Wednesday, August 28, 2013
The Times, They Are A Changin'
I rode over to Patricks place with Ryan on Sunday a little while after the ABATE meeting. Ryan wanted to check out Patricks chopper 'El Jefe', and visit for a bit. El Jefe developed a leak in the fuel tank on friday, so Patrick didn't make the 3 Pass Run with the rest of us.
At the meeting, I got nominated for Coordinator, and Patrick was nominated as Deputy Coordinator. There weren't any other nominations. So unless something changes by the next meeting when we vote, we're getting railroaded into office. Not that either of us have a problem with it, better to get it done right than totally fucked up.
Ryan is on his first bike. He hasn't been riding for more than a few weeks, but is learning. The hard way...He went off the road and almost saved it before his front wheel stuck in the mud and the whole bike flipped over onto its back and fell over. With a few nice big raspberries on his leg and side, and some road rash on his arms and face, he learned his first lesson. He respects the bike a whole lot more now. Or at least he seems to.
As him, Patrick and I were talking about the guys we ride with and their bikes, I noticed something. Well, maybe "noticed" isnt quite the right word. Of the three of us, I was by far the oldest. Patrick and Ryan are closer to the same age, but from different backgounds. Patrick has a history with bikes, and knows about respect and the way things and people should be treated. Ryan is the FNG of the group, and so actually, is his dad Jim. But right now, I'm just telling you about what went down amongst the three of us there amongst Patricks bikes.
Like I said, I am the oldest of the three of us. That was really brought to my attention as Patrick was explaining to Ryan about how the 'older guys' like me and T have so many years and years of riding experience. Real 'Old Guard' sort of saddle tramps. Now I know I'm more than a bit grey haired, but this was the first time I really felt like an 'old grey beard'. At least to this extent. The really amazing thing is though, it doesn't bother me.
Before, I still kind of pictured myself like Patrick. Early 40's, at least mentally thats how I saw myself. But now I realize that I'm not that far from being old enough to be Patricks father. He is still learning shit from me, and T, and Mo, and all of us other old farts he rides with. But he is also passing down that knowledge to those 'new guys' who show the desire to learn about this life the right way. Who are showing the desire to respect this life we live. Not just ride because it is cool to do. Now that I am amongst the 'elders' of our little group, knowing that someone else is going to be carrying on the traditions that I have always tried to live my life, is actually pretty fucking cool. It shows to me, that the lessons I learned long ago have been passed on. If only in a small way, but they are getting passed on. I am kind of proud of that.
By the time we left Patricks place, and headed up to Mineral to see T, I had realized there had been a definite shift. Growing up, I was the youngest in my family, by quite a bit. My oldest sister is 15 years older than me, and my youngest brother is 7 years older. So I guess that is why it felt kind of strange to realize I was one of the 'old guys'. I've always been one of the 'young pups'. On that grey and soggy afternoon at Patricks place, I realized I wasn't the young guy anymore. Or even the slightly older guy. I was the old guy, who was to be listened to and shown respect, because I had been through it before. I know many people I feel the same way about, so it was a shock to realize others thought that way about me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in anyway bitching about it. Hell, it's cool as shit, actually.
Life is all about cycles and circles. Things having to stay in motion, and change. Even if they still seem almost the same. There was a time I never thought I'd live to see 30. Let alone to be able to look back at being 50. But in those intervening years I have come to a place where I am respected for who and what I am. Just being me, and doing what I do. Somewhere along the road, I assumed a position of respect I hadnt noticed myself taking. Does that mean things are different in my life? Have I changed somehow? Fuck if I know. Maybe, just maybe, while I was getting older, a little of that growing up shit snuck in somehow. But as we used to say (and T and I still do say form time to time); "What the fuck...Run Amuck!"
Catch ya on the road sometime...