Over the last month, I’ve read a few books that inspire my riding in different ways. Some directly, some less so.
What do any of these have to do with motorcycles? Well, that depends on who you are, I suppose. For me, the what and why of things is a great motivator. When I ride past an old building that screams, “I used to be an old filling station!” knowing what type it was or having a clue to help me look for information, is an interesting pursuit for me.
My eyes are drawn the vestiges of early to mid-20th century Americana. Books like Fill ‘er Up, Hopper’s Places and The Lincoln Highway Companion help me to know, dream, seek, and understand more. They turn my rides into satisfying personal missions that don’t end when the wheels stop turning. Seek, see, question, understand, feel, know, share – those are ways that these types of books help my riding.
With Lois Pryce‘s Revolutionary Ride, the reasoning is more direct. It is a travelogue of her time spent riding as a solo Western woman in Iran in 2013/14. It is a fascinating human story that picks at the scab of long-held perceptions about people. This book is an excellent companion to her other two titles: Red Tape and White Knuckles and Lois on the Loose.
“Adventure is just a personal thing, I decided, it means whatever you want it to. To me it means having a go at something that might be exciting or difficult, just to see if I can.”
I love Lois’ definition.
Sometimes, I get caught up in the idea that an adventure is something specific – that it has a scale, a certain amount of suffering and time required to undertake it. In reality though, most times I don’t really buy into that idea at all. I think any ‘rules’ regarding what an adventure is, are the residue of someone else’s life on me. Comparing yourself to other people can be poisonous.
What does adventure mean to you?
While at the motorcycle show in New York, I sat and listened to motorcycle adventuress Lois Pryce’s presentation of her trip from Alaska to Argentina. It was a life changing endeavor that spawned the book Lois on the Loose.
Watching her move across the stage, a lady in a dress – feminine, funny, seemingly happy – she talked about her love of travel and riding her motorcycle.
Seeing her in person moved me. There she was, a ‘regular’ person who didn’t have to choose between being a lady OR being a motorcyclist. She was both. And that was wonderful.
Following her on-stage talk, Kenny and I made our way over to her booth to purchase one of her books. After a quick, hello she fired off a question:
‘Where are you going on your next adventure?’
Oh, Lois… you just don’t know how that question has been burning away inside of me lately! I am consumed by it. My thoughts have been a constant swirl of wonder, and calculating, and trying to retain a balance between following my selfish heart and honoring my commitments, too.
What to do, what to do?
I guess now is not the time for me to know, not the time for me to make any final decisions.
So, with no answers for myself ~ how about you? Where are you going on your next adventure?