You know that little thing in you that is in the back of your mind at all times. That little twinge that makes you do the things you do…its that one honest to god drive..that makes all the things you do in life worthwhile. I think we all have it. Its our motivator, it’s the thing that makes our engines run as fast as they can to get to that place.
Mine…riding. Let me explain.
All my life I was lost, if you read the book I hope to finish before I die, maybe you will understand a bit more, until then I will try to fill you in here.
With little memory of my childhood, the one thing I remember most, my brother and my uncle. Oh how I wished I was a boy! Oh how I wished I got to do what they got to do. My brother big into motorcycles and cars. Building from scratch, frame and up both the cars and motorcycles. Both my uncle and brother raced. I secretly loved it. I am sure once or twice in some small way I shared my love with them, but no-one really caught on how much I really appreciated the motorbike.
I remember never ever complaining about being cold when my brother needed to pick me up on the motorcycle or take me with him and he only had his bike. It was my pleasure, secretly. In fact, I wanted to be on the back of the bike all the time. But my time, would have to wait.
It wasn’t until after my children flew the coop that I decided that I would try to live my life the best that I can. In a marriage few people understood, not even me, I needed that outside thing to complete me, or at least try to search me out.
I have always wanted to ride, and until then, never had the opportunity or even the self-esteem to say it’s what I wanted to do. Until after my husband bought a new HD and we took a nice long ride that I decided I had waited long enough. I would wait no more.
I was enrolled in school, I did rather well, I was one of three woman and two other men. Success and testing out perfectly…my lifestyle started to change, but not like you would think. I dreamt of riding, I wanted to be on my bike at all times.
I gave up several times when I remember the first time I had ever dropped my bike. And I believe it was the first time I had ever gone anywhere with my bike by myself. It was a 2001 1200 Custom Sportster. Beautiful bike. I was stopped at a 4 way going to the grocery store. It was the first time I ever wore tennis shoes on my motorcycle. (I will tell you why this is a bad Idea later). It was my turn to go when I started my left turn from the 4 way stop and the car in front of me, forgetting I was there first and that he just approached, started his way through and of course, this being my first experience with a car coming straight at me on the bike, I stalled my bike, which I had never felt my bike stall before, and I dropped her, right there.
To much embarrassment, I had so much adrenaline in my veins that I had not a problem picking her up by myself. Much to the chagrin of the guy that came racing across the parking lot in all of chivalry to help me pick her up! Stop, I yelled, I can do it! and I did. I was in such embarrassment that I had decided never to ride a bike again, until the next day when my heart saw my bike and I just had to get back on. (There is a perfect way to pick up any motorcycle without the use of your adrenaline , although adrenaline is useful, the other way, is more safe and risk free and anyone can do it with no help at all.)
This urge that I had that day, to get back on my bike…continued and although I was on my bike daily, this urge became like my air. It was different it seemed to most everyone else I knew. I used my bike to commute and for my daily chores, my daily life as well as my past time. Where the other folks I had met, they were weekenders, warriors that had other priorities but their bike was their weekend jaunt.
Not me. It seemed as it became what helped me to finally breathe the air that was alotted me a long time ago, but I never had the vessel to claim it. It was if my life had been given a new lease and in time it would be reviled to me exactly what that would be.
I had an opportunity come across my lap one day while I was working…a acquaintance I had met was moving out of province and needed someone to take over a store, with contents. No purchase, just a contract of types as in consignment. Well after much of the contract was discarded rewritten and so much money put out for it…it was a done deal.
I open my own motorcycle shop. It was hairy, I had no clue! I had never run a store, but I have an intelligent mind, I had schooling in business management, I new what I expected as a customer in other retail establishments and I was good with numbers…sure, I can do this.
After a few months of owning the store, the previous only neglected the contract without warning and it was thrown out like yesterdays muddied paper. I was devastated…putting so much effort into the store to have the previous owner and friend renege on the contract voiding it…leaving me in with nothing but a half empty store and without the friendship or business contact.
But, I am woman, I am strong. This I kept saying to myself. I would make my store one that is of things that people would brag about on their journey through BC. I would not be big, but that little store that you just can’t miss, because it will change your life.
The life of the store died out and shut its doors just two years later, but, only because of an unscrupulous character I was going to partner with, it’s a long story that deserves its own article or even chapter. But the heart of the store is still there with past customers coming up to me all the time saying and you are going to reopen when as we really need somethings and we really miss it. This is the biggest complement that you will ever get when people remember you on a busy sidewalk and ask when to see you again.
After losing my store my devastation was dangerous and bad. I did everything to get work else where, but I couldn’t even get an interview. Nothing I had learned I went to school for. I learned it through my own will and want. When my suppliers, Chris and Bernie would come to my store, it was lesson time. They taught me about all the new stuff out there, they taught me what was good, mediocre and to use my own brain and make my own decisions on what quality was through knowledge and research.
So, each day I challenged myself to learn and to retain and not to forget. To get better and better at everything motorcycle. I still have the whole world of Motorsports to learn, but what I have learned so far could fill a whole world.
I’ve had some plans that met with challenges because I was in a marriage that was not beneficial to anyone, so my goals and desires became cumbersome to others and uninteresting. I rode alone, everyday, and it was ok. I rode all year, which no-one I knew did. In British Columbia many of my friends would say how is it pleasurable. If you have to ask, you would not understand. Rain, cold weather, why would that stop a passion, that is my question…especially when that passion is your air that you breathe.
Two years ago I worked for a company called Eagle Rider (and if posting this name gets me into trouble, so be it) and I was good at what I did. I worked very hard and just as good as either of the people who worked in this small store in Richmond BC.
I may not have worked there long, I may have run into men that didn’t appreciate a woman knowing more about a motorcycle then themselves. I may have run into to those that didn’t like rules and regulations because I was not persuadable in my efforts when a little flirting took place. Rules are rules and they are there for a reason. At the end of the season to show my passion for bikes and how much I desired to work in the industry all year-long, I was offered a job position in the same company in Florida, so I packed my bike for a journey that no-one will ever forget, lest me.
Two hours after getting to my destination, over 7300 miles ride in 5 days, I was sexually harassed by my new General Manager, and devastation took over my entire self yet again. I rode my motorcycle across the United States to be welcomed as a woman wanting to be treated as a thing, and object…NO! I was a person, dedicated in what I did, proving my dedication by making the move I did, because I wanted the work, but I could not live without the very essence of my being, my Beauty, my ride, my Heritage 2002, stage ii.
So, I left the next morning and returned to my humble beginnings. With a sharp “we just want you to keep your mouth shut” and no job to return to in the spring, I felt like I was taken out of the industry, that there’s was just no room for me any longer. That if it so very hard, it must not be for me. So I quit.
I quit looking for work with motorcycles, I quit. But even as my acting career was going, I worked as SAE in a few tv shows and movies riding this motorcycle. So, apparently I was not finished with my journey with the bike.
When your friend talks to you in the beautiful hum and purr of an HD engine, when that friend never lets you down…this is your ride. This is what you are meant to do, this is what and who you are and others cannot stop you…but you can stop you…you can stop dreaming and breathing and remembering its your life and to live it. I start and stop, and then…
And then you wake up and you sell your car, and you leave you loveless marriage and you pack a bag one day and fly to Europe. Europe, you’ve never been but you go…This was the start of my new book, it was the prelude to the new beginnings of Laura.
All I wanted to do was ride over here in Europe, but my chance to do that was limited by my Canadian funded credit card and the fact that well, I was not rich, I had not a lot of money to live on, and yeah if you do nit have a credit card, you have nothing.
So I didn’t ride, but I found a new beginning. A place to start a new…and if you are going to start a new and your life is about motorcycles and your life is a painting waiting for fresh paint…then Europe is its perfect start. The place of all places to be in the Motorsports industry is where all the big stuff happens…Europe.
Today I live in Paris. Just decided…no rhyme or reason really, I lived in Canada for 20 years being originally from the United States and seeing neither of those are options for my liking, why not! It’s a starting point and my whole world is an oyster.
Telling people everyday to live without regrets is a hard concept to grasp when you have a regret and you keep beating yourself up about it.
Before I came back to France in February I sold my bike the day before I left. I had tried and tried to bring it over, but it seemed the company to bring it over with, its priority was lunch and getting home before the snow rather than my money or the fact that I was on a totally different time zone. I had rude people in the customer service industry and I hated that I had to bend over backwards to receive service I was paying great big dollars for. So I sold Beauty.
For far less than her worth to me. But I sold her, she needs to help another realize their potential and I need to find another best friend to get me through my next book. It’s this one regret. I actually offered the owner, because he had not yet put the insurance on, or anything actually, a few more thousand than what he paid, just so I could have her back. I would have paid even more. But with a flat-out NO! I was put off and must move on.
My hunger to ride is extreme. Its depressing to the amount that it is. My breath is short, my heartbeat is irregular and every time I hear a bike, tears stream down my face. It’s as if I lost my right arm and I can no longer even form words and coherent sentences. Its as if I’m in that bird-cage and the key is dangling in front of the door mocking me.
And although I am bike less now, but looking for my new ride (hint), I am jobless for now, I am totally alone. Although I am scared shitless I do not know what I am doing, although I make no plans too far in advance because I am scared I will miss that door, I venture on. I will continue to ride this ride where ever it takes me. I know one day I will do what I am meant to do whether that be with motorcycles, or writing about motorcycles…or what ever this world would have in it for me…I am open. I live for today. And although everything does not go the way I want, I am in no regret of it…I guess I am even appreciating the lack of my Beauty.
I could live and breathe motorcycles. To just stare at one makes me happy. It’s the art that gives me life, and like love, that love I write about all the time, it’s a feeling that you would do anything to get. Anything. And that is my search…for that feeling…I will have it …I will get it because its my biggest desire!
So remember, when you have a desire this strong, when the thing that motivates you is so strong, don’t ignore it, follow it, down what ever path it takes you. Life is to be lived for now, today. Not tomorrow, if you wait till tomorrow, what if it never comes? What if there is no tomorrow, then you would have waisted today. Do not waste today, live it grab it, because it may soon be gone.