On this last day of 2019, listening to Bob Segar’s “Turn the Page”, with the lyrics ,
“On a long and lonesome highway, East of Omaha,
You can listen to the engine moaning out its one-note song,”
But your thoughts will soon be wandering,
The way they always do
When you’re riding 16 hours
And there’s nothing much to do
And you don’t feel much like riding,
You just wish the trip was through….”
I certainly have been on such a highway, east of Omaha, and I have spent more than 16 hours in the saddle on occasion. I know well the one-note song and my thoughts often wander….but I can honestly say that in 56 years of riding motorcycles, in all but two of the 49 continental states and in sixteen foreign countries, I have never once wished a trip was through. I can recall the occasional day that I was looking forward to its end, in an all day rainstorm, hail and once in a hurricane, when I knew I’d find a warm dry place to stay for the night. But not the trip. Never.
When I’m achy, tired, feeling my age, I can mount my bike and the old body settles into position and I don’t feel those things anymore. There still are pains, but they are way in the background, hardly noticeable behind all of the sensations provided by operating the motorcycle. Starting out on a morning without knowing where the day and the roads taken might lead, the optimism, is for me, the perfect place to be. Not exactly a time machine, but the years are much lighter on a motorcycle, going anywhere or nowhere in particular.