Motorcycles Saved My Life: Stories from the Ledge
Seriously. Motorcycles saved my life.
Looking back through the darkest moments of adulthood – moments of loss, hopelessness, fear, loneliness… the motorcycle, in one way or another was there to help me find my way to the light.
And, in the cases where it wasn’t the motorcycle that helped me directly, it was the people I’ve met as a result of riding motorcycles.
My Motorcycle, My Healing Machine
In 2013, my dad shuffled off his mortal coil and returned to stardust. It was the first time I experienced such a tremendous loss.
Growing up, this kooky guy shaped my mind as a stay-at-home dad in my youngest years. I don’t think anyone that knew him would argue with me when I say my dad was a total weirdo. He taught me things that I could never have learned from my mom. I’ll always be grateful for that experience.
As he deteriorated over the last decade of his life, the man I knew growing up wasn’t there anymore. But ridiculous stories and memories of how he followed his whims stayed in my heart.
Though his passing was not unexpected, when it finally happened there was a strange feeling of being rudderless. One of the constants in my life was gone. Nothing prepares you for that type of finality.
Following the death of my pop, riding my motorcycle was one way that I could feel normal. It forced me to stay in the moment, to see life as it was happening. I couldn’t deny or ignore the enjoyable sensations I was experiencing.
I was able to ride through some of my grief.
My Motorcycle, My Therapist
In the autumn of 2018, my grasp on sanity was tenuous. During the summer months of that year, my existence was rocked by a psychotic episode. The event thrusted me into swirl of confusion, fear, pain, and despair.
When your only goal is making it through the next hour without losing your mind, life seems futile and hopeless.
During that crazy summer, I was something of a shut-in. But after a few months of pills, endless hours of tv, crying, and therapy – motorcycle-related activities enticed me to start voluntarily leaving the house again.
I didn’t know how to live. But, I knew how to ride a motorcycle. And that was something good.
During that volatile period, it was the common thread of motorcycling that pushed me to connect; to try to rediscover myself. And as a result of those connections, I wholeheartedly credit the people who propped me up without asking too many questions and didn’t try to fix me, with saving my life.
Each of the people who ran quietly behind me until I didn’t need training wheels anymore were motorcycle people.
My Motorcycle, My Lifesaver
Motorcycles saved my life by being my lifeline to the outside world. When the devil on my shoulder told me that I should withdraw from life, my motorcycle was the angel that gave me wings.