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Vitamin J

My Life My Happiness

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Motorcycle Riding

The Experience

I have been riding motorcycles for 32 years and have always dreamed of taking a long road trip, a ride that would require me to cover hundreds of miles just for fun. My dream was made a reality recently thanks to my wonderful girlfriend and partner in crime Angela. We are both lovers of music, so for Christmas I gave her two tickets to a concert in Mesa Arizona called the Experience Hendrix Tour. I purchased the tickets about a month before Christmas and even booked an Airbnb for us to stay close to the venue where the concert was taking place. At the time I pictured us jumping in our very comfortable truck, hitting the highway and taking in the show and coming back home all in a couple of days. I think it was a day or two after Christmas, we were talking about the concert and Angela suggested that we ride our bike to Mesa for the concert. Immediately I loved the idea and because we were a couple of months away from the date of the show I knew we could plan a prepare for a safe and comfortable ride.

We have been riding together for almost two years after Angela bought me the motorcycle as a gift in March of 2015. It is a 2005 Yamaha V Star 1100 Silverado that we came across after friend told us his dad was looking to sell it. The bike had spent most of its life sitting in a garage and only had 7,600 miles when we acquired it. We have put about 14000 miles on it but we still lacked a lot of the gear that would make a long ride safe and comfortable and even though we live in the great climate for riding, it is still winter. So, I went to work on getting us the right gear and started planning our route to get from our home near Truth or Consequences New Mexico to Mesa Arizona.

I have never been much of a planner but I found myself really enjoying the preparation for this ride. After getting us jackets, chaps and bluetooth enabled helmets I felt like we would definitely be comfortable enough, as long as the weather followed the average for our region this time of the year. About a week before our trip I probably checked the weather of our chosen route no less than 4 times a day, I was so excited and nothing short of a blizzard was going to keep us from taking the bike.

This experience has been incredible to say the least and I will get around to writing about the different things that we did and the roads we traveled soon. Riding a motorcycle has always been very relaxing and extremely fun thing for me, I have discovered in the last two years that I love riding more than I ever have. I give a lot of credit to my riding partner, she is always down for a ride no matter what, never complains and makes every ride an adventure no matter how long or short the ride is. I am a blessed man, thank you Angela for an Experience of a lifetime.

 

 

I Choose To Drive

2005-v-star-1100-silverado

I believe modern vehicles take the fun out of our driving experience. It’s without much thought that I jump into my 2012 Ford F-150 4×4 Supercrew and hit the road, only to give thought to my final destination and brief glance at the fuel gauge. My utmost concern is more focused on what music I will be listening to as I go from point A to B.

I grew up learning how to drive in the 80’s in vehicles that were built in the 60’s, and each one required a checklist type approach to make it run and keep it running. From the first turn of the key you had to push the clutch, pump the gas (but not to many times), keep it revved up so it wouldn’t die, let it warm up and pump those brakes if you want to stop. I didn’t realize until a became a certified automotive technician just how much interaction was required in those old cars and trucks, it was more akin to a pilot or captain of ship than a driver.

I have come to appreciate very much the modern vehicle, as a driver and a passenger I know that we are all much safer, and the cars and trucks are way more reliable. I do value my air conditioner, 8 way power adjustable seat, tilt wheel, cruise control, bluetooth and the many other features and conveniences. However the act of operating one of today’s vehicles in no way leaves me with the feeling of having piloted that vehicle with skill and precision, and with the rapid progression of self driving vehicles I know I will get to share stories with my grand kids one day about how I once drove a car and not just sat as a passenger in one.

I will always desire that feeling of operating one of those great miracles of ingenuity and not just see it as a mode of transport. My great grand kids could possibly never know that feeling of being at the controls of car. I will do my best to always have vehicle that requires a driver in my fleet because I believe it is fun and good for my soul. It may only be possible in the form of my motorcycle…and that’s a story for another day.

J

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