A year ago, I wished a happy new year to CMG’s growing readership, and I made a promise: “This year, I want motorcycles to help me realize something that I’ve not properly understood,” I declared. “I want that time in the saddle, and that time talking with others who ride, to help me understand my world a little better… A year from now, I’ll tell you what I learned, and that’s a promise.”
Well, there’s been plenty of riding and shooting the shit in the last 12 months. I learned that scooters really aren’t so bad, and that if you want to get out and travel on your bike, it only takes willpower. I learned that I really like the Honda CB1000R, and that it doesn’t always pay off to save money on a motel room. And I learned that electric motorcycles still have a way to go before they can be mainstream.
But the biggest thing I learned? Don’t take it for granted, because it can all be lost in a moment. You can die with your boots on or die with them off; you can lose your licence and become uninsurable; you can find yourself in a situation where a motorcycle just isn’t practical, and is too much of a burden to maintain.
This is nothing new, of course. People have passed on this advice since the beginning of speech, but we usually shrug it away as well-intended waffle. As I get older though, and my body starts to stiffen in ways that I don’t want it to, and I start to lose friends in ways that were never expected, I appreciate it more.
So get out there and enjoy it every day that you can. If you’re in Toronto, go to the big motorcycle show this weekend and plan for your spring, summer and fall, and even next winter. If you’re anywhere else, start planning anyway – the new riding season is only three months away, and it doesn’t even have to be as distant as that.
Keep the rubber side down in 2020 and make the most of it. Happy new year!