“Honey, I’ll be right back, I am just heading out to get some milk for the kids.” These are words my wife would never believe. First, because I never call her “honey;” second, we have our milk delivered, and third, if I am throwing my leg over the bike the chances of me being right back are about as high as Charlie Sheen getting his gig back on Two and a Half Men.
A major hurdle for riders looking for ride-time is the, “it’s just easier taking the car” syndrome. Repeatedly I hear from fellow riders that it is too much of a hassle to ride. What? It’s a hassle to feel the freedom of being out on your bike? Getting outside of the metal cage? Tuning out the sounds of DJs and talk-radio hosts? I ask if they remember how much they used to long for that feeling back when they still dreamed of one day having a motorcycle. But it is clear . . . now that they can do it . . . they take it for granted and often don’t.
Like many riders out there, I feel the combined pressures of work and personal responsibilities. These pressures leave us feeling beaten and tired. Sometimes too tired to even do the things we love—like riding. We placate ourselves and waste time by watching television, daydreaming, or showering. (Perhaps showering may not be optional for all of us, but you get my point.) What we need to do is find the time, even just a few minutes a day, and refill our dirt and asphalt lined souls.
I used to envy the riders I saw on their bikes in the middle of the week—especially the ones who always look like they’re geared up for some epic adventure. I learned, however, they are often just out running errands or taking a break; it’s the gear that makes them look like they are out on an adventure. I combined this awareness with inspiration on a visit to Korea. Over there, thousands of riders are employed as motorcycle delivery service people; a job I fully intend on being reincarnated into in a future life. When I returned to the U.S., to my traditional day job with a one-hour lunch break, I had a breakthrough. I began eating lunch at my desk and using my lunch hour to go for a ride. Try it. You will be amazed at how good you will feel after a quick mid-day ride.
I regularly remind my daughters that “time” is the one thing money truly cannot buy. You cannot replace it like a broken toy. When it has passed, it is gone. While Mick Jagger may have had “Time on His Side,” most of us do not have that luxury. My father’s unexpected passing in 2012 makes this even more relevant to me now.
As I head out on today’s detour, I smile as I pass the 7-Eleven less than a mile from our house. I turn onto the first farm road I see and the adventure to “get milk” has begun! In truth I will bring home a bottle of wine to my wife as a thank you for her understanding of my love of detours.
I encourage you to uncover moments to ride in your life, especially when there is seemingly no time. Remember what it was like as a child to go to far away lands in your imagination; you could be there in moments.
If it is not the destination but the journey, then any time on your bike can be an epic adventure! Even if the destination is merely a milk run!