Last October, after several years of contemplation, I decided I wanted to enter the world of two wheeled (motorized) exploration. Two years earlier I had scheduled the motorcycle safety class for beginner riders but the day before I was to begin class I had a spill off a bicycle, fracturing my left humorous (not a laughing matter). After rehab and more contemplation I decided to ignore the implicit lesson/warning of the mishap and proceeded with the class.
Initially, it was my intent to obtain a Harley but a friend who has long been an enthusiast of the big bikes suggested that I start smaller since I had never ridden before. After considering it at some length, including the fact that I reside in a mountainous area of southwest Virginia and with a fair measure of trepidation of our long uphill gravel driveway and the gravel road that I would need to traverse with each ride, I purchased a used Honda Rebel, a small bike of the same type used in the safety class. It was a wise move.
By last month I had put over 2000 miles on the little bike,exploring the mountain roads throughout this region and becoming an almost instant advocate of Zen motorcycling while gaining some measure of confidence with only a single fall on the gravel driveway. I decided it was time to graduate up
Last month I purchased my BBH (Big Bad Harley). I wound up with a bike that has a number of frills that might be considered anathema to the concept of Zen riding (I realized the value of a GPS while lost in West Virginia on the small bike) but can always turn the gadgets off.
I have discovered that riding directly benefits my writing. While living in the moment which is the essence of Zen riding, creative ideas seem to materialize without intent or effort to the point that the whole direction of part two of the Mfecane trilogy and perhaps the very category of the work itself has been changed dramatically. More about that later.
Me and my Harley are seen below:
I have been having a great time although it is taking some effort to get accustomed to the huge weight difference between the BBH and the little Honda (900 pounds versus 315 pounds). Longest single ride so far was about 380 miles to Charlottesville for lunch with my youngest son and his family on Memorial Day but trips to Virginia Beach and Florida are in the planning stages for this summer.
Next year: California here I come!