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?
Sonia, Yes! I like riding on motorcycles. I haven’t been on one in at least 20 years though. I don’t know anyone who owns one or I would ask to get a ride. I think its great that you stepped out of your comfort zone and did something “gutsy!” Life is short, take a chance.
Yes, there are people who get hurt on them but just last night I saw a news report about a man standing on the sidewalk, next to a retaining wall and was killed by a car, that swerved to miss another vehicle. You would think standing on a sidewalk is pretty safe, but that night, it wasn’t.
You said you weren’t comfortable and that’s ok. You still tried it and found out its not for you. For me, stepping outside my comfort zone helps me grow as a person.
Sonia Marsh says
Thanks for your comment and yes, I do agree that stepping out of your comfort zone helps you grow as a person. It sounds like you miss it.
Sonia Marsh recently posted..I Did Something I Told My Kids Not to Do