You Meet The Nicest People On A…
Many years ago (1962 actually), Honda introduced the concept of riding motorcycles to “everyday” people with an ad campaign that featured the slogan, “You meet the nicest people on a Honda.” While that might be true of Honda motorcycles, Kim and I have found that Honda’s ad campaign slogan really is an anthem for all of motorcycling; and are we ever glad it’s the case.
Through our journeys and we dare say a few adventures, we have met the most amazing people and made most endearing and lasting friends. Other friends have come and gone, but there is something special about those friends who we have made having ridden with them or having met as a result of a ride to somewhere.
Take for example our trip to Labrador. While we were visiting the very small town of Port Hope Simpson which had only gravel roads and one means of lodging, the phone rang. Kim and I looked at each other bewildered. “Who could be calling us in the middle of Labrador?” I gingerly picked up the phone and a happy voice on the other end said, Hi Mike, this is Dave Noel. You and I have been corresponding on the Ride the Rock website, I came by to say hi. Dave had just ridden 25 miles of gravel to say hello to strangers he had been having email conversations with. After a nice visit at the lodge, Dave rode home and the following day we visited him at his house and met his family. We’re still friends to this day and we still correspond.
Or how about the time we were on a ferry from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia? I was posting about our trip to Newfoundland when I received an email from a stranger who invited us to ride with him if we were willing. In return, he’d show us some of his favorite back roads. Who were we to refuse? We met Joe Treen at a local restaurant and we were off for an excellent day of riding. Since then, we’ve gotten together to ride a number of times and Joe has come to visit and stay at our home in NH.
Perhaps we should tell you about our chance meeting with a couple at a restaurant in Alaska who told us they had a friend who rode motorcycles and that they’d like to give him our email address. Of course we said yes and ultimately we met Tracy and his wife MaryLee. Since 2008 we’ve been friends and we were even lucky enough to get time off together last year to ride a good portion of the Trans America Trail together.
Maybe we should tell you about our trip from Pucon, Chile to Ushuaia, Argentina. On that trip we travelled with Tavo, Leo, Andrew, Bjorn, Paul, Matt and Louise. We’ve only lost touch with two of them. We correspond with them fairly often. But why don’t you meet up with them more? Well, there’s a bit of a geography problem now. You see, Tavo is from Columbia, Leo is from Germany, Andrew is from England, Bjorn is from Norway, Paul is from Australia and Matt and Louise are from…… Cleveland.
As to the non-riding people we have met, we can’t tell you how they have effected us and us hopefully them. Almost everywhere we stop, the bikes are a conversation item. Where are we from, where are we going? What’s it like to ride off road? What’s it like for Kim to ride the terrain she rides? Isn’t it hard to do? We always tell them that it is a very fulfilling thing and one of the best parts is meeting people like them. They usually glow with comments like that and in turn they share themselves with us. It’s wonderful.
One story stands out in my mind. It was on our Labrador trip. It was fairly early in the morning and I was packing the bikes in the rain preparing to board the ferry to Newfoundland. It was dank and dreary and the grey ocean was topped with whitecaps. Nearby a tour bus idled waiting for its passengers to board.
As I was finishing packing an older gentleman approached and quietly watched for a while. He was wearing a clear raincoat and a yellow Gloucester fisherman’s hat. I noticed he was wearing a Cessna belt buckle and I could tell that this man had had some adventures of his own. After a while, he walked a bit closer and asked where we were headed and where we had come from. I told him that we had ridden from our house in New Hampshire and we were headed to Newfoundland. We chatted a bit about the trip so far and what the Trans Labrador Highway had been like. While we stood there in the rain, he looked me in the eye and looked over to the bus he would later board and he said, “I wish I was traveling with you.”
Ride2Adventure – Shrink The Planet One Ride At A Time