Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Finding direction

It's time to reassess and refocus. What do I need? What do I want out of motorcycling? We've transitioned  form an infant/ toddler household to something considerably easier, or maybe I'm just enjoying this stage of parenting more.

The family circus act has changed and my motorcycling needs have changed with it. I'm not necessarily free to roam the planet on 2 wheels, but I do have considerably more opportunities to spend days in the saddle. Opportunities I don't always take.

Back when the kid was really little I was tied to the homestead. I kept my head in the game by undertaking some shop projects in the garage, a 1978 Yamaha and a 1996 Triumph. I learned a lot about working on old bikes but I also learned that I get too emotionally involved in the process. Something difficult becomes frustrating, failures can become battles. That's not something I need to drag back into the house with me. Although I did find some Zen and Art along the way. Maturity? Maybe but, it's a process you need to be open to.

"If you're going to sit, sit. If you're going to stand, stand. But never wobble." - a Zen saying

Are the stakes too high now? The kid needs a dad, and I need to be there for him as he grows. Mrs. North need Mr. North and I need her. The weight of this has never felt heaver, the stakes are the same but served with a deeper appreciation.

What am I getting from motorcycling? Challenge and triumph. Questions and answers. Transportation.

Whenever I'm gone on the bike I develop a better appreciation for being back. I think that's the core of why I do it. To better love and understand what it means to be home with my family and routines. And that has real value. It's something I don't bring into my relationships otherwise. (I'm a miserable grump when I get trapped into a routine for too long.)

As a Geezer with a Grudge once wrote, "If you're not asking yourself these questions, you have no business on a motorcycle." (or something to that affect)

"If you are going to ride, ride. But never wobble." - Mark Richardson

- Ride North

Richardson, M. (2008). Zen and now: On the trail of Robert Pirsig and Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.


  1. Jason, I can relate. In our home it was a combination of factors. Our first home in St. Paul, our 2nd daughter on the way, busy being a father, husband, homeowner, etc. etc. I still had the SP1000, my rides (self?) limited to Sunday mornings for an hour or so. It took me almost that long to get out of the city and for all sorts of reasons, it just wasn't the same as it had been. I decided that was OK.

    Then we left the city for rural, homeschooling, commuting, 4H, animals, building a house, music lessons and orchestra and and....

    I picked up about where I'd left off when I turned just felt right then and it still is.

    Good luck with what and how you balance it all.

  2. Thanks Coop, I bought a Norge, a modern SP1000. From my dad. It lives in St Paul with me. BTW, I really enjoyed your nostalgic post from today.

    I started writing here mostly in an attempt to be more deliberate in what I was doing on the bike and why. I was also inspired by Dan Bateman (Musings of and Intrepid commuter), and his fellow Oregonian writers; and you. I have to say, it's paid off in terms of my safety on the road and the enjoyment I get from our sport/ hobby.

    For now, I still enjoy motorcycling and I plan on continuing to practice it thoughtfully. Although who knows what will happen when the music lessons and soccer practice shuffle starts. I may need to pick up a sidecar rig to get where I'm going.

    Many thanks!