Getting ready for a big ride from Phoenix, AZ to Leakey, TX to meet friends from an online motorcycle-philosopher forum. I’ve been looking forward to this for months. Purposely had the Tiger delivered to Phoenix so it would be south of the snow line and ready to go.
But am I ready to go?
The shortest route is 940 miles each way, plus a couple days riding with my “gang.” I’ve tried to anticipate all that I would need. Then put half of it back away again. That’s standard packing procedure, and doubly important when you’re traveling by motorcycle. Truth is, once I head out there’s not much a credit card can’t solve. I don’t need to travel with a lot of baggage when I can be resilient in the moment.
A buddy coming from CA planned to be my riding partner. Buddy systems are good, especially when I know I’m still a novice. There’s a safety element, but there’s also the friendship. Sharing the ride would be much of the fun. Looking at the weather, he’s considering bagging it. Do I go on alone? He knows more about distance riding – and weather – than me. Perhaps he’s seeing something I’m missing. So I take the time to correlate the weather reports with the map for the right days. To face it. See what's really there.
The weather does look bad for some of the days. Wind is really tricky on two wheels. But my confidence isn’t placed in the weather. It’s in my intelligence to adapt to the changing situation. I have choices. Sit it out for a while. Slow down. Even turn back. At least I’ll know I tried.
I’m going. Perhaps it’s foolhardy. I don’t mind the risks. Neither the risk of getting caught in wind and rain, nor the risk of turning around and coming back. I’ve looked at the “what-ifs” and brainstormed a few contingencies. Besides, my ability to adapt has a better track record than the weather man anyway!
What do you trust?
Are you ready?