In 1971 my first real pay check went to help pay for a new four cylinder, 75 horsepower, 700 pound beauty with chrome fenders and exhaust pipes that wrapped like chrome snakes beneath the frame of the machine. Over the next 20 something years I logged 15,000 miles of bug-eating while experiencing lead butt, unexpected rain storms, clueless drivers, flat tires, and a myriad of other unpleasantness without ever losing the enthusiasm for the ride. Eventually my ol’ hoss surrendered to deterioration and antiquation, becoming resigned to a dusty corner of the garage because I didn’t have the heart to scrap it.
There is an exhilaration that goes with feeling the warm, fresh air against your skin. Going from a warm hilltop to a chilly, fog-laden valley sends a tingle through your body that is hard to explain. On the breeze are the scents of mint, blossoms, pine and other natural aromas, admittedly accompanied by shots of road kill, diesel, and dairy farm. But it is the endless variety that makes the journey colorful. Those who travel in cars (cagers), breathing chilled, recycled air and listening to artificial sounds are truly missing the depth of experience that is out there for the taking.
One of the few benefits of age is that mortgages get paid off, children complete their education and get jobs, weddings get paid off, and finally the big house is sold to be replaced by a smaller, more efficient, and less tax-burdensome accommodation. When you stop writing checks to everyone else, you get to buy toys. Nice, comfortable, sexy toys that almost make getting older worthwhile. As my years wind toward their inevitable end, I include among my toys a machine that is as powerful, luxurious, and high tech as the mind of man can create. I can now travel many miles over many hours in comfort, yet still experience the sensory delights that the outdoors has to offer.
Next time you see one or a couple of ‘spunky seniors’ cruising by on a nicely equipped motorcycle, you can be sure that they’re diggin’ it. You are cordially invited...