Racing is Life

Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting.

Steve McQueen

So says the guy fresh off a little tumble off the Triumph into a cow field. As these things go, it was over in a flash. I’ve de-constructed the moment a hundred times. I just fucked it up. Not paying enough attention. I was getting a little bored at the pace so was pushing hard. Too hard apparently. Especially for that beautiful cruiser. If I had been on the BMW the crash almost certainly would not have happened. But so it goes.

The boys reacted well. It was immediately obvious my arm was broken. So they got the bike tucked away behind some bushes. I flagged a ride with a super nice retired couple who came by and they drove me the 40 miles to the nearest hospital. The wife turned in her seat to talk to me the entire way–keeping eye contact to make sure I was okay. I cradled my arm and tried to hold it steady on the winding and hilly road.

Very sweet folks. Lars and Allen graciously went back and trailered my bike. I ordered pizza and got whisky and when they got back we surveyed the damage to my machine.

Then we drank and ate and talked about riding motorcycles and the best roads and the best rides. But also the responsibility and occasional danger. The adrenaline. The fun. Living life as fully as possible. All those things.

I had passed Lars just a few miles before the crash–again, a little bored with what I felt was too slow a pace for that amazing stretch of road. But my game was off and there were plenty of red flags. I had blown a turn just before the crash but still did not heed the obvious signs. And the wrong bike. I was actually on my way to switch the Triumph for the BMW, but at the last minute decided to take the cruiser. A fateful decision.

But life is meant to be lived. And bikes are meant to be ridden and occasionally raced and our bodies and minds are meant to be tested and pushed. There is something to be learned in every event. I maintain that I remember every rugby game I played in. Or at least the key moments. And especially those times when the violence and intensity was at peak. When I tackled big men at pace, or they tackled me. But we got back up and moved again into the chaos to do our jobs.

We are reminded at these times how vulnerable our bodies are. But we remain attracted to the testing of ourselves against others–or against a winding road on a motorcycle.

Allen and I are already planning our next ride–probably Asheville in March. I’ll take the BMW and put the Triumph back to just looking bitchin on short rides around town.

Writing is slow and difficult so posts will be short for a while. The crash was on October 23 and surgery on the 29th. So now just a clumsy ass cast that gets in the way and annoys me, but just a moment in time.

Meanwhile, Britt and I have been eating and drinking and hanging out. I’m being indoctrinated into Harry Potter movie world which is something I never considered or imagined happening. I traveled to Boston last week for work which was a little burdensome with the injured and sore wing.

We took the family to Lewisburg and Black Dog Ridge last weekend. A beer and food tasting tonight. Life goes on. With a cast.

No other news of note.

Humbly submitted.

2 thoughts on “Racing is Life

  1. A lot of happy looking pictures there. I hope you heal up fast. Can’t say I have ever had a bike, but I did play Rugby and I remember every game I played before I broke my collar-bone and gave up up so I wouldn’t ruin my chance on a Navy commission and then served another 22 years doing other risky things. I traded one risk for other risks. As you say – life is worth living, you just have to chose how to live it.


    1. Thanks for the nice comments. I’m always glad to connect with like-minded people.


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