I tend to do a lot of pondering and mulling over a big decision. I let it percolate awhile, testing it out in my mind. Then I put out an inkling or two, trying it out on Judy and a few trusted friends. I mull it more, then decide. It’s not quick, but it's a recipe that works for me.
This latest big decision is life changing. It closes a chapter filled with excitement, exploration, lessons learned, and swagger. It alters my identity.
I am letting go of Big Red. It’s time.
My inner wisdom tells me so, and I am listening. Everything has a season, and this one has lasted nearly 21 years, more than 150 thousand miles across the United States and Canada and into Mexico. Extraordinary adventures, scenery, and friendships have forever changed and enriched me.
So, what brought me to this decision? Declining interest in actually getting out there and riding. Friend Bonnie described, ”It’s becoming more job than joy?” For two consecutive years, Big Red hibernated in her Cycle Shell from November to April. I woke her in time to make sure she was roadworthy before heading to Oregon. This summer, I’ve ridden once with Laurie to Elkton and to and from Honda World for Big Red’s regular maintenance.
Long stretches off the bike means a rider doesn’t get much practice. This is not a good thing, given the myriad situations that call for quick response and safe bike handling. Such a cyclist puts herself and others in jeopardy.
So, I think it is wise to pull back while, as my buddy Dennis said, I’m “at the top of my game.” I would rather do that than be forced to quit riding because of an accident or injury. Now, I will concentrate on finding a good home for Big Red while she’s still in good shape, too. She deserves a place where someone else can enjoy the 100K miles she has left in her.
I'm grateful for the special moments, the memories, and the thousands of miles. And, as we bikers say after surviving a distressing incident or a difficult ride, “Now, I have stories.” A lifetime of stories.
~ xoA ~