Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Dyna Wide Glide and Road Star

The past few months I've been following my heart more than my head. As I get older, it seems like I do this more often.

It was in my mid-30s when I found myself at work realizing that I was stuck in a rut. I was managing the research & development department of a software company, and I was spending more time dealing the attitudes of my employees, the attitudes of my superiors, and competing against other managers trying to crawl up the corporate ladder.

It all came to a climax when another department manager, who I had hired years before, and trained, stabbed me in the back for something I didn't do. Blamed me for something she fucked up on. I tried to defend myself, but the more I argued, the more it looked like I was a dickhead.

"Why am I wasting my time doing this shit?" I kept asking myself.

I knew right there I wasn't cut out for corporate life.

That was Orange County, CA. "The OC" as many people now come to call it.

My wife and I left "the OC" in 2001 for a place further inland, where rural living butted up against urban sprawl. We had all the goodness of a small community, but the luxuries of shopping and dining.

My next door neighbor, who was the same age as I, and was in the same career rut that I was in, showed me a Harley-Davidson brochure, and the bike that he wanted to buy, a 2004 Dyna Wide Glide.

I remembered back to my college days when I rode my Kawasaki KZ400. I rode that bike everywhere because it was all I had. My buddy Greg had a Kawasaki KZ450. Greg and I rode the crap out of our bikes. Whichever direction the wind blew, we rode with it. We watched "Easy Rider" together and talked about doing our own cross-country road trip.

As it turned out, I fell in love with a girl, and I wasn't spending too much time riding with Greg. He and I kinda drifted apart, though he was there to stand by my side at my wedding. Riding motorcycles took a back seat to Life.

If not for my wife, I may have taken that road trip with Greg, and who knows where I would have ended up. But what I do know today is that I still have the same wife, and she's been there to support me through my worst days.

So when my neighbor showed me a photo of the Dyna Wide Glide, I told him that if he bought that bike, I'd buy a motorcycle too, and that he and I would ride the crap out of them. He finally bought the Dyna, and I bought a Yamaha Road Star, and the two of us hit the road and forged a closer friendship. He showed me a map of the USA, and said he wanted to do a cross-country trip, just like in Easy Rider. I said, "Let's do it".

Not too long after, my neighbor did something really dumb, and got served with divorce papers. I helped him pack his belongings into a pickup truck, and I haven't seen him since.

I've since gone on to meet other guys in my local area with bikes, and we ride as often as we can, and have formed some close friendships. We've done a lot of road trips across the western USA, but I still haven't done that cross-country ride.

I'm at a point now that I don't care about the things that I should be doing, but the things that I really want to do. These days, my wife's health is failing, and she needs me here. It might be awhile before I can leave everything behind, jump on my bike, and see where the road takes me.


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About Steve

A vagabond who hauls a motorcycle around the country in a toy hauler, earning a living as a website developer. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, craft beer, and/or public nudity. (Read more...)