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.
It’s all about change isn’t it? We bikers know a little about this subject as we live it every day we get out on our motorcycles. Seasons change, weather changes and people’s attitudes change as well.
This past month the weather here in my little world called the Midwest has given me the taste of spring mixed in with a reminder that we’re still in the middle of transition. Below freezing one day with a promise of mid 60s the next can give a guy like me hope that warmer weather will prevail. At least for the next nine months or so that is.
I’ve taken a few rides this past week beyond the usual to-and-from work and I will say this: I’m ready. I’m ready to get out and ride off into the sunset (which sets a little later now) and change my attitude. That’s really what it’s all about — attitude. I feel better. I think better. And of course people like me more because I’m not aggravated about not riding as much.
I noticed on a particular ride one afternoon that everyone was waving at me. Not unusual where I live, but this time it was a combination of several things. Again, the weather played a big part in it as everyone appeared to be smiling and in a good mood, but I think it was also because I was out riding my motorcycle. There is something about the first ride of the season that gets not only bikers revved up, but also those who dream of riding or those who ride but just aren’t at that particular moment. It just felt good. Dare I say it: contagious.
I ride almost all year-long, so that “first” ride is different. For me the first ride is the one when all things come together. It means that change is happening in both me and my surroundings. The road I’m on, the sound of the bike, the feel of the bars in my hand and only a layer or two of gear instead of all my winter garb can be liberating. Now, if only the grass was green and there were a few leaves on the trees the picture would be complete. But that will change soon enough. That’s all a part of the change, right?
We need change. As much as we hate to see the riding season come screeching to halt in the winter, it allows us to reflect, regroup and work on our motorcycles for the next riding season. For those of you lucky enough or tough enough to ride all year-long, congratulations. Those brief days of riding shortens the gap from winter to spring.
And more importantly, I need change. Change is good. I’m always a happier guy when this time of year rolls around as any biker would be — but it isn’t all about riding. My mental state makes riding that much more enjoyable. What state do you live in?