All my life I’ve brainwashed my sons to never buy, ride, or be a passenger on a motorcycle.
“Do not get on a motorcycle. It’s too dangerous,” I would tell them whenever they mentioned the “m” word.
I’ve always been proud of saying “no” to any offers of being a motorcycle passenger. Why? Because Mom brainwashed me to “just say no,” and she was right.
I grew up in Paris where young guys slalomed through dense traffic at 80 miles per hour, without helmets, often ignoring the French, priorité à droite, rule. If you’re not aware of this rule, please read carefully, just in case you plan on renting a car in France. This could save you a potential accident.
The priorité à droite rule states that any car, or motorcycle merging or sideswiping you from the right, has the right of way. Unless there is a traffic light or stop sign, you’re the culprit. If a car dashes out out of nowhere, you’re toast.
Everyone I meet, has a motorcycle accident story to share about broken bones, with multiple titanium and screws, amputated limbs or tragically, death.
A few years ago I met a 23-year-old man lifting weights at my local gym. He had a super muscular upper body, and when I looked down, I noticed two prosthetic legs. Both legs were amputated at the knee.
“Did you serve in Afghanistan?” I asked.
“No, a car hit me on my motorcycle. I lost both legs.”
I loved his warm smile and attitude.
“I speak to high school kids about the danger of riding motorcycles,” he continued.
I swore I would never ever ride, or worse yet, be a passenger on a motorcycle until Skip read my book, Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family’s Year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island and said,
“Come on Sonia, you’re Gutsy, aren’t you?”
To which I didn’t reply. I made a cowardly decision to try it, instead of saying what I truly believed.
“There are different kinds of Gutsy and I’m not the adrenaline-rush type of Gutsy. I’m more of a travel around the world and experience new adventures, type of Gutsy.
So what made me hop onto the back of a guy’s BMW a week ago?
Yes, I do look happy, but Sonia always smiles when you click a camera in her direction.
Skip took me along Santiago Canyon, on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon; a favorite road for bicyclists and motorcyclists to ride along stretches of country-like roads meandering through the canyon.
We landed at Cook’s Corner, a bikers’ haven with shiny bikes all over the place, loud music and lots of booze and tattoos.
Truthfully, I felt more at ease with the Masai Mara tribe in Tanzania, than the crowd at Cook’s Corner.
I’m glad I did not get addicted to motorcycles, and that I had the guts to say,
“I have many dreams, and I am not willing to put myself in any situation that could prevent me from pursuing my goals.”
In all fairness, I could not relax. I am totally focused on my goals, and I do not want anything to stop me from my next travel adventure.
Do you love motorcycles?