But the whole trip - the entire 3,085 mile trip - was fabulous! I enjoyed every single minute of it - even the rain-soaked days, the times I was on the Interstate, the times when I got lost, the times when I was flipping up my helmet to sneeze. All of that was enjoyable.
Why did I enjoy it?
My answer is similar to that of the mountain climber - a variation on "Because its there." It was challenging and I found that I had set a challenge for myself that I could meet.
For me, a large part of the quality of life is determined by taking risks - calculated risk. Different people may calculate their risks differently, and I am not just talking about physical risk. Going to live in Việt Nam is an example. There was no physical risk involved - Việt Nam is a very safe place to live. But, living there meant I had to retire early and that incurred financial risks. As any investor knows, the greater the risk, the better the potential payoff. The "investment" in going to Việt Nam has paid off handsomely for Cindy and me. Our reward is to have these wonderful Vietnamese kids in our lives.
Risk keeps you sharp. If you are trying to mitigate the possible harm from taking a risk, you must think and plan and work. I like that. My terror lies in becoming a TV vegetable, rendered incapable of thinking or doing, but only sitting in front of the television. I truly believe God gave each of us something important to do with our lives, and if we are afraid to take risks, we are afraid to accomplish what we are called to do.
If you are familiar with real Christianity, you know it requires the follower to take what is perceived as a huge risk - you are asked to trust God. Yes - I am aware that combining motorcycle riding with Christianity is a bit strange, but the connection is that to do either requires taking risks.
Riding long distances on two wheels satisfies the need to take risks. To be honest, there is little physical risk. Ask any motorcyclist - riding city streets is much more dangerous than riding highways. But, being out in the weather is invigorating, as is the view. You see things from a bike that you don’t see from a car.
I don’t have a music system on my bike - and that is on purpose. Being a bit of a loner, I enjoy the time to have conversations with myself - to think about things - to ponder - to be introspective. Maybe I could have been a monk, except I’m not crazy about the celibacy thing.
Most riders are surprised I took such a long trip on such a small bike. Yeah - 400cc is kinda small, and while I can cruise comfortably at 65-70 mph, there were a few times when I would have liked to have a few more ponies under me.
Will I do it again? Oh yeah - I have some ideas rattling around in my head.