Thursday, May 1, 2014

Motorcycle Bohemians, Day 10

laptop starbucks
Since leaving on this 3-week road trip, I've been riding and working. Sash has been doing so as well.

After punching the onslaught of extreme weather with our motorcycles, we arrive at our hotel room with our senses filled with the grandeur of the landscape, and then immediately sink our minds into a rectangular world of pixels and bytes. Often, our only sense of humanity is laying in bed together to feel each other's skin.

Each town is a just a stopping point to shift gears in our minds, sink into a different mental state, and feel a little bit of ourselves for a moment. Each bed feels different, each room has a different smell, but the day to day pattern is the same.

Now settled into Denver for the next five days, there's a sense of relief. No longer riding in cold, wet, windy weather, there's time to relax. We meet with people, eat with them, and still do our work too.

I'm sitting at a Starbucks in Denver Technical Center, amid dozens of other 20-40 year olds all with laptops, all seemingly entrenched in their work. It's like they don't need cubicles in this day and age; they just need Wi-Fi, a computing device, and something to drink.  I do the same, creating websites and writing blog posts.

Meanwhile, Sash has devoted herself to helping with the Steel Horse Sisterhood Summit. She's meeting with its organizer, Joan Krenning.  She's doing what she does best, markets, socializes, builds relationships, and connects at a profoundly deep level in such amazing short time.  There's something about that which fits right in with the Sisterhood Summit.

For me, Denver is just a place where my brother lives. I'm not really here for the Sisterhood Summit as Sash is. My brother works all day, and the only time we get together is at night. So during the day, I'm on this laptop doing my thing. I come to Denver to fill myself with the feeling of family. But there comes a time when it feels like roots are trying grow from my feet. And that time, I feel this urge to move on.

When people ask me where I'm from, I just say, "San Diego".  Technically, I was born in Honolulu, but I grew up in San Diego up until I was 12, and then the rest of my childhood in Santa Ana.  It's often hard for me to say that I'm a San Diegan, and I'm not so sure how to define a San Diegan with its numerous unique communities.  San Diego is just the place where the innocence ended.  I return there wanting to find it again, but it's never there.

Much of what we define ourselves is based on the people around us.  It's like a fine wine.  What makes a Sonoma Valley chardonnay different from a Columbia Valley is the unique climate and soil, affecting a grape's characteristics.  But when you don't put down roots, how then are you defined?

I can't help thinking of some motorcycle riding television characters like Bronson, a disillusioned working man who runs away on a bike to find something authentic in himself, or James from Twin Peaks, the emotional, troubled youth escaping from his demons on a Harley.  They each seem to reject the environment they're from.

I wonder if all motorcycle riders have this inside them, to some lesser or greater extent.

motorcycles ihop
We start the day right with a big breakfast
joan krenning
Sash discusses the Steel Horse Sisterhood Summit with its organizer, Joan Krenning
My brother, my mother, and me

4 comments:

  1. Steve, to answer what you said: "I wonder if all motorcycle riders have this inside them, to some lesser or greater extent." I would venture to guess, "yes!" Because, I know I feel that way too. No "place" actually feels like home, except being on the road. I rode for the first time since last Sept, this past Sunday. It was very liberating and empowering. Now, because of Driver Licensing issues for the state of CA, I'm not able to ride until I pass a written test. That in and of itself is it's own saga that I won't go into here. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Nice to be able to hang out with family for a while. And Denver seems to be a great place to relax. Are there plans to do any exploring in the mountains or have the snow capped peaks lost their attraction for a while?

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  3. Hey Richard, I'd like to say that there will be some riding this Saturday, when weather is supposed to be nice, but I don't want to put myself out there. I still have a lot of work to catch up on after a week of riding.

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  4. Steve, glad your able to spend some time with your family. As for me, I was born in Texas but spent most of my youth in Kentucky. When I was 18 I left for the Air Force Academy and spent the next 25 years moving every three or four years...so where's home? It's wherever I happen to be at the time. Home isn't a place as much as it's a state of mind.

    Enjoy the better weather, you deserve some after that blizzard. :-)

    Cheers,
    Curt

    Live Free. Ride Hard. Be Happy

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About Steve

San Diego, CA-based motorcycle rider who likes long road trips, old rustic bars, craft beer, and tough women. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, writing about the mysteries of life. (Read more...)