Category: EuroTour 2014

Tinfoil Helmet Chronicles: Putting Daydreams in to Motion

Tinfoil Helmet Chronicles: Putting Daydreams in to Motion

My mother in law lives in a small town in Maine. So small, it feels like you could throw a rock from one side of it to the other. (And I suck at throwing.) Each year that small town hosts a great Fourth of July parade and an all day street fair. It’s the stuff that postcards from New England are made of.

Even though there is stiff competition from things like frog races and a boat parade, my favorite part of this day-long celebration is always the book sale. Tables and boxes of donated books line a parking lot and for a quarter each, you can walk away with an arm full of treasure.

In years past, it wouldn’t have been unusual for us to go home with a big stack of books. More books than we make time to read, really. The truth is some of those books spend a long time hanging around on the shelf just waiting to be noticed. We brought them home for a reason but life can be distracting. Sometimes it is just a matter of the mood not being right for a particular title. Books get read. Eventually.

It just so happens that, I read one of those dormant books this week:

the celestine prophecy

(This is the point in the program where we don our tinfoil hats)

I know, I know. People get turned off by corny new agey, pseudo-religious fiction. I get it. But, man… it was like I needed to read this book this week. Of all the books on the shelf, this title wagged it’s finger, beckoning me “Come closer, baby. Read me. You know you want to.”

Indeed some of the book was hokey and I thought the ending was lame. But peppered throughout the story were philosophical nuggets that were enough to keep me turning the pages. There were passages that seemed like they were plucked out of my own thoughts.

“…we’re beginning to glimpse an alternative kind of experience…moments in our live that feel different somehow, more intense and inspiring. But we don’t know what this experience is or how to make it last, and when it ends we’re left feeling dissatisfied and restless with a life that seems ordinary again.”

When we returned from our Alpine riding trip in the fall of 2014, I experienced a heavy trip hangover. It was awful. Of course I should have been filled with happiness and joy that I got to experience such an amazing trip, sharing time with people I love. Instead I came home and went into a funk which I couldn’t shake for weeks.

When I was away I felt free. I didn’t think about work or being an adult, I just existed moving from one happiness-pursuing activity to the next. My goal each day was to keep myself safe and to enjoy wherever the road took us. It was blissful in it’s simplicity.

In addition to helping you feel emotionally free, being out in nature changes your perspective on things. You disconnect from the superficial ties you’ve established all throughout your day-to-day existence and reconnect to something inside of you that seems to go to sleep from 9 to 5. Or it does in my case, anyway.

riding the umbrail pass in italy

I feel like that trip changed me as a person on a level that I haven’t experienced before. It could be that I am more open to getting to know myself. Or maybe I’m giving myself permission to feel my feelings without shame as they’re unfolding. Previous versions of me were so wrapped up in speed, noise and being strong at the cost of being honest with myself. I didn’t feel my travels as deeply as they deserved.

Maybe I’m just different now.

“…ever had a hunch or intuition concerning something you wanted to do? Some course you wanted to take in your life? And wondered how it might happen? And then, after you had half forgotten about it and focused on other things, you suddenly met someone or read something or went somewhere that led to the very opportunity you envision?”

This has absolutely happened to me. Coincidence? Synchronicity? Subconsciously spinning plates to make something happen? What is it?

Speaking of~

This article in the New York Times popped in to my newsfeed on Sunday: A Dream, or a Premonition Leads to a New Beginning – by Mary Morris.

“…I tumbled into bed and had a dream that I had gone to Richmond, Va. (a place I’d never been), and that Richard (my daughter’s biological father) was coming to kidnap her and take her into Canada, and I’d never see her again. I was desperately seeking someone who could stop him at the border.”

Twenty-five years later I still think about that dream. Was it a coincidence or a premonition? Did I foresee this future, or did I make all of these decisions because of a dream?

Did she really get a glimpse in to her own future or set it in to motion? I don’t know. A part of me wants to believe that we visualize and shape our destinies in to what we want them to be. Don’t we do this to some degree in small doses, day in day out?

Do I believe our lives are mapped out from day one? No.

Do I believe things are constantly in flux? Yes.

Have there been coincidences in my life that hardly seem like merely chance? Yes.

Above all else, I don’t really know what forces, or energy, or whatever you want to call it are at work in our lives. There are just some things that are beyond the grasp of my comprehension.

fuzzygalore riding on the Col de L'Iseran

What does all of this have to do with motorcycles?

Well – I’ve been having recurring daydreams about taking riding trips and meeting specific people. At first I thought maybe they were just fanciful imaginings. But there are a few people that keep coming to mind. Maybe there is something I need to learn from them? Maybe they’ll be kind enough to share a cup of coffee and their stories with me.

Will I set these ideas in motion and will the universe allow our paths cross? We shall see.

Did I Ever Tell You About That Time I Went To The Roof Of The World?

Did I Ever Tell You About That Time I Went To The Roof Of The World?

The Aiguille du Mdi in Chamonix, France was a once in a lifetime experience. Teetering at the tip of a mountain peak at over 12,000ft up, it was about as much as my wimpy little heart could handle.

fuzzygalore aiguille du midi chamonix france

From the moment I stepped into the cable car and we began our first stage of the ascent my legs felt like jelly. Even so, it was something I knew that I had to experience. I stood in the gondola looking at the floor, too scared to look out at the ground fading away.

fuzzygalore going up aiguille du midi

When we stepped out of the tram and onto the first platform, I remember asking Kenny if he felt the mountain swaying too. Of course he didn’t. I think I was about to start hyperventilating. But up we went in the elevator to the upper most viewing level and out into the sunshine.

Taking in the view from the roof of the world was worth being scared.

 

Photo: Riding Along Lac Du Mont Cenis

Photo: Riding Along Lac Du Mont Cenis

Sometimes I go through periods of time where nothing seems to make any sense. I think I have mental problems. I can’t sit still, I can’t write, I can’t relax, I can’t be alone with my thoughts because I feel like I’m going to burst into a million pieces.

When these times come along, I do have the wherewithal to know I’m being a nut. And so I try to get my shit together, try to focus, try to work through whatever that underlying turbulence is.

Sometimes one of my go to things to get my head together is to write about my day. Even if it is just a sentence or two, I write down all sorts of things. (My drafts folder runneth over.) I never see these goofy tidbits as blog-worthy because they’re the peripheral pieces of my life that have nothing to do with motorcycles. And believe it or not, I do kinda-sorta try to keep things moto-related here. Even if it is something not really motorcycley but I just happened to think about while riding. When I deviate from that, I feel like I’m cheating on my own blog.

One method that helps me focus is to skim through my photos, pick one and write something that I remember about the time that it was taken.

This GoPro shot was taken along the Col du Mont Cenis. We were on our way to the town of Susa, Italy to meet our friend Pimmie. The blue of the water was surreal. Seeing something so magnificent makes you just want to cast off your suburban life and run away to stay in the mountains forever.

Do you know that feeling? The one where for a minute you contemplate what it would be to walk away from your current existence for a complete change. In that moment, you mean it with all your heart. Just ship me my kid and my dog and I’ll send you a postcard! Then logic and reason and those two fuckers guilt and responsibility come and rain on your parade. One day I want to be one of those people that tells those four jerks to go to hell.

fuzzygalore riding on col du mont cenis

Things I Learned on my Alpine Riding Trip – Packing And Gear

Things I Learned on my Alpine Riding Trip – Packing And Gear

Packing

The Givi box liner worked out fantastically. Packing all of my clothing into gallon ziplock bags then packing them into the Bestem bag kept everything neat and tidy.

This represents all the clothing and toiletries I packed for a 10 day trip:

fuzzygalore bestem trunk liner

Flying

The Oxford Handysack backpack again worked out great for a carry-on bag. I was able to keep all of my electronics close at hand, carry my helmet on board and keep my hands free. I ended up taking it along for the whole trip and found it useful on more than one occasion for toting stuff around.

Apparently Revzilla sells them.  In my opinion – worth the $26.

fuzzygalore oxford handysack

Riding Gear

My Klim Altitude gear is indeed waterproof. Saints be praised! It is warm when it’s hot and being that it has no native liners, you must dress yourself appropriately underneath the shell for the cold. As someone who likes layer dressing, that works out perfect for me. Also –  I look like an astronaut while wearing it.

fuzzygalore in klim altitude

Socks & Undies

Wash & wear clothing really skinnies down your packing list. BUT… having a pair of cotton underwear along is a necessity in my book. Synthetic fibers while wonderful for the easy wash/quick dry that they provide feel… unnatural. Having some cotton skivvies along is nice.

If you’re wearing leggings under your riding pants, you don’t need long socks. A pack of ankle socks works out great and packs at about the same size as 1 plush pair of long socks.

Photos

The telescoping GoPro stick is AWESOME for taking group shots. Being able to get our whole group into photos was great. I’m so happy I have the stick.

fuzzygalore at the neufenenpass

I Love the People Inside My Computer

I Love the People Inside My Computer

It’s my Dutch brother from another mother, Pimmie!
fuzzygalore and pimmie on col de aravis

The internet is really amazing. But it seems that not a week goes by when I don’t read about someone lamenting what childhood was like when we were growing up in the 70’s and 80’s.

We actually went outside. Kids just stare at screens all day now!

Yea, yea, grandpa. Don’t get your sweatervest in a knot. When it comes to the internet you get out what you put in. If you use it as a tool to enhance your life, well shit, what’s wrong with that?

ed, fuzzy, kenny, pimmie in the alps

Ed, Pimmie, Kennny and I all met years ago via a motorcycle forum. And here we are… years later still a real part of each other’s lives. My dudes – I love these guys 🙂

Have you made any deep friendships via the web?

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