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Riding as a motorcycle passenger can be an amazing experience. It is almost indescribable. We had our first ride of this season last week and I loved every minute. I swing my leg over the bike and get comfy in my seat. As Trevor pulls out of the driveway and down the road, the wind and warm sun hit my face and every worry I have just floats out of my body. Everything that is weighing on your mind and body suddenly does not seem to matter. I am at peace in the passenger seat. A smile comes over my face and I am in my happy place.
As I attempt to describe my riding experiences, first let me say that I can enjoy riding so much because I trust in my driver! Trevor has been riding for over 30 years. I have been riding with him for almost 6 years. I know his riding experience and training. I know how serious he is about safety. I know how much knowledge he has regarding motorcycles and motorcycle safety. I trust him. These are all important things that I recommend you know about your driver before you get on the back of the bike!
For the first several miles of our ride my mind is blank. I think about nothing. I decompress and then suddenly life takes on a whole new meaning. I am relaxed and my senses have really kick in. The sights and smells are almost overwhelming. Being on the back of a motorcycle is like your birthday, Christmas and every great memory you have all rolled into one.
First off, the sights are amazing. Suddenly the sky is the most beautiful bright blue you have ever seen. The grass is greener. The sun kissed leaves on the trees look like a bowl of fruity pebbles waiting to embrace you. My mind goes back to when I was a child and my brothers, sisters and I would sit around the kitchen table each morning devouring our sugar cereal! The swamp we ride by with the dead trees sticking out of it is now suddenly a beautiful piece of nature’s art. And let’s talk about the architecture. Churches, schools, town halls, libraries, homes… they are gorgeous. You don’t notice these things as often when you are in a car (or at least I don’t). But being on the back of the motorcycle makes everything come to life. You are part of the scenery. There is no window or door blocking you from this amazing experience. The fresh air hits you and transforms you in a way that puts you at peace from your everyday life. For me, it is almost as if I stepped out of my own body and I am watching the most incredible movie.
My mind wonders off in directions that I would never expect. With every turn I am anticipating what beautiful things could be waiting for me. As we make the next turn, a rolling farm is now our backdrop. The fields, crops, animals, barns, farming equipment, bales of hay, whatever it is, its breathtaking. I do not know much about farming or farm life, but I sure do admire it. As we come upon the barn, I look inside to get a glimpse of what might be hiding in there. Is it farming equipment or animals (for Trevor – he is looking for old cars and trucks), whatever it is, I’m fascinated. Some farms have cows, or horses, or other farm animals waiting to greet me. Some are just beautiful fields of corn. As we ride by, I try to image what their life is like on the farm. I know it is a lot of hard work. I know that farmers are very dedicated, hardworking people.
Sometimes I see the children running around playing. I love that. While in Kentucky last summer, we found ourselves (like we always do) on a gravel road that seemed to lead to nowhere. Trevor was torn as to whether we should turn back and find tar or keep going on this dusty, rocky road. We kept going. And I’m so glad we did! Finally, around the bend was a pretty, little farm and farmhouse with two adorable children standing on the front porch. The little girl seemed happy to see us and she yelled to her brother, who came running to see what was so exciting. I gave her a big wave hello. She smiled and waved back. I’m guessing that not too many people travel down this road (at least not intentionally and definitely not on a motorcycle like ours), so seeing us made her happy, at least that’s what I like to think!
There is always something great to see. Nothing is more exhilarating than riding a twisting, turning, road and then coming upon a waterfall! It truly is an astonishing sight to see. Definitely a favorite of mine while on the back of the bike! Of course, I always signal to Trevor to pull over so we can get off the bike and get a closer look and a million pictures! Sometimes we have mapped out waterfalls to go see, but it is the ones that you just happen upon that are so exciting. An unexpected present from nature and this makes me very happy.
I also love seeing covered bridges. The architecture can be so plain and simple, yet so beautiful and inspiring. What was this bridge for? Who rode through it? History tells us that they were built to allow travel over rivers, lakes and valleys by horse-drawn carriages. For us, they provide a place to rest and stretch our legs, while enjoying the beautiful scenery that surrounds the bridge. The bridges are usually in state or national parks and sometimes in isolated areas, which almost always includes beautiful scenery.
Another favorite sight is animals! Wild and domestic, always exciting. We have seen moose in Maine & New Hampshire, black bears on Mt. Greylock Massachusetts, elk in Tennessee, buffalo on a farm in Virginia, a llama and an ostrich in Kentucky, deer, cows, horses, goats, chickens, and snakes. Obviously, the animals vary depending on where you are riding. But I can tell you there is nothing like being startled by a deer running into the middle of the road in front of you! (this is where Trevor’s safety and training comes in handy). I am always on the look-out for moose tracks and was ecstatic the first time I saw a moose!
And let’s not forget about the mountains. As we round the bend and are greeted by that massive mountain of rock, I am in awe every time. Doesn’t matter how many times we’ve rode through the mountains; every time is like the first time for me. Seeing it up close and personal is something everyone should experience. To date, we have ridden in 18 states. I CAN NOT WAIT to get out West and ride the mountains out there!
After riding through the mountains, the next stop is usually a small village or town that we stop to stretch our legs, have a bite to eat and get some gas. I love these small villages and I get very excited if they have a general/country store. I love to go in an explore all the fun things they sell. Many have a little cafe or small deli counter where we can buy a sandwich or snacks. Most are family run businesses that bring you back in time with the nostalgic, old-time products, décor and unique gifts. We have met many store owners who are more than willing to share their stories with us. They tell us about their town and they also know all the great motorcycle must ride roads!
If all the sights weren’t enough, let’s add in the smells! Fresh cut grass. A campfire. The mountains. The ocean. A backyard BBQ. A roadside BBQ pit (we have found some good ones!). The smell of garlic as you ride past an Italian restaurant. The pine trees and honeysuckle. The fresh air. If the sights didn’t intoxicate you, these smells will for certain.
I always take pictures from the back of the bike. I love photography and I am certain I take too many pictures; however, I think I have gotten some amazing shots! I can also tell you that I have missed many shots that I was not ready for! But that just gives us another excuse to ride the route again. There are times when I like to just sit back and enjoy the ride, no camera in hand. Usually, these times end up with me falling asleep on the back of the bike! It’s true. I have slept in the sun, in the rain, on dirt roads, highways, country roads; I don’t discriminate. When I’m totally relaxed and at peace, sometimes I need a quick nap!
I hope this gives you a glimpse into my experience on the back of the bike. I highly recommend it and would love to hear about your experiences if you have been blessed enough to have been on the back of a bike. Leave me a comment below about your rides, experiences, sights you have seen and love!
As always, enjoy the ride and be safe!