As we crested a hill in nearby Dunbarton, NH, we spotted a police cruiser on the opposite side of the road in perfect position to nab passing speeders. Damn, was he first thought that crossed my mind as I looked at my speedometer to find that I wasn’t speeding and that I needn’t worry. But it was enough adrenaline to make me slow down considerably and look more closely at the police cruiser that we were now slowly approaching.
It was a Dunbarton cruiser all right, but upon closer inspection, it was a 1970s era Chevrolet Chevelle cruiser, with two bubblegum blue lights on the roof and an old bee hive siren on the hood. In addition it had an old style whip antenna attached to the side of its rear fender. So as Kim and I slowly rode by, I knew that something was up.
Curiosity was eating at me. What’s a 70s era cruiser doing on the side of the road running radar? They say that curiosity killed the cat, so I guess that I’m lucky that I’m not a cat. About a mile down the road, I signaled for Kim to stop and turn around so we could go get another look at that old cruiser. We reversed course and as we approached we could see that there wasn’t anyone in the cruiser. So naturally, I signaled Kim to stop.
We turned off our engines and both got off our bikes. It was a 70s era cruiser all right and it was in perfect shape. In fact, it was gorgeous, it had been fully restored and I was impressed. As we walked around the cruiser admiring its restoration a gentleman walked out of the driveway of the house from which the cruiser had been parked. His name was Len and he had restored the cruiser himself.
Len told us that he like to restore different kinds of vehicles and invited us to see the other ones he had restored. So as we walked past his high hedges into his front yard, we saw his large oversized garage with a sign that read “Toy Box Garage” in whimsical lettering. As we walked inside, we were in for a treat!
Not only did Len have restored vehicles including old Packards, 1 1/2 ton Army trucks, jeeps, 1930s era farm trucks, an aluminum engined Oldsmobile and tractors, but he also had the most amazing collection of gas station paraphernalia including pumps, signs, you name it, he had it. It was a thing of beauty.
It turns out Len had retired and he restored old vehicles as a hobby. He now donates his time and his vehicles for town events to surrounding towns for parades etc. He and his wife Beth both helped out as much as they could and are well known in their communities for donating their time and energy for free.
Before we could leave, Len gave us some parting gifts from his vast stock of paraphernalia he had collected over the years. He invited us to come back any time and to bring our friends. So when we had a world traveller come and visit us on his BMW from Australia, we could not think of a better local place to bring him. Once again, Len rolled out the red carpet and our newly minted Australian friend left with gifts from Len and Beth of expired Massachusetts and New Hampshire license plates that he could take back to Australia and tell his friends about.
So not to far from our home, less than 20 miles in fact, our short adventure ride enabled us to find and share our friendship with Len and Beth with our new Australian friend Geoff. Through this sharing, on a brief 20 mile ride, we shrunk the planet a little more for a person that came from half way around the Earth. What more could anyone ask from adventure riding.
Ride2Adventure – Shrink The Planet One Ride At A Time
Some of us who “work for a living” may think that “Adventure Riding” is beyond our capabilities. There’s no way that I’ll ever get to make that epic journey without:
- Ditching the corporate shackles, quitting the day to day job and becoming a migrant worker
- Ignoring all family responsibilities and spending every nickel earned on vagabond roaming
- Growing a beard and abandoning all personal grooming
But when you really look around and think about it, no such extreme acts are necessary. Do you really have to pile on long days and thousands of miles to start on your way to your dreams? Think about it. What is it you really want to accomplish on your journey?
Aren’t you looking for:
- Changed surroundings and environment
- To meet some new people, learn what they are all about and share some of yourself with them
- Enjoy some riding in the elements and experience the heat, cold, wet, dry. Smell the smells, sweet or dour and experience whatever nature has to give.
- Soak in all of the above in a unharried manner without the stresses that we generally have day to day
So when all is said and done, when you examine all of the things you are really looking for in your adventure ride, you need not quit your job, ignore your family, travel months away from home and ride tens of thousands of miles. No, what you need to do is change your mindset, ride to a place you’ve not been before and experience what nature has to give. Stop for a few minutes and talk to someone and ask them who they are, what is going on in their day/world and let them know why you have travelled to meet them.
If you are not careful, you will suddenly find that you have created your own adventure. Your short journey will have reinforced the mantra…
Ride2Adventure – Shrink The Planet, One Ride At A Time
Thoughts, musings and diatribes from the people who bring you Ride2Adventure. Now that we think about it, some of this stuff may be really weird.
I don’t know about you, but I really like my adventure riding wet. Yup, wet and sometimes even muddy. I’ve been lucky enough to have been to a few places around the world. In those places I’ve ridden across a fair amount of water crossings, hard bottomed puddles and even quite a few soft bottomed ones. But mix them all together and you have a recipe for riding adventure. Big splashes, roosts, and the occasional drop combine to make things all the more interesting for you and your riding mates.
I don’t mean the kind of interesting where your bike engine drowns and you’re in for an engine tear down exercise. I’m talking about the kind of interesting where the flying water, shaking handlebars and changing balance exhilarates your soul. Where the completion of a deep water crossing provides a sense of accomplishment, a muddy bottom plays tricks sparking momentary fear, and where the occasional fall reminds us that it’s important to stay humble.
All of them remind me that as much as I love to ride and as far as I have ridden in my 30 plus years of riding, whether in the wet and in the dry, I am indeed still a small part of the day-to-day adventure that is life. You too should get out there, ride and exhilarate your soul… oh, and do it in the wet.
Ride2Adventure – Shrinking the Planet One Ride At A Time
Have you ever wondered what effect you have as you travel the planet by motorcycle? As a participant in two-wheeled roaming, women and men wander across vast stretches of land, riding away the days, potentially with no real destination. They may watch sunrises in early morning chill and witness sunsets having experienced the searing heat of the day. They may have ridden through monsoon rains of Southeast Asia or the seemingly ceaseless winds of Patagonia. Does such riding represent the sorrow of a lonely rider, a “rich” person’s folly, a lost soul’s wanderings or is it something more?
I would argue it’s much more. While traveling the planet by motorcycle may indeed represent one of the above, it more often represents a person’s desire to observe. Observe and more often than not, share. You see, when someone chooses to travel by motorcycle, they have chosen to expose themselves to a myriad of experiences, the effect of the elements and their fellow human beings. They have consciously made themselves far more vulnerable than they would have been had they surrounded themselves in a cocoon of metal and glass in climate controlled comfort, with cup holders and other conveniences. No, the motorcycle rider often chooses to bypass these in favor of experiencing the all the planet has to offer.
The smell of the flowers on the spring, the sudden change in air temperature as they pass from searing heat to a pocket of cool air and even the beginning of rain having watched the clouds swell and darken as the day progressed. And most importantly for many adventure riders, when the wheels stop spinning, a chance to stop and think about the day’s experiences and perhaps share them as well as their journey’s experiences with the people of the community where the rider finds themself.
It’s through this sharing that the adventure rider gives and takes. She gives others the benefit of her life, the lessons learned, of the things she has seen and knows from the miles she has traveled. In so giving receives a gift without asking. The people she shares with often give back more than she has given. What is their community like? What have they experienced? How can they help her? This giving without really trying furthers understanding between people and communities far more than any politician could.
So the effect of your adventure riding is to further the community of the planet. Ride to new places, observe and share with others. Keep riding and everyone benefits.
Ride2Adventure – Shrink The Planet One Ride At A Time
Welcome to Ride2Adventure. A website for adventure motorcyclists and people who are interested in new places and new people. We hope that you will stop by often and look around. In the coming months (and hopefully years) we will provide content including ride reports from far away places and perhaps a place near you. There will interviews with interesting riders who will share their ride experiences and what they found on the road and off the path less traveled.
We’ll do some product reviews and let you know what we think of some adventuring products. What can’t you leave without and what should you leave behind. It’s all important when weight and space is limited.
Of course we have to discuss adventure bikes. A topic which will never be exhausted. We may not all agree, but they are always fun to talk about. We at Ride2Adventure go on the theory that “lighter is better”, but there are a whole universe of people that wouldn’t think of traveling on an adventure ride on anything lighter than a big twin cylinder machine.
At Ride2Adventure, the topics are open so long as they revolve around adventure riding and the people who ride them. So come along, join the adventure.
Mike and Kim Botan