2014: What a Year It Has Been
When the calendar clicked over to 2014, we were in the grip of a polar vortex. My world was covered in snow and a deep freeze. I spent most of my two-wheeled weekends on the fatbike and less on the motorcycle. Though I did pop out now and again on the moto, I didn’t really do any significant riding until the late spring. But that’s okay. Though my year was off to a slow riding start, it picked up as the pages of the calendar turned.
It often seemed like nothing was going on here in blog-town but I did get to meet several wonderful people. People who I’m happy to now call friends.
My first trip of 2014 took me to West Virginia. It was there that I finally got to meet Kathy from ToadMama.com in person. After years of communicating via our blogs, mail and social media it was so fantastic to finally see her. There are things you can only come to understand about a person when you share time talking with them face to face. Kathy is awesome.
There was also Leslie from ADVgrrl.com. When she returned home to Long Island for Thanksgiving, we met for dinner one night. I learned a lot talking with her. The most important things? Take a chance on being yourself unapologetically, be brave even when it hurts and stick to your guns when you know you’re right. She also taught me that I should stop being so afraid of sharing myself with people. I’m looking forward to seeing her again when she comes back to the east coast.
Then there was Rosie. My girl, Rosie. We met through the blog (where she’d been quietly lurking) when she took a chance and sent in her address to get a postcard while I was traveling. Just a few weeks ago, we were also able to meet in person. Talking with Rosie was like talking with an old friend. This coming year I’m hoping that we can spend some time riding or even just hanging out together. She’s upbeat, excited about life and is a quirky in the best way. She’s a great girl!
I also met this guy. He was alright too, I guess. He rides motorcycles and does some other stuff with “the force” and whatnot.
In September, Kenny and I flew to the Alps to spend 10 days of riding with our dear friends Ed, Drea and Pimmie. That was the highlight of my riding year. A trip like that transcends the riding itself. The scenery was of course awe-inspiring, the riding was spectacular. But sharing time with people you care about? That’s where it’s at.
All of those beautiful curves and vignettes of mountains are punctuated in my mind by hysterical laughing on the Sena headsets as we rode along talked with each other. I love these people.
Much of 2014 was spent learning lessons about dealing with people and dealing with myself. I’m shy and awkward but I don’t want to be. I assume people who read my blog will be disappointed if they meet me. I don’t know why, that’s just the way I feel. But after talking with Leslie she really drove the point home that – if people read your blog they just might want to meet you. Even though what you share is the tiniest window of who you are as a whole, it is enough to get a basic idea. She lit the spark in my mind that maybe, just maybe… I’m worth taking a chance on.
So, in 2015 I think I’m going to attempt to crawl out of my shell a little. I’d like to reach out to people in the areas I’m passing through on the bike. When a Twitter friend says something like, “Hey, let me know if you’re in Virginia” or wherever, instead of shying away maybe I’ll actually throw out a lifeline.
Maybe I’ll even get to meet you.
Wishing you and yours all the love in the world for 2015. Happy New Year.
Though it often feels like I never go anywhere and I never do anything, I did managed to ride in 8 states, 5 countries, thousands of miles, through all kinds of weather. I rode dirt bikes, street bikes, a sidecar rig and even “ADV” rode the Enfield. But the time shared with people… <3