On The Train with Lois

On The Train with Lois

Last Saturday morning I hopped on the train to NYC to meet up with Rosie. She is a friend and motorcycle rider that I met through this very blog. (yay, internet!) After meeting her in person at the bikeshow in December we’ve been texting for months but this was the first opportunity we had to hook up again. Armed without much of a plan other than “lunch” I was looking forward to spending the day together.

red tape white knuckles by lois pryce

Here on Long Island, spring was ceremoniously ushered in with 6 inches of snow. So, instead of doing battle to Manhattan in my car I opted to take the train. The hour+ ride into Penn station is the perfect opportunity to NOT mindlessly look at my phone and read a book instead.

Without any particular reason for picking it off of the shelf, I stuffed my copy of Red Tape and White Knuckles by Lois Pryce in to my bag and made my way to the train station.

As the train shimmied and clanged away from the platform I did my best to tuck in to the book and tune out the chorus of “really, bro?” and “seriously, bro?” coming from the guys sitting in front of me. Instead I tried to focus on the voice weaving the tale of leaving her houseboat and husband behind to find adventure while riding across the Sahara and into the heart of Africa.

Having read Lois on the Loose, I knew that I would fall into rapture of this one-way conversation – Lois would weave her story as if she were telling it to me over a beer. No pomp, no $5 words that people don’t really use – no, she would tell her story with humor, whimsy and humility.

And so it was. The train clanged on, the bros talked non-stop, people moved from car to car but I rode along with Lois. Then on page 27 came a message from the universe:

“I think it is OK to be scared of something,” she said, “as long as it doesn’t stop you doing that thing.”

Have I told you lately that I’m afraid of everything? It seems like I am constantly searching for some understanding, some switch to throw to turn on my sleeping bravery. Is that hope? The hope that there IS some part of myself that has a depth and power that I’ve yet to tap in to, maybe?

This weekend I finished reading the book.  I enjoyed the story, it’s telling and admire her greatly. (Two thumbs up.)

Yes, Lois is a motorcycle rider. That creates a common thread and a draw to her. It makes her story relatable on a direct level. But the more I read, the more I came to understand that while she does talk about the actions or reactions inherent to her traveling by bike – the meat and potatoes? The bones of the story? It’s about the living.

The motorcycle is a vehicle to something greater.

robert indiana hope on 7th and 53rd

7 Replies to “On The Train with Lois”

      1. My experience, over a longer stretch of time than you’ve lived, is that anxiety doesn’t correlate directly to age. There have been times when I was more or less anxious and they didn’t relate to my age; instead, they reflected what was going on in my life. I was more fearless in my late-30s than in my late-40s, but them my courage came back in my early-50s. So please take this as a positive indication that things can turn around for you. Life isn’t a steady ascent or descent of anxiety; it’s more of a roller-coaster. Best of wishes to you, pal.

  1. I’m still reading “Lois on the Loose” but paper books are such a rarity now that I usually forget to pack it. It would be nice if there was an audio version. I didn’t know the Africa book was out, thank you.

    1. I was an early adopter of the Kindle but it seems i’ve gone back to paper. I love the idea of electronic books but there is something I love about having and holding a book that sucks me back in every time. It doesn’t really make any sense but there you have it.

      I hope you’re enjoying Lois on the Loose. RTWK sucked me in a bit more.I wonder if you’ll find the same.

      You’ve got to imagine she’s writing up her Iran travels now. Looking forward to that.

  2. If I had to choose words to describe you, “afraid” would not be on the list. In fact, I find you to be quite the opposite. Some of the rallies you’ve done require much more than just the know how of operating a motorcycle. So maybe your not riding solo thru Africa like Lois ( although I totally think you can ), you have your own adventures in a different way. Reading your blog is to me what reading Lois’s book is to you. Captivating and inspiring stories of your adventures. Adventures that give me hope when I’m feeling doubtful. And the fact that you put it all out there for the world to read about, heck that’s definitely brave to me!
    The Adventures of Fuzzygalore…… I’d buy the book 🙂

    1. Well, we’ve talked a bit about the us we see in ourselves and the us that other people see. They don’t line up sometimes 🙂

      If i haven’t told you lately, I adore you. You always know just the right thing to say.

      To new adventures! (but not planned too far in advance 😉 ) ::clink::

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