Note: At the end of May, six riders participated in the annual Nick B Brown Birthday Motorcycle Tour. This year we visited “the forgotten corner” of Washington. A big thanks to my dad for taking the time to write and allow me to publish the following story. Part 1 covered the pre-ride details. Part 2 took you on the ride with us. We finish the tale with “the data.”
So – I’m a Data Guy
And my GPS stores and delivers all kinds of data about the ride. For your enjoyment, here is a sampling of data I pulled from my GPS.
Our route through (1) Twisp; (2) Colville; (3) Republic; (4) Twisp (click to enlarge):
The passes we crossed and their elevations (click to enlarge):
Our speeds, sampled about every 400-500 feet. Dark line is a moving average … and upon reflection we were really moving, not so average after all! (Click to enlarge.)
Why do I ride? Does it have to mean anything? What do I think? How do I feel?
For my entire life, I have enjoyed activities that many people consider risky or dangerous. Flying an airplane. Scuba diving. Riding a motorcycle. Climbing (mostly in my youth – not so much after two knee surgeries). The theme that holds them together is that every one of these activities requires training and pays enormous dividends for paying close attention. I have spent most of my working life in activities that involve pretty high mental stress. I wake up in the morning thinking about them. I drift off to sleep thinking about them. I dream about them. Okay, TMI.
I like flying, diving, motorcycling – because they require so much attention, that the attention, itself, crowds out these other concerns. I like riding fast, powerful motorcycles because I am forced to ignore all else while I’m on a bike doing 65 mph through a mountain curve marked at 40. I don’t have, repeat, do not have, a death wish but it is exhilarating. I repeat to myself the mantra, “I – must – get – this – right, or …” And I seriously focus on getting this right.
My dive computer continuously computes depth, nitrogen absorption, remaining bottom time. I trust technology that my life depends on … or, if not, I don’t use the technology. That’s why I keep a printed dive table and manually calculate surface intervals, for example. I trust my bike, my tires, my skills … or I wouldn’t ride. Maybe some day I will become so old I can’t trust my skills, my experience, my bike and my technology. And I’ll give up the holy game of poker with the devil.
I hope it is many years from now.
I rode motorcycles in college, both for work as a Park Policeman in Montana, and recreationally in Italy during a study abroad experience. And my daughter and son-in-law reintroduced me to the sport almost 10 years ago. Partly I ride because I like the shared experience with them. I treasure the time we spend together on our moto tours. My daughter has come by her sense of adventure honestly and married an adventuresome spirit. I love that we can adventure together.
I love … that we can adventure together.
Let’s go exploring!