Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Skin I'm In.

About 40 years ago, my folks bought me a mini bike and a biker was born. I used to ride trails, race in the Acme parking lot, literally ride it all day just to get my face in the wind. When I was 12, someone stole it out of my back yard. I never saw it again, but I yearned for the wind in my face.

I traveled everywhere on my bicycle from that point until I got my license, at age 19.Then, I bought another motorcycle, a 350 Honda CB350. It was a quick little bike, street legal and I could wheelie in three gears...the biker that laid resting, dormant until then, was aroused and I once again enjoyed my face in the wind

By time I was 21-22 years old, I had the misfortune of having two accidents on that motorcycle. Fixed after the first, my father thought it prudent that it not be fixed after the second one. I sold it for parts sometime a few years later, and that was that, for many years.I was a bit reckless on that 350, mainly because I was young and stupid, taking unnecessary chances when I didn't need to.

20 or so years passed, and that biker once again laid dormant. 5 or so years ago, we were doing OK financially and I decided that I'd like to entertain the idea of getting another bike. Gas prices were soaring, and we owned two gas guzzlers. Karen and I talked about it in depth, and after countless discussions (and promises to always wear a helmet) I started actively looking for a motorcycle again. I looked on eBay, checked the want ads, looked at private sales, Craigs list, but found nothing. Until that one day...a beaut of a bike, and right in my own "backyard", just a few miles away in Norristown.

I took Scraps with me to check it out, and after a test ride, decided I wanted this bike. I didn't care that it wasn't a "Harley", I'm not hung up on labels like some...the bike just "fit" me perfectly. Went home, talked it over with Karen, and bought my 2005 Yamaha V-Star Silverado.

The biker was yet awoken, again. As per a pre-arranged agreement with Karen, I signed up for and passed the advanced PA motorcycle skills course, with an 88% score. I learned a lot, for someone riding since he was 7 years old.

My love of motorcycles started when I was 7. It's not a mid-life crisis, I'm not enjoying a second childhood, I'm finally living in the skin I seem to have been born in. I'm happy, but not in a "f*ck you, look at the bad biker dude" kind of happy, I'm happy that I can finally be myself.

I've learned a lot about myself in these past 4+ years of owning a bike again, too...and I like what I've learned. I've learned acceptance. We're all different and deserve to exist, equally, in this world. I've learned that I will always use my phone hands free when I drive, because too many assholes have almost hit me while driving with their phone attached to their ear. I've learned that I love more madly, deeply and with a greater passion...both my wife, children and my friends. One left turn by an idiot who doesn't see me could shut it down for good, and I want everybody to know what they mean to me.

I've learned that I don't care if you don't like my long hair, cut & colors, or my tattoos. I love being me, and you're not going to make me feel bad for doing so. I've learned that life is way too short and you should live it...really live it, every day. I almost died back in 1998 (sepsis) and my total outlook on life has evolved & changed. I've learned not to judge. What you do, who you love, how you earn your living, where you live, doesn't matter to me. Used to, but that was back when I was an asshole...well, I'm still an asshole-LOL, but a more tolerant and loving one.

The best advice I could ever give anybody, at this point in my life is twofold...First, find what you're really passionate about and figure out how to earn a living doing it. Second, be yourself, even if others don't like it. The hang-ups are theirs, not yours. Get your ink, get your piercings, get your hair dyed sky-blue-pink...but be true to yourself and be the best you possible. I guess I have to add a third...Love with all of your soul and energy. You may get hurt, but to never have experienced that kind of love is sad.

Keep your heels up, your face in the wind and ride it like ya stole it. Love, Peace and good times to all!


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