By Bruce Mike
So it’s February 19th and it’s going to be 60 degrees. I rode to work the other day and will be going for a ride this afternoon and probably this evening. Our winters seem to keep getting milder. If I don’t think about the global implications, this climate change gives me a lot more comfortable riding experiences. For quite a few years now I’ve had a goal to ride at least once a month over the winter and this year it hasn’t even been a challenge. The Ural also makes it easier to ride whenever I want. It’s been a fun bike.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve started each late winter, early spring, with some kind of motorcycle related goal. Whether it be a place I want to go, a bike I want to buy or build or just finishing an existing project that’s sitting in the garage. This helps fend off those late winter blues. This year the goal was to road race up at Brainerd. I met a guy over the holidays that was a new rider instructor and he got me all revved up to give it a try. I had a bike and a plan and was excited to get started. Then a couple of weeks ago I woke up and couldn’t make a fist with my right hand.
This is not a brand new ailment. I spent a lot of frustrating time seeing doctors last year. They went from having no idea what was wrong with me, to needing immediate surgery, to lets wait and see. It seemed that none of them had any confidence in what they were telling me. Of course me being me, I basically told them to go screw themselves and I walked away.
Based on the three MRIs I had, it appears there is damage to a few discs in my neck. One thing all the doctors did agree on was that it was caused by some kind of trauma. When the trauma occurred is something they couldn’t tell me. In my teens and twenties I was in a lot of car accidents and I’ve had a few bike crashes over the years but nothing that ever put me in the hospital.
I started a new round of doctor visits last week. Same health care provider, different doctors. The first guy I saw was great. He told me more in an hour than any of them did all of last year. At least it seemed that way. He also told me that motorcycle racing right now is a really bad idea. He said even a minor crash could be disastrous. I decided to be a grown-up and heed his advice. I haven’t given up on it. I’m going to be optimistic and hopefully do it next year. This year I’ll just work on becoming a bigger and better race fan.
What these experiences have reminded me of is that life is short. This is not a new concept for me. Often times I am my worst enemy in approaching life with a sense of urgency. My stubbornness prevents me from getting things done all the time. When I keep my approach to life simple. Do what’s right in front of me. Ride whenever I can. Enjoy every minute of every enjoyable moment. Do the work that needs to be done. When I live like this, I have no regrets.