Kelly Takes On: The Open Highway

Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way…

If my day had a theme song, this would be it.  These were the words that were playing over and over in my head. For an hour, I felt free…I felt alive…I felt like I was “Born to be Wild”!

So what had me feeling like a “true nature’s child“?  For the first time in my life, I rode a motorcycle.

I realize many of you may think that this really isn’t a big deal; I do understand that people ride motorcycles all the time.  But I have to be honest, I never really understood the appeal. They’re loud.  Your hair gets all messed up.  They don’t look very comfortable–especially for the “back seat” passenger.  You have to pray it doesn’t rain.  I just never had a desire to get on one.

That is, until now.

And I knew just the person who could help me with my “newbie” biker adventure: my step-dad, Steve.

See, Steve bought a motorcycle a while ago and was just as excited as a kid on Christmas morning the day he drove it home.  I’m pretty sure he had visions of my mom and him spending the weekends together driving down country roads .  He thought the two of them would take trips, go exploring, hop on the bike and have adventures just the two of them.

There was just one, teeny-tiny problem…my mom.

Like me, she had also never been on a motorcycle.  But after just a couple of rides on Steve’s new toy, let’s just say she had her fill.  (See my reasons listed above.)

So long story short, my step-dad was THRILLED to have someone ask to go for a ride, and I was just as excited to give this motorcycle thing a whirl.

I was just a little excited for my first bike ride...

I was just a little excited for my first bike ride…

So I strapped on my “brain bucket” (aka helmet), and we were off.

In the beginning, I had a tight hold around my step-dad’s waist, nervous that I would somehow fall off the bike.  Here’s a quick fact for you: there aren’t seat belts on motorcycles.  Maybe this is obvious, but I didn’t know this and it seemed weird to me.

As we turned the corner and picked up speed, I was really surprised by my reaction.  I expected the ride to be thrilling, kind of like the feeling you get on a roller coaster.  But within moments, I realized I was wrong.  It wasn’t thrilling…it was relaxing!  It was as if all the stress of my day was left on the road behind us.

In the realization of this newly found state of zen, a sudden urge came over me…and I couldn’t resist.  I let go of my step-dad’s waist and reach my arms out as far as I could.  I felt like I was flying.  Yep, for a moment I channeled my inner Kate Winslet and felt like I was “king of the world” (or queen of the world) as we drove down the road.

I'm pretty sure I looked like this....

I’m pretty sure I looked just like this….minus Leo behind me.

Besides my Titanic reenactment, I did have two favorite memories that will stay with me…

  1. Did you know there’s etiquette you need to follow when you see another biker coming in the opposite direction?  There is!  Bikers signal “hello” to each other with a subtle hand movement…it’s like a secret handshake, a recognition that you’re part of the club.  And as childish as it may sound, I smiled every time I got to swing my arm down by my leg and give my fellow riders a simple peace sign as hello.
  2. At one point on the drive, my step-dad and I were on this country road–no one else around, and well, we **maaaaayyyyy** have broken the speed limit just a little.  Ok, maybe a lot.  It had to be done.  What would my first motorcycle ride be if I didn’t get to see what over 80 miles an hour felt like on a bike.  (Let me tell you…it feels awesome.)

I was surprised by how much I loved riding.  Not only is a great escape, but it gives you a new perspective–roads that I had been on a million times looked different, I noticed so much more.

I didn’t realize until later, but today was Grandparents Day.  (I am normally very on top of all Hallmark holidays, so I’m very upset with myself for missing this.)  My step-dad is an amazing grandfather to my two little ones, so I absolutely hated myself for overlooking the special day.  I should have been the one giving the gift…instead, he ended up giving me an incredible gift…a memory I will not forget.

Steve–thank you for loving my mom so much (even though she refuses to ride on your motorcycle), for taking such good care of my sister even when it’s exhausting, for absolutely spoiling my kids–playing tag with them, letting them ride on your back like a pony…and for being like a dad to me.  I don’t know if I can really tell you how much today meant to me–I loved being able to spend time with you, just the two of us.  I know that these words are belated, but they are written with absolute sincerity…Happy Grandparents Day.  I love you.

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4 thoughts on “Kelly Takes On: The Open Highway

  1. I never realized I too have been channeling Kate when Steve and I take a ride, however, my mantra is “I’ll never let go!”

    So glad you enjoyed your ride and your time with Steve – do it again anytime! LU

  2. Pingback: 2013 Christmas Challenge: Day #10…A Pint of Kindness | Measured in Moments

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