same McThing you have around the corner from your house.
- If it rains we get wet. This is why we have rain gear. This is also the source for great stories after the trip. Keep it safe. Keep it rolling.
- Keep your bike clean. After the rain, wipe it down, get rid of the evidence, and keep the story. You don’t have to always look like you rode through the storm. You know it. It’s enough.
- Adult beverages only after the kickstands are down. Which goes with the next rule …
- Don’t be stupid. Yes, have fun. Do not kick a bear, spray paint a bridge, race the police, or lose control of yourself. There’s a fine line between adventure and stupidity. I’ve been on both sides of it. I’m at the age now where if you want to cross over that line, you’re going alone.
- It’s impossible to be lost when you are touring. Tour – from the Latin v. to think the next turn just might be the right one. I tour. You tour. We … hey, wasn’t Chet right behind us?
- Travel with passion. Relish the sights of birds flying at the same speed. Breath in the smell of the cool lilies growing under the shade of the bridge you cross. Smile at the sound of the engine when you spur it up the winding mountains. Taste the salt in the coastal air long before you see a single wave lap the shore. If it doesn’t help fill your soul, then why ride?
- Laugh often. This is painted on a sign a friend made for my home. It hangs in the kitchen. There is no argument.
- Tired? Hungry? Thirsty? We don’t whine. We stop when we are able.
Okay, those are my rules. And as I look at them, the temptation is to add corollaries, exceptions, and generally become some kind of anal retentive lawyer about it all. That would ruin it, so I think I’ll just leave it there.
How do you like to travel? If you find yourself agreeing with most of the rules above, well, I’m planning this trip across the country …