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.
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.