Friday, March 31, 2023

What's your excuse for not riding today?

 Words you see in ads for used motorcycles:

"It's not getting ridden."

"I haven't used it much."

"I just don't ride anymore."

Can you hear the regret? I can.

Because I know the feeling.

Life interferes.

I could go for a ride today.

Or I could do a million other things. Not many of those things would give me the joy and satisfaction of a ride on my Royal Enfield.

But there are chores that "need done." Whether I like it or not.

And there are good deeds I ought to do for other people. My wife has done without a light in her closet for years. It will take me all day to replace that burned out fixture, but doesn't she deserve to be able to see the clothes in her closet?

More than I deserve a motorcycle ride, at least.

Sometimes life plain out intrudes. An elderly member of the family passed on recently. Certainly not an unexpected occurrence, but it packed a punch more powerful than anticipated. Suddenly a new light installed in the closet is the kind of thing you do in hopes that it will brighten life.

And, finally, there is this: the best way to enjoy a motorcycle is to ride it. If you don't ride it you won't enjoy it.

Maintenance suffers because you don't get around to it, don't notice the need for it. Eventually, you do don your helmet and find your motorcycle doesn't want to go for a ride.

In my life, the solution to all this seemed simple: commute by motorcycle. Both the motorcycle and I were happier when we got together 10 times a week (coming and going) to take on the world.

I thought that when I retired I would have even more time to ride. Maybe you will.

But I hadn't developed any riding friendships and I had sworn to myself that I would never carry a passenger. Didn't want to make life decisions for someone else. So I have a solo seat on my Royal Enfield.

If I'm going to ride, I need to decide to ride. And just go. It's up to me.

But, today, I'd better get busy on those chores.


  1. All my life I said (and wrote) phrases like: chores that "need done." In the late '80s, my editor asked me what I meant by that. I didn't understand the question. He rephrased it: Do you mean "chores that need to be done?" Sure, I said. Chores that "need done" is regional. I'm from Michigan and central Indiana, and it sounds absolutely normal to me, but it is not. It's local...and sounds strange to everyone else.

    1. I grew up all over the place, and I admit I didn't learn "need done" from people around me. I adopted the expression because in recent years I've noticed that people who GET THINGS DONE tend to employ that phrase. Probably it started in the Midwest, as you observe, but it's likely universal now. I just hope to get things done!


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