2011 Too Fast Too Furious

It’s already the last night of the year and time for my inner reflections here on Road Captain USA! 2011 was busy and went by fast! I was hoping 2011 would be the year I could shake off the disturbing feelings left from the motorcycle accident that happened in 2009. It was not. In fact I witnessed another fatal motorcycle accident while driving to a doctor’s appointment. Not as disturbing as losing a dear friend but still disturbing to see a dead rider in the middle of an intersection and a motorcycle in flames in the middle of the road.

So we did not shake off the blues and ride to our hearts content as we were hoping to do. Instead we worked our butts off and didn’t ride nearly as much as we had wanted to. There were a lot of car road trips as well as a fair amount of weekend motorcycle trips… but nothing epic to write about. It was my last year as Director of First State Chapter and I put a lot of work into making sure it was a quality year for the chapter. We had a record number of overnight trips with Diana organising and leading more than half of them. My career seems to have turned up a notch and I worked harder at work than ever before. Between my responsibilities at work and my making HOG a volunteer job I was working all the time and have lost touch with fun. “Ride and Have Fun” was my mantra but now it doesn’t seem so easy to live it. I know how to make things fun for other people, but have never been good at having fun. Work, work, work! I made motorcycling into work! I don’t even like to ride anymore! I know, heresy! I have been on break from riding and hoping that backing off from the HOG chapter and starting fresh in the spring will be a good strategy. No cold weather riding this year; I haven’t done any riding since September. The tactic is to miss it so much that come spring I’ll be in love again with the open road.

There is a lot going on in my head regarding group riding and my involvement with HOG but I still can’t organise those thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, I am still involved with HOG! In 2011 I helped John Hardison with a proposal for the 2012 Maryland Delaware rally proposal and the proposal was voted in. Diana and I are both serving on the 2012 rally committee. The rally is in 6 months and that will be our focus from now through mid June. In July and August we will attend two HOG rallies as participants. That should be fun!

We bought a 4×4 truck today! Our hope is this purchase opens up a new chapter in motorcycling for us called: Trailering! I know there are hard core riders who frown on trailering. Many of you proudly wear your “I rode to Daytona” and similar patches and turn your noses up at traler queens. I’m sure you can argue that riding to the destination IS the experience. Everyone is different! I’m not a biker! I’m a recreational rider and a Harley enthusiast. I don’t like to get up early and I don’t like to ride after dusk. I don’t want to travel the highways on my motorcycle with Diana knowing the fatality that can result from the smallest obstacle, misjudgement or cager at highway speeds. I do love traveling on my schedule, hitting the backroads and riding all day in the mountains with my wife (and sometimes friends). So trailering is appealing. The 4×4 pick up truck also opens up other passtimes like camping and boating which could enhance or even replace riding. I know, heresy!

In 2012 I will continue to work hard but I’m hoping to play hard too! I hope you can join us at the 2012 Maryland Delaware State Rally in Deep Creek Lake on June 14, 15, 16 and 17th at The Wisp Resort in McHenry, Maryland. Make your reservations now as the resort is filling up quick and we have special rates. Click here to go to the Wisp Resort website. There are only about 160 rooms available at the resort, so hurry!

11 Responses to “2011 Too Fast Too Furious”

  1. Happy New Year Jay and Di!

    Enjoyed your posting. I think you provided many of answers to your dilemmas within your post. First and foremost, I find it somewhat amusing that the biker image is that of freedom, do you own thing, etc. yet many bikers have what I consider very rigid rules on dress, how to ride, act, etc. Riding a bike to me is a distraction and a chance to spend time with my wife, nothing more. If it starts becoming anything but a dstraction, I will consider it to be “work” and will have to find another distraction. Therefore, if riding only in fair weather, during the daytime and trailering your bike to events is what you do, so be it. Concerning deaths of other bikers, the impact of witnessing a friend dying will never be overcome. But like the death of a family member, you do learn to cope. Janet and I witnessed a downed biker this past summer. Not sure it was a fatality, but he was not moving. Did this cause us to pause a bit? Sure. However, I am always cautious on the road and have been able to avoid a hit so far, but do know in a split second,that can certainly change. Last thought – it is a good time of year to put the bike away and keep away from it for a while. I think by April you will miss the open road. Best, Steve

  2. Happy New Year Steve and Janet! Thanks for the above insights and taking the time to write them. I seriously hope you are planning on being at the Deep Creek Rally.
    I remember you went to a Mopar show in July. Are you a Dodge fan? We just bought a Dakota!
    Please know I do not consider myself a fair weather rider. I have done a great deal of riding in the rain… like the first time we met you we had to ride through a rain storm to get to Gettysburg but we knew once we got through the rain the weather was going to be nice. I just don’t like to ride in the dark that often due to poor night vision, small headlight and wild animals that run amuck in the evening. I don’t care for highways. I like backroads and like to be able to see.
    I hope to see you soon.

  3. I figure I’ve got nothing to prove to anyone. I ride for me, and what anyone else thinks of me is none of my business or concern. I ride for me, to make myself happy. And that’s the true definition of freedom! 🙂

  4. You should read Harley-Davidson and Philosophy Full Throttle Aristotle by Bernard E Rollin for esoteric essays on Harley-Davidson’s perceived relationship to freedom and the whole dogma of biker image. See this link for book review: http://roadcaptainusa.com/2011/04/03/harley-davidson-and-philosophy-book-review/

  5. I haven’t been riding as long as you so I can’t imagine what it might be like to get burned out on motorcycle riding. I hope I never do. I don’t have a wife and kids or family or friends- all I have is that motorcycle. I haven’t had it long but it means a lot to me. I won’t bore anyone by waxing rhapsodic about ‘freedom’ and ‘open road’ and stuff like that. Sometimes that sort of talk is overdone. All I know is, when I am on my motorcycle, those few hours riding around are the best I’m going to feel that day. It’s a brief escape from my troubles, and that’s enough. My only regret is that I didn’t start riding when I was younger.

  6. sorry you went to a trailer, jay. after 1500 miles is less than a week in canada and ohio, i am planning my 2013 epic journey called the western loop. rushmore, yellowstone, and glacier park. home thru canada. 17 days and 6,000 miles. i’ll be 60 on the trip and it will be a grand present to me. i never miss that thrill when i hear that v-twin fire up. as for the bad memories, you do everything you can to avoid idiots. defensive driver training for us is not a luxury but a survival course. best wishes in future endeavors, kevin.

  7. It is really really good to hear from you Kevin! Congratulations, on your new grandson earlier this year. Those kinds of trips do exemplify my point. There are alot of highways I would like to avoid between here and some of those locations. Because I am a late sleeper and don’t like to ride in the dark I have a limited amount of riding hours. Not to mention I don’t have 17 days to make one trip. I have no promlem driving cars for long road trips. I like driving. Not the same as riding but it’s a little more relaxing for me. I’m excited for you about your trip! Good luck!

  8. have 2 g/kids this year. a g/ daughter, madeleine ann, and nick. robin has a new g/daughter, zoey.
    my trip is planned to avoid heavy traffic around major cities by going a) early and b) weekends. we (collective as it is a group) will leave @ 5:00 am and get in the bulk of riding by 2:00 pm. the return part is made easier by local knowledge from our canadian friends who are going. a few more stops to get straight and it will be complete. then go to print, so to speak (inside joke). 😉 good luck on deep creek lake.

  9. Thanks, doing rally work now.

  10. Jay,

    Diana summed up my thoughts in a lot less words than I did – true evidence of a good writer.

    We hope to make it to Deep Creek Lake this year. We have been to that area once and it certainly looks great for riding. Also looking at the PA rally, and perhaps the NC rally in OBX.

    I learned to ride in MA and rode all winter as long as there was no snow on the ground. Would take the highway into Boston at night and cruise. Of course I was in my early 20’s and immortal (weren’t we all at that age?), I like you, don’t favor the highways. Too many ways to die. Same with night driving at higher speeds. If I have to do it, I will. I have also never heading out for a ride in the rain – have gotten caught in the rain enough times though. I neglected to say kudos on the great work you and Di have done with your HOG chapter. I actually went to the MOPAR show to see Paul LeMat. Before your time, but his character was the basis of one of the four stories embedded in “American Graffiti”. Cindy Williams was also there. My first car was a ’66 Dodge Charger, so you could say I am a MOPAR fan.

  11. Thanks for the kudos. Excellent choice Steve, we are doing the PA rally also! I grew up and learned to drive in MA also. I used to do enduro riding in Plymouth. Grew up in Brockton. I don’t miss the snow or the crazy drivers. Speaking of New England we are seriously considering the NH/VT rally as the first trailer trip. Hoping to do all three rallys!

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