Editor’s Note:What appears below is a guest blog post from veteran biker Jeff Maddox, who regularly holds court over at the JMAdog blog.
How far is too far? During peak riding season we all have these “big plans” to ride some great distance, and we often do. Distance is one thing, and in my opinion, one of the best things about riding is going further than you did on the last trip.
Like a kid on a sugar high, we need a little more each time and a few more miles to get us wound up, so we ride just a little further to satisfy our wandering soul. In my world the real dictator of distance is time and money. It’s obvious that you need both to make that bike trip everything you want it to be, but we soon realize we are out of time or money – or both.
I spoke with a couple from Australia yesterday as they were heading to Sturgis for their very first experience. Kevin explained they were in the United States traveling for five months with Sturgis as the main reason for coming here. Five months time and five months money. He and his wife Phillipa are retired from the trucking industry and good for them, they earned every bit of it and deserve to live their dreams and travel the world. And Sturgis isn’t a bad place to spend a week or so.
We are scheduled to arrive in Sturgis at the same time, so I gave him my number in hopes we might bump into each other while we are there. I could only dream of someday taking a trip like that and having the time to take it all in. But instead, we ride hard and long to get where we’re going so we have the few days to mingle with like-minded people such as ourselves before heading back to our jobs. No matter what, we’ll cram as many miles in a day and take in as much as we can just to say “we were there.” If we can go a little further today, and squeeze a little more daylight from the setting sun, that means we have a few more minutes to enjoy this beautiful and amazing country we live in.
But, at what point do you travel to a different country to satisfy the need to ride? I can’t imagine what Kevin and Phillipa said to each other when it came time to decide on how far to go this year. For me it’s maybe another state line, but to put out the effort to get here from half a world away and experience everything we take for granted – is amazing. I could only be so lucky. So as you feel that road calling your name and your trip is planned with new and exciting stops along the way, remember that even though the trip may not go as far as you want it to, there is always someone along the way who has traveled farther. Just talking with them adds a few more miles to our own trip. Now if only it would add a little cash to my wallet.