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Motorcycle Riding. And Blaming Others For Our Problems. (psst…not cool)

decisions

 

A few weeks ago I made a decision that I wasn’t going to tell anyone anymore about my (exciting, fun, adventurous, bucket listy) purchase of my new motorcycle. Although I was SUPER proud of having bought it after riding had been on my bucket list since high school, the comments and opinions I got when I told people really started to piss me off.

“That’s dangerous you know.”

“I know someone who died (is disabled, is injured, can’t walk, etc etc) from a motorcycle accident.”

“I would never get on one of those death traps.”

“You’re an idiot.”

And the worst:

Sigh….”Please be careful I would hate to see something happen to you.”

Although I know that these types of phrases technically come from a loving place, they annoyed me to the point of argument.

Like duh…like I hadn’t thought about the safety issues. Like I didn’t know already that they were dangerous. Like I hadn’t heard the same story of that one guy on that one road who died on a bike. It’s not a secret that motorcycles can be dangerous, so I felt like why the need to rain on my awesome new motorcycle parade with these quips.

And around the same time, I came across the quote:

“The critic hates the most that which he would have done himself if he had the guts” -Steven Pressfield

And thought…”That’s it!!!” That’s the quote that is going to be the reference for my blog post about my motorcycle. That ME living my life fulfilled and the way I want is somehow threatening to people because they just don’t have the guts to do it. And I had it in my head, the exact way to talk about it. Which basically just showed how awesome I am for doing it and how lame they are for telling me to be safe.

But something wasn’t right. I was too upset about what they were saying. I was wanting to be mean and “show them.” Which I know is an indicator for me to look inward. So I did the only thing a spiritual being in this situation can do. Reflect.

Why was I getting so upset at their concern for my safety? Why did it bother me so much they had a different opinion about it than me? And then it hit me.

It pissed me off because I was afraid they were right. I was scared too. I was afraid I’d die. Or get injured. Or something terrible would happen to me. Everything they brought up were fears I already had. It was like my fears telling me that these terrible things were definitely going to happen, and if I went for it, I’d be asking for it. Like “See…we TOLD you and you didn’t listen.” So every time someone would say something, it got added to the pot of my fears that already existed.

Which left me conflicted. Because learning to ride a motorcycle has been one of the proudest things I’ve ever done.

DESPITE these fears, despite the lack of support from family or friends, despite not having anyone I know to show me the ropes, despite how much it’s not accepted by society, or the motor safety division, I wanted to do it. I wanted to see for myself. I wanted to have that experience of shifting gears and rolling on the throttle and having the wind in my hair and the smell of the trees in my nose as the beautiful mountain landscape whizzes by me.

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I wanted to see for myself if it lived up to my fantasies.

And it does.

And what I came to after this reflection is another quote I came across recently which is:

“The more you stand behind what you’re doing, the less you need others to.”

It wasn’t that they were bad for telling me to be careful, but what it did instead was force me to stand behind my decision. To be firm. And proud. In the face of disagreement. And this lesson is perhaps one of the most important thus far.

It’s easy to blame other people when we feel upset. It’s easy to look outward when we’re hurt. But rarely, if ever, is it about other people. We have a whole world inside our minds and the more willing we are to look at it, the less suffering we’ll feel.

Yes I still get scared. Yes it still bugs me when someone reacts that way to me telling them I ride. But I know now that the place to look is my own leadership of my own life, and be proud of my decisions regardless. To make them for the right reasons. And to live MY life.

This is a Wildheart life. And I’m proud I did it.

I don’t know if I’ll do it forever. And it doesn’t matter to me. That I’ve done it at all and had that experience and taken it all into my own hands. Is what matters to me. There has been nothing like that feeling of riding my bike by myself for the first time. It got me. Boots chaps and sinker.

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So the next time you want to get mad at someone who has a different opinion you do. The next time your blood boils at something someone says, the next time you’re more upset than usual at a situation take some time to reflect. Might be a good time to re-evaluate what you stand for. Stand up for what you believe in and you won’t need others to.  The more you believe in what you’re up to the less it’ll matter whether or not other people think it’s a good idea.

What is something in your life you’re needing to stand behind? Leave a comment below.

XO, Sally

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44 Responses to Motorcycle Riding. And Blaming Others For Our Problems. (psst…not cool)

  1. You cannot possibly imagine how many times I have people that feel the need to share their opinions about my particular line of work. My personal favourite, “Don’t you know that [wrestling] is fake?” Noooo….say it ain’t so, Joe! I mean, it’s not like it hasn’t been publicly known as entertainment since about somewhere in the 80s…really…is that the best you got? My second favourite is, “Oh, don’t you know EVERYBODY streams?” Wow…a global population in the billions, and you can personally vouch for all of them? Pretty impressive…

    After all this, frustration isn’t even scratching the surface anymore. At this point, it’s more of a “You don’t “get” it, and it’s clear you won’t, so whatever.” Really, it’s not the most inspiring thing to say, but I learned a long time ago, whether it be racism, some other prejudice (“All military people are stupid, and that’s why they join the military, because they’re too dumb to get into college on their own!”), or just a general close-mindedness, as the comic Ron White says, “You can’t fix stupid”.

    Contrary to what logic and common sense would dictate (“Ignore them!”), I actually enjoy very much listening to my detractors. It, combines with my extreme arrogance and competitive nature, encourages me to greater success. I find that listening to your detractors is a far greater motivator than listening to your supporters. It’s your detractors that will tell you exactly what is wrong with your business model and how to fix, so you can succeed to an even greater extent.

    • Sallyhope says:

      I absolutely agree that it’s the people that disagree with us that force us to take a stand and/or change something that isn’t working. Essentially, that’s what this post is about. About how when you are met with resistance, how that affects your own strength in your decisions. Thank you again for sharing your story. It seems that you ALWAYS have a similar experience (wait so does that make you a supporter???) :)

      • I quote from TransFormers the Movie (1986).

        Hot Rod to Kup: “Something ALWAYS reminds you of something else!”
        Kup: “Experience, lad. You’ll learn to appreciate it.”

        • Sallyhope says:

          AHH HAHAHHAH! And hence the reason I can keep writing blog posts. Everything I do reminds me of something. Love this.

  2. Lisa C. says:

    Ooooooh! A motorcycle + those that care about you telling you to be careful? Kinda like dating a guy you know deep down you shouldn’t, huh?

    Degree of recklessness depends on you!

    Carry on, good woman!

    xo
    LC

    • Sallyhope says:

      Hahah I hadn’t been thinking about it like that. And that’s an interesting idea. Like “I know it’s dangerous but I’m gonna do it anyway!”

      Hmmmm. And from this perspective, you can’t expect your loved ones to be on board.

      Thanks for making me think. :)

  3. Kelly says:

    Hmm…well, it is your choice and I totally respect that…but when I said something it was purely out of love. While growing up all 4 of my brothers had motorcycles and no one got hurt, thank goodness. I love motorcycles! Our next door neighbor growing up was an emergency room doctor and told us all of his gory motorcycle accident patient stories and how he wouldn’t get on one because the odds of some idiot hitting you are too high. Unfortunately, just like when riding my bicycle, cars just don’t see us or respect us on the road. That’s what I’m afraid of. But when my brother wants to give me a ride, I hop on and enjoy it. It is just good to have a reminder now and then to reconsider if it is worth doing every day and increasing your chances. The danger, in my opinion, is more about the other drivers. xo

    • Sallyhope says:

      Hey lady…I totally agree. I think all the people who said it said it out of love and worry and concern for my safety. And what I came to was that me getting upset had nothing to do with them, or their love, but rather the idea that I had to make my own choices despite the opinions and fears I had myself.

      I love the concept of reconsidering it everyday. That’s how I look at it too. It’s a choice, every single time I get on that bike. Thank you so much for chiming in!

  4. If you feel the need for speed and exhilaration then a bike is probably one of the vest things you could ever get involved with. Personally I can’t let go of the fear that I could through no fault of my own end up a para/quadriplegic so easily, so it ruins it for me. Not so worried about the dying bit cause it’d be fast.

    I definitely think you should take into account that most people won’t ‘get it’ they’ll think it through and rationalise it and instead of doing what will fulfill them they do what they think is the best. Funniest enough we are REALLY bad at guessing what will make us truly happy, so I say YAY FOR YOU! Do whatever, be whatever, live free and try as many things out as you can cause you never know just how much that next thing has to offer until you’re out there ‘eatin up the tarmac on you’re blue thunderbolt!’

    • Sallyhope says:

      I totally hear you. And that fear is what took me so long to try. And then there came a point where I felt like “if not now, then when.” I just want to try. To say I did. And see how I feel on that bike. Otherwise, I’d ALWAYS wonder. And like I mentioned in a comment earlier, if I never get on a bike again I’d be fine.

      This gets thrown in the category of things I can cross off my bucket list. Thanks for your comment and support, always.

  5. Sara S says:

    Interesting blog. Although I would definitely think that the people trying to talk you out of it care for you and don’t want something bad to happen to you that could be preventible.

    Clark told me a while ago that he wanted a motorcycle and I talked him out of it. Not because I don’t want him to do something he is interested in but because I don’t want to get a call from the police telling me that I’m now a single parent. I don’t want our kids growing up without a father. Think of what would happen if you do get in an accident, which unfortunately is highly likely because of all the terrible drivers out there. Who would be getting the call that you were injured? Who would have to sit beside your hospital bed praying that you make it through? Car accidents are very common but at least you have thousands of pounds of steel protecting you. On a bike it’s just you. I’m all for taking risks and doing what you want to do but I also think you need to balance how an injury to you would affect your family and the people that love you.

    • Sallyhope says:

      I totally hear where you’re coming from with this. For sure. And I definitely thought about this and many many other things before I got my bike. And I think what it really came down to for me is that if I make my decisions based on what other people might think or feel, I’d do nothing. Most of what I’ve done has been a risk. I do understand that this is a bigger risk than a lot of other things, but in my mind it all goes into the same category. If there is something I’m really called to do and curious about but I don’t do it because of the possibility of hurt, then where do I draw the line. Why go get in an RV? Why shoot guns? Why fall in love? Why travel around the country totally alone? Why hunt? All things dangerous and risky that people will tell you not to do (except maybe the love part). Also all things that have totally changed my life.

      I don’t love thinking about anyone getting calls from the police based on anything I do. I don’t love the idea of what could happen to me. But at the end of the day, I know it’s my choice to make. I don’t have children yet. And yes of course there are people who love me that would hate to see anything happen to me, but that’s not how I want to live my life.

      This decision was a really long, thought-out decision. A lot of what you brought up had me not doing it sooner. I like to think of myself as a grounded free-spirit. A safe risk taker. And if I never ride my bike again, I’d be fine. For me, that isn’t the point. I wanted to learn. To see for myself. And I’m glad I did.

      • Sara S says:

        I don’t think the other things you mentioned are anywhere near as risky as riding a motorcycle. But, when I read your blog I was reacting to the thought of you riding a motorcycle in LA. That is insanely dangerous and I witnessed a horrific motorcycle crash last year so I’m totally biased. I’m sure where you are there is a lot of wide open road and way less hazards and it is much safer then here. I’ve also gone skydiving twice so I guess I’m not really one to talk. Ha!

        • Sallyhope says:

          Oh lady…I TOTALLY hear you. I can’t say for 100% sure but I don’t ever plan on riding in LA. That shit is crazy. :) The only places I’ve ridden so far have been country roads and neighborhoods in order to get there. Also, I’ve taken TWO safety courses with over 50 hours of riding and skills training. Got 100% on all my tests (riding and written), am reading the book “Proficient Motorcycling,” read blogs, reach out to other motorcycle friends and have my gear. So it’s not like I just hopped on the bike and went. :)

          And yeah…I was actually going to bring up your skydiving adventures and other shenanigans. :)

          Love you and your opinions. They make me think. XOXO

  6. Darío Medina says:

    I love it!!! I really do love it!!!
    Hello, Sally! As you know or you may remember, I am having my motorcycle license. It will take me some time yet, as here in my country I must pass a theory exam, then a practice in a closed circuit and then at last a driving exam in the streets of my city. I’m having the theory exam next tuesday. But the thing is that I completely identify myself with everything you wrote. I also was told not to do it; that it is so dangerous; I was told the stadistics of deadpeople

    • Sallyhope says:

      Whoa you have to drive in the streets of your city to pass?! That’s pretty cool that they’re making sure you have the proper safety skills. Good luck!

  7. I think this is a great post, particularly writing around the two quotes the way you did. I haven’t gotten as much ‘flak’ for riding a motorcycle, which surprised me. I really thought my parents would be really not ok with it. Mom just said, you’re braver than me, kid. (me: or crazier, not sure which!) But when you have a good ride, it does feel damn good. I get home from a ride and I feel like I can do anything!

    When I do get statements like the ones above, I usually just say, ‘I hear you, they can be and I appreciate your concern’. But like Kelly said, a lot of the danger does come from cars not ‘seeing’ two-wheeled riders. My boyfriend has been hurt, I’ve been hurt, my dad got hurt – we still get back on because damn it’s fun! That recklessness is part of the thrill. I do my job every day, pay my bills, eat healthy, exercise, do all these dutiful things – please!! I need SOMETHING to shake me up! :) and I’m proud of you! I’ve been riding for two years and my stomach still flops a little when we get started on a ride!

    • Sallyhope says:

      Hey lady…I hear you about how it feels getting home from a ride. I smile too. And I love what you say when you get resistance. I think I’ll steal it. Because the bottom line for me is I DO appreciate the concern. I DO appreciate that I have people in my life who love me and want me around.

      Rock on biker sister. :)

  8. Darío Medina says:

    I love it!!! I really do love it!!!
    Hello, Sally! As you know or you may remember, I am having my motorcycle license. It will take me some time yet, as here in my country I must pass a theory exam, then a practice in a closed circuit and then at last a driving exam in the streets of my city. I’m having the theory exam next tuesday. But the thing is that I completely identify myself with everything you wrote. I also was told not to do it; that it is so dangerous; I was told the stadistics of dead, injured or disabled people; I know my mother and the rest of my family is left in a great concern and worry…
    What annoys me the most is that people who had his own bike and rode it happily until, yes, they fall from their bike or had an accident. Then they got scared, they became afraid of the bike and… they sold the bike and return to the use of the car or the public transport. And they told me about their bad experience and told not to have a bike: “it’s dangerous, you know”. And it pissed me off: “alright, it’s dangerous, I do know; but you DID have your own experience! Let me have mine!”. I will decide if I don’t like it; if it’s not the way I thought it was gonna be. If one fine day I had an accident I will decide if I get rid of my bike or I come back to it a little bit wiser and stronger.

    I want to have my bike. I want to have the experience. I want to decide what I want to do about it.

    Your blog is great, I totaly feel reflected in it. I feel just the same and I agree every single word in it. I LOVE it.

    I really like that you and I have our bikes almost at the same time. I love sharing these thoughts and feelings with such a Wildheart Girl like you, Sally. I fancy it would be nice having a ride with you and watch and feel those beautiful landscapes of your country (my country also have beautiful landscapes) ;-)

    All the best, take care of yourself and greetings from Madrid.
    Cheers!!

  9. Joy says:

    Great thought-provoking and heartfelt post, Sally, and the comments it has inspired are so varied! I’m damn proud of you. I think it’s great. You’re one to find your limits – the edges of your being – and push them a little bit every day. I’m a firm believer that doing things that exhilarate you, even scare you, brings growth. Sure, riding a motorcycle is risky, but it’s a calculated risk. Like the rest of life, if you’re doing it right. As with any big decision – starting a business, moving abroad, joining a derby league, buying a house, getting into a new relationship – you educate yourself, do your homework, save the money, invest in whatever will make you feel safe, talk your crazy idea through with people you trust, and generally do everything you can to prepare… then GO FOR IT.

    I have one more quote for you, a favorite of mine:
    “Everything I’ve done in life that was worthwhile, I caught hell for.” -Earl Warren.

    Ride on, Sally. Ride on.

    • Sallyhope says:

      I had entire body chills reading this entire thing. Thank you Joy, for your words.

      I agree, there are so many varied opinions on here, which I love because I don’t get to just blindly feel how I feel. I actually have to think about it.

      I also love your opinion, since your #wildherting self walks the talk. Derby and moving abroad. Facing risk. Doing things differenly. I absolute ADORE this quote “you educate yourself, do your homework, save the money, invest in whatever will make you feel safe, talk your crazy idea through with people you trust, and generally do everything you can to prepare… then GO FOR IT”

      I couldn’t agree more. It’s not just jumping in without considering the waters. It’s thinking about, researching the pool, learning to swim, knowing where your safety jacket is, knowing who to go to to teach you what they know, and then ultimately, jumping in hoping that all that you’ve prepared for gets you to the other side of the pool.

      I wish I could squeeze you right now. I am in spirit. Love this. Love the Earl Warren quote. Love you and am so proud of your own #wildhearting ways. See you on the flip side.

  10. Missus T says:

    As usual, this post is very timely. My bro-in-law (BIL) recently bought a motorcycle. He had been wanting one for several years. My sister, his wife, wasn’t really keen about the idea since they are planning on starting a family within the next year. She has the wisdom to know that she could weigh in on the idea, but ultimately buying a motorcycle is his choice.

    My husband was in a bad motorcycle accident while in college. He’s lucky to be alive and functioning at a high capacity. My husband was initially upset that BIL wouldn’t consider my husband’s experience / accident and make a different choice. My husband subsequently realized that like so many life-situations, you can’t imprint your experience on someone else. Everyone has to experience life in their own shoes (or chaps). We told BIL to always wear his helmet and not to assume other drivers see him, ever.

    When we all were discussing the pros and cons of the motorcycle I must admit that deep down inside I was labeling BIL as immature and hard-headed; how could he look past the dangers and my sister’s concern? Thank you for sharing your experience and insights. I realize it is possible BIL did weigh the concerns and objections and did not choose to defy or hurt his loved ones, he chose LIFE for himself, on his terms, knowing the risks.

    • Sallyhope says:

      Lady you bring up such great points and I love your addition to this discussion. Ultimately yes. We all live our own lives and make our own choices. And I love how you said “did not choose to defy or hurt his loved ones, he chose LIFE for himself, on his terms, knowing the risks.”

      Thank you for chiming in.

  11. Monica says:

    Those mountains are beautiful!! I’m so glad you did this.

    I often blame people for making me upset or ruining my day/evening. That kind of behavior can leave people you live with walking on eggshells, and then you walk on eggshells for their feelings and it’s not fun.

    Similarly, on the subject of hot wheels, a driving instructor years ago gave me this insight about road rage and drivers effecting you, “anger is a choice.”

    Also, the Pressfield quote reminds me of how jealousy can feel.

    Sticking the “decisions” artwork on my desktop. Thanks Sally! xo

    • Monica says:

      Also, I need to stand behind my attitude towards applying for my first big girl job. Lots of people are giving me opinions on what I should do, what I should accept or turn down, what would be “good for me” and I have to take it all with a grain of salt and not simply absorb and adhere (and feel awful!). Everyone is a mystery (in a good way!) so I can’t really judge others and their opinions either.

      • Sallyhope says:

        HECK YES. And thank you for sharing that. Anytime I hear “you SHOULD” anything, I sort of shut down. I think it’s important to hear it, and then make the decision on your own if it resonates or not. Love this. Behind you supporting you lady.

  12. Dani says:

    As with most of your posts, I can completely relate! As you know, I went through a very similar experience with my decision to move over 3,000 miles from the only home I’ve ever known — for no apparent reason to outsiders.

    Everyone had an opinion about the move and about Seattle… “Hope you like the rain!” “Why there?” “Why so far?” “”What will you do for work?” “You know taxes are higher?” “Aren’t you going to miss everyone?” Oh and more of “Get rain boots!” “Get an umbrella!” “Enjoy the sun while you can.”

    All as if I had NO IDEA Seattle is known for its rain – or the thought of missing people or the distance never crossed my mind. Explaining, and constantly defending my decision, was quite possibly the only negative experience in this whole move. And even after the decision was made and I’ve now been here for 2+ months – the negativity doesn’t necessarily stop. But my listening to them certainly did stop because like with your motorcycle — and ALL scary decisions — we have to find out for ourselves. And all this negativity in our heads and from others almost always comes from fear.

    And like you, I choose not to let fear get in the way of me living the life I want – not anymore.

    Great post! Enjoy the ride! And be safe! :)

    • Sallyhope says:

      Oh my gosh girl…SUCH a great point and looking back it was the same with Montana.

      “Why Montana? It’s in the middle of nowhere. Hope you like being freezing cold. Aren’t the winters brutal? You’ll be back. You say you like it now but wait until January then talk to me” and on and on and on.

      Same exact feeling. Like DUH!!!!! Why bother even telling me that? Is it really for MY benefit? Is it really because you think I haven’t realized that Montana is cold? I wonder what it is that makes us all do that.

      But like you…we all just have to make our own choices despite any of the negative talk (oftentimes cloaked in a “I’m just looking out for you” wolf suit). Coming from my mom, I believe that. But coming from people who barely know me…not so much.

      So proud of you for your move and so happy to hear that you’re loving it. You brave, courageous WILDHEART.

      Much love. See you SOON!
      Sally

  13. Gigi says:

    Really excellent thoughts. I’d also submit that we get annoyed about stuff like that because we want to feel like people understand us and while warnings do often come from a place of love, they don’t come from a place of “getting it.”

    I really like Torre DeRoche’s take on this, where she basically says “hey, you wouldn’t walk up to your newly pregnant friend and say ‘oh my god, but you could die in childbirth.’ So why is it okay to pooh-pooh someone’s less-conventional dream?”

    Anybody, no matter how much they love their decision/path, is going to get upset when all they feel from every quarter is misunderstood.

    • Sallyhope says:

      Hey Gigi…ooooooooooh! Thank you so much for your comment and the addition about Torre’s point of view. I love that and it’s so true. There is definitely a difference between loving someone and “getting it” or supporting their decisions.

      So my dear…do tell me…what’s your unconventional dream? :)

      • Gigi says:

        Living it! I travel the world full-time with my business and my small dog. Published a memoir last summer about life, love, and dating. Just announced my intention to write a book about living a badass life.

        At the end of the day, the dream = inspire people, love people, widen people’s perspectives.

        I actually started following you because I think in the coming months I’m going to need someone awesome (read: a coach) to bounce some ideas off. Your name came up when I was asking around, so I’ve been lurking on your blog.

        • Sallyhope says:

          Whoa girl! You sound AMAZING. Send me a link to you memoir. I’d love to see it. I love your dream and I have the same one. So nice to meet such an awesome fellow Wildheart. Thank you finding me!I love your lurking. :)

          Sounds like we’d be a GREAT fit for coaching. Want a free 20 min seshy to find out? Sign up here…http://sally-hope.genbook.com.
          Also…I want to include you to be on the list for my Live Wildheart group, to give you more info when I have it, since I think you’ll be a PERFECT addition. You down?

          XO

  14. JJ says:

    I haven’t read all the comments but THIS I like:
    “The more you stand behind what you’re doing, the less you need others to.”

    And YOU I love <3
    Yay! Go Sally!

  15. Paulette says:

    Riding a motorcycle is a recognized risky activity because of the chances for significant physical injury. That’s why people give you flack or ‘rain on your parade’. They love you and don’t want to see you physically injured.

    To me, this feedback IS an expression of loving concern. It is very different than being critical or negative about other choices, such as where to live, what career to pursue, or who to marry.

    I would love to see a discussion here about this issue: when is a choice only yours to make, and when do you need to consider the broader issue of potential impact on others? I think a good question to ask might be this: If the worst case scenario happened as a result of my risky choice, would I be the only person absorbing that consequence or would it affect others that I love, and how.

    I agree that it is important to fulfill your dreams, and even push yourself beyond fears (yours and others). I respect efforts made to be as safe as possible. I’m not even lobbying for a different choice here. I’m just saying this: “Make your choice, but don’t pretend that your choice doesn’t affect me.” It does.

  16. DirtyDean says:

    Living in central California allows me to ride at least four or five days a week, forty-seven weeks out of the year and its rare that more than a week will pass without riding. I’ve been doing it for years and still throw an occasional fist pump in the air when I fire it up in the morning. But I’m the kid who wore wholes in my knees pushing a little green chopper through gold shag carpeting. This is something I’ve always known I would do and never questioned if “I should really go through with it”. So that leaves me with one question:
    Motorcycle is to Sally as ??? is to Dean?

    I guess that’s something we should all continually ask ourselves. Once we know the answer we have no choice but to saddle up and RIIIIIIIIIDE!

    • Sallyhope says:

      I love central Cali! I love the visual of you throwing the fist pump. Although I’ve never actually done it…I’ve done something similar and I know the feeling. I love getting my bike and myself prepared for a ride.

      And that is a GREAT question. What is something that is so out of your norm or the world you grew up in, that doing it would push you beyond what you thought possible. Life coaching?? Hahaha.

  17. rachel says:

    Well..I grew up with a dad who was addicted to anything with a motor..he taught me how to drive a car wayyy before I had a license! He would sit me on his lap, and I’d steer the wheel..So when I turned 15 I got my license..and he and I would go on road trips once a year..skiing in Colorado, camping in Wisconsin..and I’d drive half the time..he talked me through a crazy wind storm on the open prairies..taught me how to drive on snow and ice covered roads..and gave me confidence that stayed with me..
    So of course he ended up “lending” me a 450 cc Honda…(automatic)..and let me drive it without a license..prbly not so smart..but what the hell..I only drove it out at the family cabin..on the quiet back roads..one time I had a friend on the back..and I hit a sandy patch on a turn..and we flipped into the ditch…we had a few scrapes..but we weren’t deterred..!
    Risk is a part of life..I read a lot of responses on here about the risk of driving a motorcycle..that you’re “increasing your chances of injury or death” well maybe- but what about crossing the street in rush hour..or running in a marathon in Boston?
    When you’re number is up- that’s when you go..If you spend all your life worried about what may happen- you are not really living..
    I don’t ride that motorcycle anymore…but I am doing other “risky behaviours” according to other people like..taking a 15 hour plus flight half way around the world..and riding scooters on the Thailand highways when the death toll is extremely high..but I ride safely..slower then usual, I don’t ride during a monsoon rain..and I def. don’t ride after a drink..I trust my instincts..and if I feel really fearful in a situation: like when I discovered I had no headlights as dusk was falling..I drove slowly in between two other drivers..and made it back safely..
    Yah..I’m afraid of taking the plane home..I was afraid of coming here..YES I was terrified driving on the Interstate in a blizzard from Winnipeg to Madison..but I didn’t turn back….and I’m proud that I push through my fears..and considerately appreciate others’ opinions..to do the things that I want to do..cuz after all it is MY LIFE.
    SO I think it’s awesome that you got a bike, and you’re feeling the wind through your hair..and as I have said to you before in a post..your honesty is refreshing..and I admire you
    Cheers to Wildhearts!

    • Sallyhope says:

      Miss Rachel…I got chills reading your post. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. There are so many ways to look at this topic, and at the end of the day each person needs to feel good about their decisions. Sounds like you do.

      I also hold the belief that you’re number is up…that’s it. It could be old age or something totally risky. Yes, we can eliminate risk factors, of course, but that doesn’t guarantee that we’re safe from freak accidents or any of that. And it’s the choices that we make in the meantime and make up the collective experiences of our lives.

      I, like you, have done a lot of things that really really scared me at the time (traveling in an RV with no plan, traveling alone, moving to Montana, etc), and they are ALL things that have irrevocably changed my life to the positive degree. I wouldn’t take any of them back. And I’m proud I didn’t back out or turn around too.

      Thanks for being my soul sister in this way. I sure do hope you sign up to be a part of the Wildheart Revolution and my new Wildheart Community I’m building.

      Either way, you’re rad and thank you for being a part of this site and adding your opinion. I appreciate you!

      XO,
      Sally

  18. Gary Taylor says:

    You sound like a terrific lady. Enjoy your motorcycle and don’t let the negative comments bother you. I am a 76 year old man from Oklahoma who rode motorcycles for most of my life and never had an accident. Riding is something that you really can not explain to someone who has never experienced it. To me, it is freedom from almost everything else in life.
    Ride safely and enjoy.

    • Sallyhope says:

      Hey Gary! Thank you so much for chiming in and adding to the conversation! How’d you find me?

      • Gary Taylor says:

        Don’t remember exactly how I found you, but it was on utube when you ladies were traveling in the motorhome. I really enjoyed your weekly videos and looked forward every week for a new one. My late wife and I traveled in motorhomes for over thirty years and enjoyed every minute of it. I thought you ladies were having the time of your life and helping others along the way just made me even more proud to be an American and see the younger generation being so smart and caring for other people. I don’t always read all of your posts, but the motorcycle story just touched me and I felt I had to say something. I love motorcycles and motorhomes. Have given up my cycle but still have a motorhome. Best Wishes to you in your new endeavor.
        Gary

  19. TomTom says:

    Just wanted to let you know your article has helped me in my struggle dealing with friends and family who don’t want me to ride. Heck, even convincing myself I’m not doing something insane is proving difficult, but one lesson on my good friend’s cruiser was enough to trump the potential risks. I am fortunate to have a few friends who ride, so kudos to you for doing it on your own. Seeing how you like quotes, here is the BEST of many from Marcus Aurelius (highly recommend reading his Meditations):

    “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”

    That is EXACTLY the reason I now own a bike (Suzuki GS500F) and am signed up for the MSF training course. There’s another good quote that goes along the lines of that some people aren’t willing to trade the thrill of life for the safety of existence. Most people watch TV too much, are overweight, on track for diabetes/heart disease/stroke/etc. and are too consumed by consumerism to realize that they are asking you to not live while they are really just dying as slow as they can. Nobody survives this life, so why not go out and live it? I used to work with a machinist who fought in Vietnam, owned a lot of guns, rode motorcycles all the time, and even had a Boss Hoss (a bike with a V8 Corvette engine in it with over 400 horsepower). How did he die, you ask? Lung cancer. I’d rather ask how he lived.

    At any rate, many of their concerns don’t reflect the true reality of the situation. Somewhere from 40% to half of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve alcohol. About as many involve the rider not wearing a helmet, and around 1/3 of them involved reckless speeding. About 1 in 5 involve an unlicensed rider. Half of the fatal accidents involve another vehicle (car), and of those around half were due to a driver turning left into a riders right of way.

    Seeing the above odds made me realize that my odds of dying on a bike are much lower than the advertised 37 fold increase over driving a car. All the “squids” out there on their 1000cc donorcycles wearing no protection and popping wheelies at 60 contribute quite a bit, and they as well as the idiots who drink and ride/drive should not even be included in the calculations IMHO. Including them is like weighting the car statistics where drunk drivers and other idiot drivers count for 50% or more. I want to see the statistics on the number of responsible MSF trained riders who wear ATGATT who are killed: I bet over 90% of them are murdered by inattentive drivers. The more abnormally (in a good way) you ride the less the statistics apply to you.

    Sorry for the long post(rant). Just thought I’d chime in with my 2 cents on how I approach the issue. Keep riding and keep living.

    • Sally Hope says:

      WOW. Thank you SO SO much for sharing your story and I’m so glad this article resonates with you. I think it’s such a tricky conversation to have with people who don’t have the same desires. I loved all your points too. Thanks for writing in. And have fun on that bike of yours. :)

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