Thursday, August 28, 2008

Guests of the Universe

Irondad posted recently about the way minimal storage space requires touring bikers to leave a bit more up to chance.

Luckily for us the universe is generally a good host to bikers. Sometimes we get a challenge or two to test our mettle. Everyone knows motorcycles don't break down or get flat tires in good weather or hospitable areas. These experiences will show us our true character, if we're willing to look. Do you have a temper tantrum, or figure out what to do with (relative) good cheer?

Things work out. I've had some bad experiences (who hasn't?), but they always turn around. Maybe I'm unusually lucky - it's not just my nickname, after all.

People seem more willing to help a travelling biker in need than someone making the same journey in a car. These same people are also more likely to just stop by and say hello at a gas station. I think maybe having contact with us lets them experience a bit of our adventure. We're wired to seek out authenticity, and anything more than a hundred miles on a motorcycle is guaranteed to be a genuine experience. On the road, at a gas station or rest stop, there's no reason for us riders to be anything but ourselves - we don't have much to lose.

Anyway, the dreadful things non-riders are afraid of - needing something they didn't bring, being stranded, breaking down - turn out to be part of the adventure at worst. More often, it's a non-issue. For a rider, these aren't things to worry about. We prepare as best we can, and rely on the universe to take care of us.

It works out pretty well.