Wednesday, August 13, 2008

You Know You’ve Arrived When…

Milestones. It seems people chronicle their lives by the milestones they can point toward that give validation to their lives. The types of milestones are as varied as the individuals that walk this earth. Personal goals, accomplishments, overcoming obstacles and adversity, conquering challenges, and any of the subcategories that could be listed under each of these can be viewed as milestones in our lives.

When it comes to motorcycling, when do we know we have “arrived?” Is it when we pass the Rider’s Course or get our motorcycle license endorsement? Is it when we conquer the twisties and hairpin turns successfully that give us a sense of accomplishment? Do we ever feel we have truly arrived or is each milestone just another step on the journey to perfection?

It was at the hairdresser that I overheard another woman rider express how she knew she had officially become a true motorcyclist equal to any on the road. “I dropped my bike! Rode in the rain! Ate a bug!” she exclaimed with pride. I felt a kinship in the words she spoke as I have had these moments as well.

It’s been a few years since I overheard the remarks at the hair salon and they come to mind each time I realize that I’ve reached yet another milestone when it comes to riding. Unlike the woman at the salon, I have come to realize that there is never any arrival. Each milestone is but a junction in the road, a marker on the journey.

Recently, I had an opportunity to reflect on a two specific moments that I secretly feel motorcyclist enjoy as bragging rights. In my decent from the Rocky Mountain National Park, an officer stuck his hand out the window and waved me to slow down. I felt quite smug in retelling this story to my traveling companions. With hands on hips and head held high I announced that I was told to “slow down!” ME!

Today as I was riding into work, I became aware that Jade was in need of emergency repair. I remained calm, worked through the problem in my mind, and made my way to a safe spot. Without my usual anxiety, I assessed the trouble, and successfully wrenched my own repair. I took great pride in this, and mentally envisioned myself standing there with hands on hips proclaiming to my friends that “I wrenched my own bike!” It was another milestone indeed, yet hardly the end of my journey. The woman in the salon comes to my mind again. I wonder if she too now realizes that eating a bug was just the beginning.

1 comment:

fasthair said...

Ms. Pat: For some milestones are the miles them self. For me it was that for 10,000 mile mark on my current bike. Then it became a major milestone when here a few weeks ago we rolled over the 50,000 mile mark. The next milestone will be the 100,000 mile mark just like it was on my old bike.

But for some like the new rider in my blog roll Ms. BB. She just rolled over her 1,000 mile mark and was so excited that she shared that moment with us in the forum of a post.

Yup, the journey continues.