Wind Therapy

Many folks will read the title of this blog post and know instantly what I will be talking about.

As I go thru life I have done and enjoyed a good number of things. One that I did when younger, then missed out on for about forty years, and have taken up again, is riding a motorcycle.

Riding a bike on an open road provides that magic panacea, “wind therapy”.

It matters not whether one is alone, or with a group, wind therapy is present.

Like many bikers, I frequently ride alone, often on lightly traveled roads that have varying characteristics (up and down, nice curves), usually at or near the posted speeds. It can be, to a degree, therapeutic, this wind therapy.

Other times, we ride in groups, perhaps two or three riders, often about ten or so, sometimes many more as is shown in the video below.

Leaving Wainwright heading towards Edmonton.

This ride occurred in August 2018. The Rolling Barrage is a rolling fundraiser presented by Military Minds Inc, in support of veterans, serving members and first responders, as a show of strength, and unity to conquer the stigma of PTSD. A good number of the participants ride from the Atlantic to the Pacific across Canada. A number of our local veterans rode from Edmonton to Wainwright (just over 200 km) to meet the Rolling Barrage and accompany them to Edmonton. The video is from my helmet cam showing us leaving Wainwright with a police escort.

Most bikers are very generous people and we can often be seen getting our wind therapy by riding in fundraising charity events. A definite win-win situation.

The reason for this blog post in mid-December. Well… I miss my wind therapy! Although I can’t get out on the bike in a Canadian winter (it is hibernating in the garage), today I can reminisce with my videos and share with others, giving me a pseudo fix at least.

Do We Ever Really Grow Up?

I have always considered that one of the most unfair questions to ask a young person is “What do you want to be when you grow up?”.

There are a couple of reasons I believe that question to be unfair.

First, generally when young we may have an idea what we’d like to be, however it is really a moving target as we gain knowledge and life experience.

Second, at almost sixty-eight, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

For instance, recently I, in a manner of speaking, regressed in age. How did I do that, you might ask. Well, after more than forty years since the last one, I went out and bought a motorcycle. Not just a small bike, but 1500cc of powerful, heavy, cruiser.

2017-05-09 17.03.39I can assure you, there was definitely a period of adjustment, because of the time away from hitting the road on two wheels, and also due to the fact that this bike is twice the size of any previous machine.

And then there was the matter of a proper licence. In Alberta, to legally ride a motorcycle, one has to have a Class Six licence. Although I had an Alberta motorcycle licence previously, due to the passage of time, and the changes in provincial systems, it was decreed that I must take the written and practical tests anew as my old records could not be located. Ah, but a minor blip in the process, fairly quickly dealt with.

Now I’m riding on a regular basis, meeting lots of new people, those who share the joy, love, passion (call it what you will), of being on a motorcycle. And I am finding that this group of people is way bigger than it was when I was riding those many years ago. As a matter of fact, there are approximately 130,000 registered motorcycles (including mopeds) in Alberta, an average of 30 bikes per 1000 people. This is a higher ratio than anywhere else in Canada.

Now I’m retired (kinda sorta), I work in a jail, I’m out on my motorcycle, I hang out with a bunch of bikers, I’m more heavily involved in Kiwanis than ever, I’m on our condo board, and I spend several months in Malaysia each year.

Sooo… what do I want to be when I grow up? Beats me, I figure I’ll never get there!