Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about things, and aging gracefully. Then wham-O, Geoff puts up a post about elderly people riding motorcycles and when to know when to quit, or rather . . . to downsize to something more easily handled. There has been a lot of talk by others who take the more mature, “smell the roses” approach, slow down and enjoy the scenery rather than blast through the twisties at supersonic speeds. During our youth, we were invincible. It couldn’t happen to us. We try our best to take care of ourselves, eat healthy food, sneak in a hamburger and soda once in a while and be more aware whilst riding.
Then, without warning, another one of us (cpa3485) was stricken with a dreaded old age malady and this got me to thinking how fragile we are, after all, Jimbo was in the best of health and in his prime. I was just thinking how it would be to lose a few years and be like him, but alas, it is not to be unless I can find a time machine to turn my clock back a decade. I used to cycle a lot. I even purchased a new bike which is now sitting with flat tyres. I overdid it and wrecked my knees. I now prefer machines which move by themselves with a slight twist of the right wrist.
The other day I did something stupid that an old man shouldn’t have done. Yes, that is what I am thinking that I am now officially an ‘old man . We had decided to get rid of our old monster of a CRT TV and our new LED state of the art flat screen has been taking space in our hallway since Christmas. No rush, it’s only been two months since we purchased it and factory sealed. Our CRT tv has no handles or indents with which to grab hold of it and when I tried to maneuver it onto the floor I must have contorted myself and strained my back. Will help I managed to get it propped onto two folding chairs so now it sits in the middle of the living room until I can garner help from someone to help remove it.
Ever since the lifting event I have been feeling more pains everywhere, everything seems to hurt a bit and I have been taking it slower. On my way home yesterday I had to go through the mall to Safeway (grocery store) to pick up a few things and I noticed these old guys sitting on some chairs. It would appear that they are friends with nothing to do except to go to the mall and people watch. I imagined that I was sitting there with them doing the same thing. After all, what else do you do when you are old and retired with limited income to do anything else.
I have been riding motorcycles since the mid 1960’s. While Doug has owned over 45 bikes during his riding career, I have only had the pleasure of owning about 15 or so. I have nearly owned as many cars
For the past few years I have analogized my life as similar to a gas gauge. We all start out with a full tank and as life progresses the needle goes lower. Unfortunately it is a tank which cannot be refilled. If I were a car I would have filled up long ago but I am probably down to quarter tank . I hope the gas fumes last a long, long, long time.
Whilst I have been riding for many years I have only endured the challenges of urban riding and hardly any touring except for a few weekends during the recent past. I don’t have a great network of similarly minded riders here which share my same interests but I decided a couple of years ago to purchase a bike worthy for touring, with secure hard cases to carry my valuables
I am trying to make up for lost time and build up some memories for when I can look back and smile at the good times I had with great people I have met (or plan to) within our blogging community
While archiving my photos onto DVD I noticed some photos from our recent Oregon trip with SonjaM. This is what I am talking about. Photos bring back memories of good times. One day, many years from now, if we still have the capacity to remember, we can smile at our good fortune that we did something we loved, rather than to just exist and think “if only . . .” or “wished we could have . . .” Our road only goes forward in one direction and we have to choose our turns carefully
It was not just another day in Paradise. Under the hazy cloud cover and sputtering rain it promised to be another sunny day. We heard a rumour that Oregon had the best roads in the country so we had to check them out. We, my riding buddy SonjaM and myself were on our final leg of our short mini-vacation. It was our last day in Lincoln City with accommodations overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I woke up early and walked about the beach taking a few photos while I waited for SonjaM to catch a few more beauty winks. It’s not what you think. Even though we were together, we were not Technically together. We were travelling solo but in each other’s company. We had separate meals, separate bikes, separate rooms and separate significant others at home which approved the fact that we would be in close proximity for a few days.
Today was not just any Tuesday, but it was also Tuesday, July 20th a special day in Sonja’s young life. I think she told me she was 27 today, if I remember correctly. There was no need to hurry today as we were just heading home, back to Vancouver. We had a leisurely hotel supplied continental breakfast, checked and loaded up our bikes. She on her BMW F650GS and myself on my mighty Suzuki V-strom. I had planned an intimate brunch at my favourite place in Oceanside, OR and garnered a window spot overlooking the ocean. It has a sort of Morro Bay look to it with those large rocks planted on the beach. The waitress was accommodating and brought out a candle-lit muffin for this special occasion.
She thought that we were a “couple” and offered to snap a photo of the both of us, but I politely declined and told her we didn’t want any evidence, I mean what would Roland (Mrs SonjaM) say if he saw it ?
Even though we had planned a long day we started out trying to do too much. We took the 3 Cape Loop to Cape Meares to Tillamook. Then we got caught up with road construction. Hwy 101 was crawling at a snail’s pace and we tried to take an alternate more twisty road but saw signs that it was closed so we had no choice but to continue north to Astoria where we also stopped for a rest and nourishment break.
Again the waitress thought that we were a couple and offered to snap a photo of the two of us. I politely declined. I told her I didn’t want any evidence. After all, what would Mrs SonjaM say if he saw it. I mean, this was her special day and she was with me . . . plutonically I must add.
soon our tummies were full and we had to continue on our way
I even got the waitress to sing Happy Birthday to her. Here is a short video of SonjaM , from the rear, err , I really mean . . . with her leading . . .
Good memories for me and I hope for her too. I look forward to gathering more memories for 2011