A group of six men were sitting at a picnic table, taking a break from hiking. We were pondering life, purpose, possessions, and personal identity (pretty heavy stuff I know). There was some serious wrestling with our past and current obsession with “things”. We all realized, at some level, that we had been (and still are) guilty of letting our stuff and accomplishments dictate our self worth and ultimately identify who we were as a person.
At a particularly sobering moment in the discussion, Dan tried to lighten the mood with a dose of self-shaming-sarcasm and said… “but I’m so sure that if I just bought a Triumph motorcycle that I would be happy and could have a complete life” (or something very similar to that).
We all laughed and joined in the “joke” by each of us revealing our desire to own motorcycles… “Oh, I know, I could really be a man, if I only had a motorcycle…” and “…riding a motorcycle would definitely make me cool…” etc…
Surprisingly, we didn’t know that we all shared the interest in two wheeled mayhem. Yet each of us had various reasons for not doing it. At this point, none of us owned a bike and only Dan and Kevin had any real experience on a motorcycle as adults.
The main excuses that were sited for being bike-less seemed to fall into two classifications: cost or risk. At this point in the conversation I said, “I have the answer to those issues: MINI-BIKE!”.
Amidst laughter, I explained that minibikes were immensely cheaper and safer (at least perceived to be) than a powerful / fast / full sized motorcycle. I made this point as I showed photos of vintage mini-bikes on my iPhone.
As we all laughed at the thought of us forming a “mini-bike-gang”, it became clear there was more to our bike-less condition than the simple dollars and danger problems. Really each of us at the table had, at some level, decided it was better to deprive ourselves of the motorcycle experience than let it take our time away from what life should really be about.
Again, the conversation turned more existential in nature and we discussed if there is a “right” place in our life for things like motorcycling when responsibility and devotion to higher things can be so easily sacrificed to the trivial and self absorbed “stuff” like bikes.
Of course the answer is yes. It is possible to enjoy the “things” of life and still keep priorities in line. Ultimately it is about where you seek your identity and not being defined by our stuff or activities.
So we left that hike on a mission. To embrace the motorcycle life – actually scratch that. We left on a mission to embrace life that also includes motorcycles as a part of it – specifically mini-bikes – without allowing it to consume us.
The hunt was on, searching the web for suitable mini-bikes. About 10PM that night my buddy Will found an early 80’s Honda CT-110 for sale on eBay in Colorado Springs. We joked that he should fly out and ride it home… and so the discussion began about riding to Colorado on Mini-Bikes.
…You know, I suppose the title of this post should be “Be careful what you joke about”… because now we are planning the trip to Pikes Peak on mini-bikes and motorcycles.