Let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit – Khalil Gibran. Cori and I recently returned from a four day tour which will be featured in a future article in RoadRUNNER magazine. During our trip we encountered three different groups of riders that we spent a few minutes getting to know. It got me thinking about how much I enjoy interacting with other motorcyclists on the road.
We stopped at a cafe for a cold drink and to get out of the sun and met a couple having lunch. One turned out to be a photographer who had a lot of questions about the GoPro we had mounted on Cori’s helmet. Later at another stop we came across two riders, Steve from New Jersey and Eddie from New Orleans, who told us all about their travels, the bikes they own, and recommended a spot we should be sure to see on our ride.
On another occasion we happened to be loading the bike and getting ready to leave when we noticed another couple, Troy and Tammy, on a large, comfortable looking Harley. As we were sitting in the shade on the front porch of the motel sipping our coffee, Troy strolled by and we said our good mornings. As we started to pack the bike, we talked about where we were from, where we were headed, about our bikes, and the weather. Each couple posed for photos and we wished each other safe travels home and went our separate ways (after exchanging info and a promise to look each other up on Facebook).
As we rode through traffic-free, idyllic scenery I started to think about what other circumstance could occur in which total strangers would wander across a parking lot, strike up a conversation, and become instant friends. I couldn’t really come up with any outside of motorcycling, at least not in my experience. By and large people mostly keep to themselves, maybe out of respect for others privacy, or maybe just due to a lack of a recognizable common interest. Motorcycles somehow slice through that seeming social taboo, and I think the world is a better place for it. You go out for a long ride and come home with six new friends—how cool is that? It’s yet another of the many reasons I love to ride.