|Port Orford, OR|
Our second day out, we cut a swath through morning sun-lit vineyards, crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, maneuvered the streets of San Francisco, and made it safely to San Jose for the 25thAnniversary Women on Wheels® International Ride-In.
|Laurie & Virginia at Dolce Hayes Mansion|
Once there, we met up with Bakersfield buddies, Sylvia and Trudy, and began the round of greetings and squeals as more and more motorcycling friends from all over the country rolled in. It was three days of riding, reminiscing, meeting new folks, and celebrating the joys and triumphs that we experience when motorcycling. It was a time to remember those who couldn’t make it this year and to look forward to seeing everyone at the 2012 Ride-In.
The woman who took the “Oldest Female Rider” plaque at the Awards Ceremony was born only a year ahead of me. I looked around at the banquet tables full of white, grey, and salt-and-pepper heads and noticed a few folks who might have given the winner a run for her money in the age department. But, they hadn’t submitted their names and birthdates.
One thing that keeps us silent about our age is that we want to continue as we always have, and we don’t want anyone telling us we’re too old. We want to try new things and not be discouraged because of someone else’s notion about age and what’s appropriate. In answer to the question of how old she is, my friend Donna always says, “I’m ageless.”
Age is just a number. On either end of the continuum, it doesn’t have to be limiting. At 76, Clara Barton rode in the mule wagons and worked as a battlefield nurse during the Spanish-American War. Ben Franklin was 79 when he invented bifocals. At 13, Bill Gates wrote his first computer program. When 18, Tommy Hilfiger opened his first clothing store. And, union organizer Mother Jones wrote her autobiography when she was 95.
Inside, I still feel like the 40-year-old Annis. With the help of a little glucosamine chondroitin, I’m ready for doing zumba and gym workouts, hiking trails, and riding my motorcycle.
At a fuel stop on our way home from the Ride-In, Laurie and I walked into the building, and I held the door open for the young man who was coming out. I heard him say, “Thank you very much,” sort of like Elvis. “You’re welcome,” I answered. Both Laurie and the store clerk looked surprised; they thought he’d said “Thanks, Grandma.” Maybe he did, but so what.
Whatever your age, you still have time to do something extraordinary, or something that you’ve always dreamed of trying. Right now is that time.
|Zip-lining in Juneau, AK|
What is it that you have on your to-do list?