TALLADEGA SCENIC HIGHWAY ON MT. CHEAHA ~ ALABAMA ~ photo taken by Dianna Stover
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

CROSSROADS... CHOICES... AND LIFE

Crossroads... One of my of my favorite things about riding, is coming up on a crossroads and trying to decide which way to go. Unless we had a preplanned destination in mind, Harley and I could spend our days of riding just meandering down unfamiliar roads and trying to find interesting places to share with others. Coming up on a four cornered stop, we'd look one way... then the other... the choice was ours.

Choices... We would take turns deciding, left, right or straight. The fun was in the mystery of it all. Our exploratory adventures often paid off when we'd find a new shortcut, or hidden treasure, but sometimes we could be right back where we started. This was not so bad, as long as you had time on your side and are good at U-turns. I seemed to enjoy those rides the best.

Crossroads and choices... They are not just on our roads and highways. We deal with them daily, in our everyday lives as well.

Life... From our first breath to our last, good or bad, it happens to us all. For the most part, what we do with our life is up to us, barring any unforeseen circumstances that may alter any previous plans or decisions. Keeping a good attitude and a healthy conscience, goes a long way in experiencing in what most folks would call "a good life". I would like to be able to look back on mine and say I lived life to the fullest and had no regrets.

During our 31 years of marriage so far, Harley and I have been doing exactly that. We've had the pleasure of taking on various challenges and activities allowing us to enjoy our life as a couple while we feed our adventurous spirits. Some experiences have been more rewarding than others and we've waded through our share of trials and tribulations, but for the most part, we are very blessed. Being able to ride motorcycles together for the last 8 years has probably been one of the biggest (of blessings) so far.

As most of you know, my hubby of 31 years went down this past Spring, on Mother's Day Weekend. (See... THE WRECK and DEATH OF A RIDER) We had big plans this year, but our summer has been wrought with hospitals, rehab facilities, and Dr. visits. Oh... and pain. Lots and lots of pain.

I've been by his side for all of it and let me tell you this... it did not look fun! Since his accident took place, I've been able to get in a few little rides, but nothing very spectacular. Commuting to work a few times, and getting out for a ride on my birthday for a couple hours, and that's been about it. Pitiful... but what can I say... that's LIFE!

As I cruised along the highway, that day of my birthday, I wondered what would happen now. I missed Harley, and it felt strange to be out on the road by myself, knowing he was back at the house, laid up on the couch anxiously awaiting my return. I've ridden solo plenty of times before and with other riding friends, but knowing he was out there somewhere on his own Glide, somehow made it okay. It felt very different now... very lost... very... separated.

With all that being said, I found myself at one of these crossroads in life... with choices to contemplate and decisions to make. Believe me when I say, it has been a very disheartening process.

I'm not the kind of person that can leave my loved ones behind. Maybe it's my own undoing, but I've always been that way. We're a team... we do things together... it's been that way for 31 years! The fact that the love of my life has lost his rider spirit, leaves me with the decision to carry on without him, or follow suit and put my riding days to rest. Believe me when I tell you... it has been a very tough pill to swallow, but I've decided to take a break from riding... at least for now.

I don't expect all of you to understand, and I imagine some of you are shaking your head right now as you read this. That's okay... I can accept that. I'm a "live and let live" kind of gal. Those who really know me, know I'm the same person... whether I'm riding or not. The fact remains, no matter how much I love my motorcycle and riding it, I love my husband more. Together we will accomplish many things. I have to believe, when one door closes... another will open.

Good decisions... are often compromised by emotions. ~ Author unknown.

Riding on memories...
Lady R


Author's note:

I realize I've been neglecting my blog lately, but that's because I felt like I was hiding behind a cloak of deceit. Lady Rides-a-lot became Lady Rides-no-more, and I was having a hard time "coming out" about it. Telling you all of my decision not to ride has just lifted the burden of truth resting on my shoulders and I feel free to move forward with... the next chapter. Stay tuned... life goes on!!

18 comments:

mq01 said...

ive been thinking alot lately of my own end, and if i will be happy with all that i have done. im not ready yet, there is much still to do!

you and harley still have adventures to experience, im sure of it! im looking forward to reading the next chapters ladyR!

ratone said...

Been there,still there...new adventures do await..I feel your pain and understand the wonder of what's next..anticipating life's next move. Just keep your head up..it's all good...

KT Did said...

I'm proud of your decision and your honesty to let it all happen. Nothing to be ashamed of. Like MQ said, being ready is everything and your timing just so happened to be now. There's more to life than motorcycles... yep, I said it. We all have our plans and life just happens to bring on some that aren't in our card ques. I am looking forward to reading more about what you have in store and those photos you like to pop out too! I also still plan on visiting you... bike it, trike it, or drive it... ima coming out there. So you can't skinny wag outta that one :)

Raftnn said...

Seasons of life!

I whole heartdly applaud your decision. LIfe is all about proirties, and at the moment Harley is just that.

I will say that biking is in your blood, it defines you as a person, it is hard to walk away from. The time will come , when the circumstances are different. when you will return to it. Keep us informed.

Warmest regards from New Zealand.
Roger

Allen Madding said...

I'm just trying to figure out how this post is dated a week in the future :-)
I completely understand what you are feeling. As Allison isn't comfortable with riding, I do not know how much longer I will be riding. I'd rather spend time doing something together on weekends so I haven't been on a Saturday ride all year. I am beginning to think maybe we could enjoy a Jeep together.

-Peace
Allen

IHG said...

Sister...you did what was right for you and Harley. Double birdies to anyone that doesn't understand what you did and why. You are one amazing woman whether you ride a motorcycle or not. I dig you for you. I look forward to hearing about your adventures in that rad Jeep that you are driving. HUGS!

bobskoot said...

Lady R:

We all come upon crossroads, some major, some minor. While I like to ride I don't let it consume my every moment, and Mrs Skoot doesn't ride so I am always alone. I don't ride on Sundays and it is reserved for her and us to do things together in the car.

You do not have to write a M/C specific content Blog. I write about everything, sometimes I even write about motorcycles. Even my name is a lie, so don't worry about Rides-a-lot, and I won't worry about not riding scooters.

We'll love you anyway we can get you . . .

take care
bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RazorsEdge2112 said...

Lady R,

One's life choices are by definition, their's. You made a choice based on a set of circumstances few must deal with. No regrets. You will always be "Lady R" regardless of whether you are on two wheels or not.

And, what IHG wrote, "...you did what was right for you and Harley. Double birdies to anyone that doesn't understand what you did and why." goes for me as well.

And... ah... you have a jeep??? I can't imagine any adventures to be had on such a boring vehicle. :-)

Looking forward to hearing about it!

Dave said...

You and Harley are very lucky to have each other. The heck with any naysayers.Those who don't wish to understand or who don't want to be friends because you are no longer riding, you don't need them anyhow. My guess is that you are going to discover a world full of new friends in that Jeep :). If you keep writing I will keep reading.

Lady Ridesalot said...

Mq01... Then get out there and start checking off that bucket list! No one ever laid on their death bed wishing they had spent more time at the office... just sayin. Luv to you and Cinco... tell Bob it's time... for a long, long ride!

rat... We should get together over a beer some day and talk about our old road stories. Methinks you have some good ones!! ;}

Lady Ridesalot said...

KT... My adventures will continue, just from a different perspective. I'm not stagnant yet!

The light is still on and the door is wide open! Imma holding you to your promise to visit... can't wait!

Lady Ridesalot said...

Raftnn... You're right about one thing... biking IS in my blood. Probably the biggest reason it's so hard to make this choice. But, when I step back to look at the whole picture... I'm doing the best thing for us right now. We both talk about riding again... maybe... and some day. If anything changes... I'm going to be ready!

Allen... not sure how that happen either, but I changed it. (?)
Jeeps are fun!! I'm digging going further into the forests than I ever dared to venture with the Glide. I may be trading speed for exploration... but I plan to take it to the limits. :)

Lady Ridesalot said...

IHG... thank you sista! Yeah... double birdies! lol! (reminds me of our old pal, Joker and his eagles!)

I appreciate all the great support you've shown me, and our timing to meet each other during all this was perfect. I'm so glad that we had the chance to do that. Can't wait to SEE you again! Take care my friend!

Lady Ridesalot said...

Bobskoot... Thank you for the encouragement. I love to write, so I don't plan to quit. I love to takes pictures, so I don't plan to quit.

That being said, I'm trying to decide which way to take this blog. Still working on it, but I don't plan to stop blogging... I just need to come up with a clever title to reflect what I'm about now. Hmmmmmm...

Maybe I can follow suit with some other bloggers out there and get into the Porn scene. Food porn, Jeep porn, road porn... you know... some real dirty stuff! lol!

RazorsEdge... Yes... I have a Jeep now. Yes... we've had it in the woods plenty, and even got my first scratch already! Geesh!
I took it to Iowa in August and I was very happy with it. Harley and I plan to go up for Christmas. Now he's hoping for some big snow so we can play in it. Stay tuned...

Dave... thank you very much! I really appreciate all this support. I've been dreading this post.
BTW...You've got a deal! If you'll keep reading... I'll keep writing.:)

Jack Riepe said...

Dear LadyRidesALot:

I wrote a reply to your last blog episode before reading this one and feel like a dope now. I can only offer one perspective on this, if I may:

Unless the road ends, there is always another crossroad... I have learned to "Never say never." I don't know your husband, and certainly don't know the extent of his injuries... Nor the extent of his pain.

But I I do know tough guys... And your husband sounds like one of them. The team adjusts... And plays by new rules... And occassionally invents a new game with the same old tools.

I'm betting the next crossroad will have lost nothing in excitement. "Never say never." I guy I once wtote about said to me, "So you lost everything today. Thank God we still have tomorrow."

God Bless you both.

Jack Riepe

Lady Ridesalot said...

Dear Mr. Riepe,

You are a big dope! But not in regard to this.

I really appreciate and embrace your support and understanding. This has been a very difficult summer, but... "that which does not break us, only makes us stronger."

Hubby and I have vowed to keep life fun and interesting and your right about never saying never. We both talk about riding again, we just wonder if and when.

BTW... In regards to your comment... "And occasionally invents a new game with the same old tools." Sounds like sex therapy, but it works for me!! lol!

Your adventurous and sometimes demented friend,
Lady R

mq01 said...

hope its ok, im going to quote you :) hugs!

WooleyBugger said...

Funny, how I've not met either of you in person but I care about you both. Wish I had what you two have. Jealous here.
We're all here for you both and still enjoying the posts