As most of you know. I enjoy riding motorcycles. I ride them in the dirt, on the street, I have also road raced a season a few years ago. I still go to the track participating in track days.
But one of the things I really enjoy is traveling on a motorcycle. So far I have always traveled on a Sport Bike. In fact I have never owned a bike that you couldn't have found on a race track other then my first bike a Kawasaki 750 LTD. But every other street bike I have owned since then has been some sort of Sport Bike that feels most of the time more comfortable on a track than on the street.
I guess this goes back to my youth growing up on a farm riding horses. This is the age before video games and before I was working on the farm very much. I started putting in real days on the farm at around the age of 9. But before then you would find me riding my horse Cactus bareback. (My dad wouldn't saddle him for me saying when I was big enough to put the saddle on I could use a saddle). Cactus was a Welsh Indian Pony my dad bought from a neighbor for me to learn to ride on. Cactus was perhaps the most stubborn horse I have ever rode. He wasn't very big but whenever he was around a herd of other horses he was always in charge. I would ride, race, chase cows or play Cowboys and Indians simply enjoying being free.
My cousin and I would find ourselves miles from home at the end of the day. Having explored parts of the county that I don't think many others had explored since or before. I would ask my dad even in recent years. If he new where the Indian Camp site was on Grandpas place, he didn't, or some other place we found interesting. Showing up dirty sweaty and smelling like horses at the end of the day was normal. This behavior continued on Holidays after we both started working full days on the farm.
We weren't concerned about comfort back then. We were only concerned about speed, who had the fastest horse. I remember going to school and arguing with other kids on who's horse was faster. I guess that attitude has continued with me to this day.
You could say that me traveling on Motorcycle is my grown up version of those days as a kid growing up on the farm. I never outgrew exploring going and seeing what was over the next hill. Another reason that I am so adamant about riding places is I think it is the best way to show up. Riding places isn't the easiest or the fastest way to travel some place but it is the most honest way. In today's world I can get on a plane and be half way around the world in a 12 hours.
When my Grandfather was born first you had to get on a wagon ride to the nearest Train Station. This might have taken a day or longer. Then maybe you had to take a train, then a boat taking months to go as far as a person can go in a day today. I guess that is one of the reasons why I like motorcycles so much. It takes me back to when everything was simpler. I like the idea of riding a horse to a place like Yellowstone or the Battle of Little Big Horn.
To imagine what it was like for the Soldiers or the Indians on the day of the battle. I feel some how closer to the history knowing that as I look at someone climb out of a RV with every imaginable comfort. When I have been riding in the heat or the cold similar to the way the Calvary would have rode up on that fateful day.
But it isn't feasible to take two months to ride to Yellowstone from Texas. So I would rather take the next best thing a motorcycle, a Iron Horse!!!. I show up being dirty, sweaty, tired but I still find that beats the alternative; to jump on a plane. To skip all the unpleasantness is cool (you still experienced a piece of history). But I always appreciate and remember a place I show up on my bike better then if I had skipped all of the hard stuff! Even in a car you skip simple things like it being hot or cold. The smells that go with the trip are also skipped in a car. You can't skip any of those things on a motorcycle. You have to put in your time.