Sunday, May 16, 2010

Trip Report & Lessons Learned

Once again, we are home from a week on the road - poorer according to the bank, but richer in life. And, also once again, we have proven some things we already knew about life, and learned some new ones.

As I have always done, now done jointly, we pick a destination or event within a week's ride, then look for the things along the way that we want to see and do. That's the benefit of riding there and not to the airport. What ends up happening is, we find things we weren't expecting (which is the whole idea) and savor some moments a little extra, then end up cutting out some stuff to make up the difference. We walked on the beach, but didn't spend any time laying in the sun. Didn't get the bus tour of Kennedy Space Center. We would have liked to tour a real plantation, and spend more time in Savannah - which was the original destination of the trip before we decided to add Bike Week and a shuttle launch. We always have a reason to go back.

But, we had zero bike trouble, and 3 drops of rain. That in itself pretty much guarantees a great time.

Harley makes a big deal about the emotional aspect of their product. Their marketing people paid attention in class, and they know to "sell on the benefit." Embellished, yes, but not made up; there really is a sort of bond that forms between rider and machine, and between riders, out on the road. Annie and I have been through 55,000 miles of anything and everything together, and Donna 35,000 with Lucy. About 20,000 of those miles have been racked up between us together. There are ups and downs.

This week, our girls cruised Ocean Boulevard side-by-side, idled through the oldest port cities in America (St. Augustine is supposedly the oldest,) danced in lock step through gusting winds, and roared nose-to-tail through a moonless, inky Carolina night. They finished in a sprint and never missed a beat. Hasn't always worked like this, but it's a beautiful thing when it does.

We know we are good... no, great, partners in crime together. Donna feels what I'm going to do before I do it. I know when she's not expecting something, and give her a little extra warning. We know when we can relax, when to be alert, when to take a break, and when to make miles. We get it.

Everyone has something they'd rather be doing. Some people fish, bowl, walk through the woods... some live for their kids or grandkids; all causes no more or less noble than our own. We all work 5 days a week for the other 50, because we have to. We respirate and metabolize endlessly to survive. But for us, this is the essence of actually living.

The rest of the pictures will be sorted and linked to in a day or three. Promise.

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