Saturday, January 14, 2012

Final Drive: If not, what?

As I recuperate from anterior cervical fusion at home on this cold January day, a thought came to my mind that I want to pose to my fellow motorcyclists: If you couldn't ride, what would you do? This question arises from my own malady as it is always a possibility. The other thing is, as we get older and accrue more physical and mental limitations, the more likely that at some point we will have to give it up. Could you give it up?

This came up in a discussion with my friend Ross, who had back surgery some time ago and the doctor said he wouldn't ride again. Second opinions are great things and Ross found a surgeon that had a solution that would keep him on the road. The point was that Ross said he couldn't imagine living without riding. Are all of us so determined to ride such that it preempts everything else and not being able to put us in the fast lane on the road to drive off the cliff?

On some level, I think we are more adaptable than that. Humans, so long as they live and breath, will adapt to current changes in their given situation. The only time I have seen where people take the final plunge is where the pain is too great. I am no judge in this matter though, as each person must decide their paths for themselves. That said, would you accept no being able to ride again?

My trip last year to Crescent City was an effort to get in the last ride as it were before I had to deal with my neck issues. Not knowing the outcome I wanted to see as much on two wheels as possible before hand. I don't regret it at all. While I do think the quality could have been better on my part, allowing for more time or even trailering, I still would do it again.

If I couldn't ride again, some might suggest buying a convertible or sporty car (I should think I would want one anyway), or taking up some other activity as a replacement. This is where I break ranks and I think most would agree at this point that someone that would say this just doesn't get it. Riding isn't a hobby and it isn't really an addiction either. To those of us that like to "get out in the wind", it's bloody necessary and a convertible just doesn't cut it. For those of us that live in parts of the country where it snows a good part of the year, we understand that necessity and frustration.

For me, there would be no substitute as there isn't one. If you cannot ride, you probably cannot do other activities that would give the same joy and sensation. I think it would be just one long winter.

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