Motojourney

A chronicle of my pilgrimage around the United States.

Any form of contact is encouraged and appreciated: motojourney.tumblr.com/ask

Motojourney

(or 'How I Tuned-up My Tired Overeducated Soul')

Ignoble Fear

"We fear all evils, e.g. disgrace, poverty, disease, friendlessness, death, but the brave man is not thought to be concerned with all; for to fear some things is even right and noble, and it is base not to fear them- e.g. disgrace; one who fears this is good and modest, and one who does not is shameless…

The one who faces and who fears the right things and from the right motive, in the right way and from the right time, and who feels confidence under the corresponding conditions, is brave; for the brave man feels and acts according to the merits of the case… “

-Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics Book III

Fear is such a pejorative term. Nobody wants to be held within the confines of fear, and yet I think we all recognize that it has such a powerful influence in the sphere of human decision-making. If we’re honest with ourselves, then it shouldn’t be hard to see how it influences our own actions.

What would it be like to live a life completely devoid of fear?

If I were to speak for myself, I should say that this life would be very short. Most likely it would end with the crackling sound of a helmet on pavement.

As a motorcyclist I often have to come to terms with the question How can you justify riding a motorcycle when it is so dangerous? Of course the standard response often suffices: How could I justify living my life in fear? But this gives the impression that the decision to ride is a decision to be fearless, which it isn’t.

Again, perhaps I should just speak for myself. I find that riding still scares me… sometimes a lot. There are days where, while riding, I am suddenly gripped by an inexplicable fear—that something might go wrong, that this might be the stretch of road that does me in. Other times I just get scared when I’m surrounded by traffic, or when things get dicey and I have a passenger on the back. This fear is healthy, I think. It is perfectly reasonable and it is impossible to deny. This fear also keeps me on my toes. It has pushed me to wear a jacket when it seems inconvenient, or to slow down through a curve when I know I can probably take it a little faster. I want to embrace this fear. It keeps me alive and it keeps me well.

What then is the sort of fear that I don’t want to embrace? The kind that I’ve spent so much time writing about?

It’s the kind of fear that is not at the forefront of anyone’s mind, rather it is so normal we’ve become accustomed to its influence. The kind of fear which keeps you content with dead ends because “the pursuit of what you really want is worth delaying for one more day of security”… day after day after day… It masks itself as laziness, it feeds voraciously on avoidance, and it emerges as unrelenting anxiety.

To strive to be fearless is foolish. I know that throughout my life there are going to be times when I am deathly afraid. So when I read Aristotle I feel prompted to ask: When I am afraid, will I react in a way that flows from my true character, or will I simply aim to avoid pain and hardship?


Warm up time.

Warm up time.


Quality thoughts on what makes riding, and riding cross-country specifically, so great. Losing self-consciousness, feeling empowered, creating space for becoming the people we want to be.


Spent some time with this beast yesterday.

Spent some time with this beast yesterday.


Spending some time with my Dad and this beast today. #harley #shovelhead

Spending some time with my Dad and this beast today. #harley #shovelhead


humansofnewyork:

“I haven’t liked to sleep indoors ever since I got out of prison. I’ve visited almost every state—only five more to go. And once I finish, I’m going to start over, so she can see them all too.”

humansofnewyork:

“I haven’t liked to sleep indoors ever since I got out of prison. I’ve visited almost every state—only five more to go. And once I finish, I’m going to start over, so she can see them all too.”


New lower-profile signals. Got rid of the big orange ding dongs.

New lower-profile signals. Got rid of the big orange ding dongs.


Gifts to self after a loooong work week.

Gifts to self after a loooong work week.


Giving our Selves

Our work has the potential to be such an insane act of love. When we give forty hours a week to something or someone, we are literally giving a part of our Selves to that endeavor.

We should give it to something worthwhile.


Yesterday I was riding around town, paying extra attention to the way that people were looking at me. On a bike you get a lot of stares. I’ve noticed that about half of the time the people staring at me are in complete admiration. The other half of the time, people are giving me the stink eye. 
Sometimes motorcyclists are mild-mannered and follow the rules. Other times we are swerving through lanes, breaking speed limits, and doing everything we can to push the limits of what is safe (for us and others). I’m certainly guilty of both, but as a minority on the road I recognize that we as motorcyclists represent one another. When one of us is swerving through lanes with invisible integrated signals (or no signals at all), scaring the sh*t out of drivers, we create a bad impression for all of motorcycledom. 
More than ever I’m trying to be conscious of this, and think about how I can better represent this lifestyle that I love so much. I want less stink eye, and more looks of admiration. More children waving at me, less old people grimacing.
This story is inspiring:
motolady:

Rob Escalante lives in Los Angeles and rides on a daily basis. If you’ve ever ridden in LA, you know how insane the drivers and traffic can be. It can be scary dangerous for a motorcyclist, bicyclist, pedestrian, and even other cars. Today he took a moment out of his day to help an elderly woman. The story made me feel all warm and fuzzy, so I had to share. 

This old lady was crossing the street, but too old to make it on time, as the light turned green and cars flew by her without caring she was having difficulty getting on the sidewalk as it was way too high. I just didn’t have the heart to be another witness doing nothing….I just had to help. 

It only takes a second, be the kind of motorcyclist that makes the world a better place. Take those few moments to do something that will help create positive feelings about folks who ride on two wheels. It might save their life, and it might save yours some day too. 

Yesterday I was riding around town, paying extra attention to the way that people were looking at me. On a bike you get a lot of stares. I’ve noticed that about half of the time the people staring at me are in complete admiration. The other half of the time, people are giving me the stink eye. 

Sometimes motorcyclists are mild-mannered and follow the rules. Other times we are swerving through lanes, breaking speed limits, and doing everything we can to push the limits of what is safe (for us and others). I’m certainly guilty of both, but as a minority on the road I recognize that we as motorcyclists represent one another. When one of us is swerving through lanes with invisible integrated signals (or no signals at all), scaring the sh*t out of drivers, we create a bad impression for all of motorcycledom. 

More than ever I’m trying to be conscious of this, and think about how I can better represent this lifestyle that I love so much. I want less stink eye, and more looks of admiration. More children waving at me, less old people grimacing.

This story is inspiring:

motolady:

Rob Escalante lives in Los Angeles and rides on a daily basis. If you’ve ever ridden in LA, you know how insane the drivers and traffic can be. It can be scary dangerous for a motorcyclist, bicyclist, pedestrian, and even other cars. Today he took a moment out of his day to help an elderly woman. The story made me feel all warm and fuzzy, so I had to share. 

This old lady was crossing the street, but too old to make it on time, as the light turned green and cars flew by her without caring she was having difficulty getting on the sidewalk as it was way too high. I just didn’t have the heart to be another witness doing nothing….I just had to help. 

It only takes a second, be the kind of motorcyclist that makes the world a better place. Take those few moments to do something that will help create positive feelings about folks who ride on two wheels. It might save their life, and it might save yours some day too.