Just Another Born-Again Motorcyclist

Ever since I got back on the road again after five and-a-half years off due to a chronic illness I've been denying to anyone who's suggested it that I'm a born-again motorcyclist.

I mean, it has commutations doesn't it? Midlife crisis type men (and there must be a few women too I guess, although it seems mostly to refer to men) who had motorcycles in their youth then cars, family, mortgages etc intervened and now all that's out of the way they realize they're old again and get a big bike and all the gear to try to recapture their lost youth.

I've denied that because it's not me, I rode right up until the day I had my collapse. The family and the mortgage is still here, worse than it was in some ways because one way and another extra debt has accrued due to being off work for what comes to close on six years now. But I've been thinking about it and now I decide that maybe I ought to be proud to call myself a born-again motorcyclist. My motorcycle may be just as old and the same model as I was riding when my illness struck but after so long off the road and feeling like an aged octogenarian I feel now that I'm getting younger again because although I was 50 the other week and now feel like a 40-something again, in some ways even younger.
I've taken to doing something I'd not done since I was in my early thirties, just going for a ride for the fun of it (all part of my plan for a return to full strength) reading motorcycle forums and websites like Motorcycle Thailand and being interested in the whole motorcycle scene again. So yes, nothing wrong with being a born-again motorcyclist for whatever reason, as long as you're on the road on two wheels you're okay with me.

Best wishes and good health to all. You don't always realize how important that last bit is until you've been deprived of it for a while I can tell you.
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Tuesday, 15 November 2011 @ 12:26 PM ICT
Excellent article; well written and poignant.
Lovely bike too.
Having 'been there and done that' ..... welcome back Mr Anonymous.

Big Guy

Tuesday, 15 November 2011 @ 03:03 PM ICT
Well said about everything, Sir!

I was 16 when I bought my first bike: a 1967 Honda Cub scooter with 65cc's of raw power. Well, enough power to get the girlfriend and I to the beach on a Sunday afternoon if I was lucky and maybe even behind the dunes if I was luckier still.

Then came a succession of bikes each more powerful and costly until I found my self riding an Electra Glide. I'd say that I owned it, but the truth was that it owned me as I struggled to make the payments and to ride it enough to justify my "investment". When the first child was born that took care of that and the Harley had to go. I missed the freedom of the open road, but there was relief at selling the bike because somewhere along the way I had forgotten that it was the ride and not the bike that mattered.

Here I am in Thailand thirty years later having more fun on a motorcycle than I've ever had before and that includes when I was 16 years old behind the dunes with lots of energy but little knowledge of how the world worked or what I wanted from life.

My freedom chariot is a Honda PCX scooter with a GPS on the handlebars and my pretty Thai wife on the back. We head into the mountains at least once a week with lunch and a six pack of Singha beer and just ride for the shear pleasure of it. Rain or shine doesn't matter.

Unlike when I was riding my first Honda at 16 years old, Chiang Rai doesn't have any sand dunes to picnic behind, but there always seems to be some little bamboo grove off some sideroad somewhere. :-)

Life is good since I learned that it is the journey, not the chariot that matters.


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