A New Category

I was happy to wake up this morning with the same desire to share my thoughts that compelled me yesterday too return to writing in my blog. I was worried that the feeling of wanting to share would somehow disappear while I slept. Or maybe I was more worried that whatever made me stop before would rear its ugly head again. But neither were the case. For those of you who have read my “The Return” entry, you know that I have continued to write, but had somehow ceased sharing it publicly.  So now I have plenty of material to share and have realized I need to add some new categories so my entries are organized and referenceable for my readers. I do know some readers come for specific topics and may not have an interest in subjects that are not relevant to them. So I have started a new category called “Reading for Riders”. If you are a motorcycle enthusiast, a tried and true ‘biker’, or know someone who is you may appreciate the entries under this new category.

The bulk of writing around this particular subject comes from a very particular place and time. I have always loved motorcycles. What little boy or girl hasn’t? My first experience was riding a mini bike around the church when I was very young. Couldn’t go fast and couldn’t go far, but loved it all the same. It was the first vehicle I had ever driven. It made me feel like more than a little kid and, most definitely, made me feel like I was suddenly cool. Two very amazing feelings for a child that age. And that is likely where I caught the bug and fell in love with life on two wheels. My youth was limited to indulging this love affair as we didn’t own a mini bike I could ride in the yard and I was not old enough to ride a real motorcycle on the road. It was a lot of years just wishing and being enamored with every bike and rider I saw. Add to that an older brother who eventually bought a bike and had it at the house while he lived there. Now add to that the fact that as a young boy, I idolized my bigger brother. Then add all his friends who also rode and you can see it was not something I could even avoid if I wanted to. It eventually led me to, at 15, stealing my brother’s bike and riding it on the streets of our neighborhood when he was not at home. That behavior ended quickly when I eventually wrecked his motorcycle. It is a funny story (now it’s funny, nobody was laughing at the time, especially my brother) that I will share at another time.

Then fast forward through years in military service, followed by marriage and family that did not lend itself to hobbies that are inherently dangerous. Yes, my time in combat was dangerous, but it was not a hobby, it was my job. And yes, riding a motorcycle is a dangerous activity. Once I had a child, I had to give up all the dangerous hobbies. No more jumping out of airplanes, no more motorcycles, no more weekend bomb disposal just for kicks. Someone else needed me to be around long enough to see them grow into an adult, and I was happy to do it.

Eventually, my children grew into adults and I could return to some of these hobbies without guilt or fear. But it didn’t happen overnight. I had become accustom to those things not being a part of my life, and really did not think I missed them. It wasn’t that I wanted to indulge and felt I shouldn’t anymore. I had simply forgotten the joy these things brought me. As it is for everyone, my circle of friends changes from time to time. Sometimes we must let go of the old and we are always greeted with the new. Some of my newer friends were avid life-long riders. One in particular even worked at a local Harley dealer. I would meet them for coffee and be jealous as the rode off on their bikes. They constantly reminded me of what I was missing and I eventually succumb to the allure again. I bought a small motorcycle, took my test and got my license, and began to join them for rides. Sometimes we knew where we going, but more often we did not. We just wanted to be in the saddle with the wind in our hair. My love for two wheels was reignited, and only grew as my skill level increased and newer, bigger bikes joined my stable. So, my love affair returned and I could again indulge in one of my greatest delights.

But that is not where the writing came from. My older brother, mentioned earlier, and I had always had a difficult time having a close and loving relationship. Figuring that all out would take an entire blog, help from many experts, and probably require me to admit things about myself and my own attitudes that are not easy to reconcile. But, luckily, for me we did not have to. A few years ago, my brother had a heart attack and was diagnosed with heart disease that would ultimately be terminal. They gave him a few years to live at best. He came face to face with his own mortality and it changed him drastically. I came face to face with the prospect of losing my brother and it changed me drastically too. We were forced to put aside any petty differences and embrace the time he had left. We let go of the past and found away to show each other the love we had for one another. It was nothing short of amazing. I would have never dreamed that we could be as close as we had become. And with things from the past put away, we were able to share with each other the love we had for riding. Given different circumstances, there may have been regrets about all the time we had lost with each other, but our limited time left together did not allow for anything but moving forward and focusing on the now. We rode together every chance we got. I still idolized him and we were now in a place where I could tell him I loved him and feel his love in return. Every minute together on the bikes or off was a real treasure. I learned the unwritten code of being a biker from someone who lived the lifestyle and I will always be indebted to him for that.

And although we all knew what the future held for him, his passing was still a great loss for me. Mourning his passing and replaying all our times together on the motorcycles led to a lot of feelings I am not well-equipped to deal with. I struggle with mourning. I am not an overly emotive person to start with, but at the time of someone’s passing I feel the inherent need to be the strongest and least emotional. The tears just never come. It is not a good thing, it is just a thing and I am not sure how to learn to handle it differently. I still have so much growing to do. But the feelings were there nonetheless and I had to find a way to process them. So they poured out in poems and short writings that all centered around our shared love of riding. I have rarely shared any of it, as that is not why I wrote them. It was my catharsis. And once on paper I could seem to let go a bit.

But I have made this new category because I want to share them. Sharing them will not help me. I have made my peace with things and am a better person for it. But they may help someone else. And, as I said before, if anything I write or say can help one person, it would be selfish to not share. As it is with most authors, all of my original compositions are copyright protected. This is done as I do not want someone else to profit financially from my work without some recourse on my part. It does not mean that I am not happy to have you share or use anything you like, with the simple requirement of stating its origin.

Stayed tuned for entries in this new category. If you are a rider or know someone who is, I hope that you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing. If not, no worries. I will be adding entries in many of the other categories too. Thanks to all my readers for your continued patronage and support! Keep the shiny side up!

6 Responses to “A New Category”
  1. In a way, I envy the strength you had to address the past and let it go so that you could develop that closeness. I often wondered, if I got into riding, I might have developed the same sense of closeness. I’m so glad you had that opportunity.

    Another well written blog post! Again, welcome back!

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thanks Sis! Certainly our proximity helped in having time to spend together. And our shared joy of riding gave us common ground to work from. Both huge advantages!

  2. Nathan AM Smith says:

    Love this. Very reflective and well-written.

  3. Look forward to your riding posts. Following!

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