American Skid Marks
Setting out on a great American motorcycle roadtrip.

Movin and Groovin. Shuckin and Jivin.

Actually, technically, the only one of those things that I’ve been doing the last couple weeks is Movin’. Unless frantically working on my bike could be considered Groovin’, the last few weeks have been a laborious process of packing up all of my shit and moving it out of my Queen Anne apartment.

I own a lot of shit. Having to pack all of it up and move it gave me a chance to reflect on just how little direct happiness most of it brings me. I mean, bumper stickers and hippies have been telling me my whole life how possessions won’t make me happy. Hell, pretty much everyone you talk to on the street will tell you that. In fact, if you’re reading this you’re probably scratching your head and thinking, “Duh! Of course possessions won’t make you happy!” We all know this to be true, yet somehow we all get wound up in a tizz chasing our assess round and round in circles after that green demon dollar. Like having more of it will buy us just a little bit of peace and a little bit of freedom and then we’ll go on that African safari we’ve always dreamed about.

Don’t get me wrong, if I didn’t make good money I couldn’t afford to do this trip. I couldn’t afford my bike, the gas, the gear, the training or to take what will amount to almost a year off of work to indulge in my passion. But shit, don’t we all get just a bit too focused on the means and forget too much about the ends. There’s got to be a reason for dragging your ass to work. And two weeks a year just doesn’t fucking cut it. Does it?

I’ve gotten a lot of different responses from folks when I tell them about what I’m up to. The strangest would have to have been my dad’s. He said, “What? You don’t have time!” Like I was off schedule for some fateful meeting. Like I needed to catch up to where my life was supposed to be. Maybe. Maybe I’m off track. Maybe I should get my shit together and go get a job and stop this motorcycle nonsense. But I guess I’m going to fuck this up. The schedule of my life will have to wait.

The other most curious response was, “What’s wrong?” As in, “What’s wrong with Mike that he would abandon his career for a year to ride his motorcycle?” Seriously? What are we all chasing so hard? Where is the finish line, and what is the prize? A bigger big screen TV? A fancier car? A bigger house to store all of your shit?

Yeah, moving is a pain in the ass. But it gave me a chance to look at each and every possession I have and evaluate its worth. I’d take four months on the road with my motorcycle over the biggest big screen on the planet. Any. Day. Of. My. Life.


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