Sunday, July 30, 2006

How did it all begin?

People have asked me why I've taken 3 weeks unpaid leave from work to ride my Harley Davidson across America on my own. It's a bit like those T-shirts that Harley riders sometimes wear. "If you have to ask the question "Why?" you probably wouldn't understand the answer." It just felt like something I had to do. I'm a little too old to call it a mid-life crisis, but in some sense it's a journey of self discovery. I'm stepping off the hamster wheel for a few weeks and just setting my own agenda. You might think that someone of my age has pretty much discovered everything about themselves, but you'd be wrong. I don't think we ever stop finding out new things about ourselves. And it's only when we set ourselves a challenge (or some twist of fate sets the challenge for us) that we discover hidden reserves and end up surprising ourselves at what we are capable of.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This self imposed journey of discovery is not completely unstructured. I have a basic outline plan starting with picking up my bike from the Milwaukee Harley Davidson dealership on 3rd August and dropping it off several weeks later at Rapid City in South Dakota. What happens in between is the adventure. That's not to say that I don't have any plans. Along the way and in no particular order I plan to visit the Harley Davidson rally at Sturgis, see Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the Crazy Horse Memorial, visit the Devil's Tower (from Spielberg's 1977 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind), the Badlands, the Needles Highway, Little Big Horn Battlefield and the Wind Caves. And probably several other sites that will catch my eye along the way.

It was also important to me that I was riding my bike (rather than renting one), so I've had it shipped over from the UK at considerable cost. If you know anything about Harley Davidson motorcycles you'll know that each one is different. Every model leaves the factory to an identical specification, but as soon as you buy one you start the process of customising it to your requirements. A new Harley is simply the starting point, a blank canvas on which you hope to express your individuality. So that's why it had to be my bike that I rode across the US.

My plan is to keep a written diary of my journey and publish it here as and when I have access to a computer. I'm also taking a digital camera and hope to add some (but not too many) pictures of some of the highlights of the journey. So watch this space.


Anonymous Stacey said...

Great site Terry! And fantastic that you are doing the 'journey'. Am full of admiration and hope to take a leaf out of your book one day to do it myself, (well, maybe not a huge bike but you know what I mean!).

Best Regards - keep in touch!
Can't wait to hear how it goes!

5:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got your email and found the site! So envious, must be a dream come true, one of those life things that you have to tick off. Hope you found your braclet at Fakenham! Will follow your trip as part of my recovery / rehabilitation.
Ride Safe
Mick W.

2:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Terry - what a fantastic site!

I hope that you and your bike have a fabulous adventure. I'll look forward to hearing the wisdom of what it is that you discover along the way......

Stay safe,



9:42 pm  
Blogger Gill said...

Hi Terry,
Amazing to be able to contact in this way. Photos are great, glad to see you've stopped doing that thing with your hair! I feel that I should point out to you, at this early stage of your blogging career, that you are NOT to start a sentence off with 'And'. It could lose you vital marks. xo

8:37 pm  

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