Life is a Ride. Live it!
Hello again, everybody. Welcome to another edition of Nefarious James. No politics this month, no government talk, just plain old reflection. Had a really good time at the Thunder by the Bay event and its inclusion of Choppertown Live. Choppertown Live brought back a lot of personal memories for me. Seeing the old bikes and cars really sent me back to when I was growing up.
Things were much simpler back then. No computers, it was safe to drink out of a garden hose, and lots of time spent outdoors. Didn’t really worry about getting sick from everything you touched because realistically you touched everything. Camping was done in a tent, under a tarp or even under a picnic table. No Holiday Inn at every exit.
I believe those experiences helped me appreciate life more. Motorcycle events and gatherings were a hell of a lot of fun as well. Rain or shine, we partied with friends and new acquaintances. Sometimes these events were the only times we would see certain people because of the distance between us. We would run into them and it was like we would just continue where we left off from last time we saw each other. If someone had a problem with their bike, everyone would try to help that brother/sister get back on the road.
Back then, it was about the ride and not necessarily the destinations. Most of the time we left for trips with no plan at all or really knew where we would lay our head that night. What we did know was that we could depend on the people next to us. That each day held a new adventure and a new place to explore. We didn’t have to worry about those who couldn’t hold her alcohol as we knew there was always someone there to have their back and keep them safe.
You would also know that you could have your ol’ lady with you and nobody would mess with her because they knew who she was with. They would watch her back as well, like their own sister, instead of trying to hit on her. When a brother or fellow biker needed help, others would band together to help that person. Help him find a part, a little gas money or some smoke, whatever he needed to get safely back on his journey. We didn’t leave our brothers behind if they broke down or were having a rough patch. We sure as hell wouldn’t let him ride if he got to messed up. We didn’t put the party before the brother. We took care of each other.
We would always make sure we could have another day to ride. We had a totally different sense of freedom from the rest of society. We thought what we wanted, did what we wanted and went where we wanted. We respected others boundaries and enjoyed the hell out of everything we did. We knew true brotherhood down to the core. Those around us enhanced our lives and made everything more worthwhile. Sometimes a new brother was made while tucked under an overpass waiting for the rain to pass.
The machines we rode were an extension of our personalities and what we loved in life. Normally, it was the crazier the better, but we knew where to draw the line. Individuality was paramount. We didn’t want to be like everyone else. We wanted to be ourselves and expressed it accordingly. We had things like honor, respect and loyalty. They weren’t just words; they were our way of life. This to me is what old school is about. Not just a fashion statement. Not a contest about how much money you can spend on your motorcycle. It was genuinely a lifestyle. A way of life every day, not just on weekends.
We didn’t need to walk around acting like tough guys and always wanting to fight. We didn’t have to prove anything to anyone. We knew who we were. That was the beauty of the entire thing. I guess what I’m getting at is, enjoy the life that you have while you are able to live it. I always thought it was kind of ironic that the 70-year-old guy is the one driving the Ferrari and the 20-year-old guy is driving a beater. You don’t have to wait until you’re 70 to enjoy the little things in your life.
Friends and family are a treasure. The memories that you build now may be the only thing you have left later on in your life. We lose our friends and loved ones every day. Live with no regrets but do it in a way to live another day. Enjoy everything you can now while you still can with those that are nearest to you.
Don’t be afraid to meet new people and go on new adventures. Remember, those machines were built to ride and look phenomenal heading down those roads. They look way better in motion than they do parked in front of a bar. Get out there and see the world, even if it’s just the one around you. There’s something new waiting for you just outside your door every day. All you have to do is open your eyes and soak it in.
Enjoy the ride and I hope to see you out there. Be safe and take care of one another because we are a dying breed. Think for yourself, live your life however you please, and do it without the regret of not trying. Don’t be afraid to try something new. You just might find a new passion.
Keep the wheels rolling and the bugs in your teeth and I’ll see you out there. Who knows what we will get into next.