Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Unassuming Advocate on the Loose

               Have you had unpleasant or unfortunate incidences while riding? I think we all have had and I’m no exception. Yet, when you speak to non-riders they scratch their heads at why one would continue to ride after an unpleasant event. I’m not talking here about accidents, serious or otherwise, I’m talking general everyday oops, or near misses type events. At these times I ask these people a few questions of my own, such as “have you ever had a fender bender, or been the victim of road rage. I get a lot of yeses. Then I ask them “and you continue to drive? Is that wise when there is so much that can go wrong?” They don’t have an answer for that one, or I am dismissed outright.

I’ve written here about all of my experiences. I’m not one to hold back and I speak quite frankly about all that occurs; the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m very fortunate not to have much bad or ugly. I’ve had near misses, been the victim of road rage and just plain inconsideration or ignorance of what it’s like to be on a motorcycle by those who never have.  I get angry sometimes, but my personality is such that my anger dissipates.  While I don’t tend to forget an incident I don’t go around the world holding hate or revenge in my heart. Life is too short for that. I have better things to do and better places to go than be saddled with such emotions.

               Recently I joined a Toastmasters group with a few of my colleagues as part of our work related continuing education. Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. What does this mean? It means I’m in training for public speaking, impromptu speaking, and leadership skills. I also find it the perfect venue to begin a public awareness series on what it’s like to ride, why we do, and the experiences we have. Why should motorcycling not be as accepted as say, boating, four wheeling, snowmobiling and the like? We’ve heard terrible stories of what has happened to some of these, yet they aren’t maligned as often as motorcyclists or as misunderstood.

               Those of you who have followed my blog since 2007 know of my passion for writing. That I write from my experiences, belong to writers groups, and have been published on several occasions. My love of writing is taking on a new twist, speech writing. My first speech will focus on lessons learned in my youth, and it sets the stage for what is to come. While this first speech won’t have a motorcycle around anywhere, it does have a sled. A sled upon which I road right through thin ice. Did I give up sledding? Did anyone ever say to me “why would you ever ride a sled knowing what can happen? No. Therein lies the crux of what I hope to convey. I hope that I will be as eloquent and persuasive in speaking about motorcycling as I try to be when writing about it.