The Year of Too Much Work

I haven’t posted much this riding season, however I didn’t forget about the site, and I did actually do several fun things.

I went to Eurkea Springs, AR and rode around for a quick weekend.

I went to Jamaica with the Wife and did some more jumping and diving.

I went to the Five Dirty Bikers Meetup in Uranus, MO.

I’ve done some nice upgrades to The Crow.

I crossed a true bucket list item off by riding from Milwaukee to Central Florida where my folks live, and then riding all the way to Key West and back.

I spent a weekend in Northern Wisconsin hanging out on a lake and riding side-by-sides all the way to Lake Superior.

What I haven’t done is written any of this up. This has been probably the most challenging year of my life work-wise, and because I wasn’t already buried enough I also took some additional courses online that took all my “free” time from July – November.

As I wrap up my courses and work takes it’s course, I will start filling in the details, something to distract me as the snow starts falling and I’m dreaming of the day I can take the bike out in 2023.

Diving is Mindfulness

My father, Bart, and wife were PADI certified a long time ago. Give that I already had plenty of expensive hobbies that also require vacation time and weekends, and that I didn’t “feel called” to dive I left it alone for a good 12+ years.

As time went on, and I realized how many divers I knew, and I wondered how many x-country motorcycle trips I’d really be able to get Mrs. Roadrunner on, I decided to get my Open Water certification this summer. After all, The Ocean is Nature and I’m pretty much always up for new experiences. “Blue spaces” appear to be as good for your mental health as “green spaces” and connections with like-minded people are important.

Jamaica is a great place to learn to dive.

Not everyone can dive: you need to be able to equalize your ears every few feet and not panic if something goes wrong underwater. The latter is particularly important: there are several nothing-burger occurrences that could ruin your day if you panic. You must breathe deeply and slowly through your mouth at all time. You must regularly check your remaining air and depth, and you should safely ascend in a controlled fashion including a 3minute stop at 15′ if you’ve been down for a while.

Diving is Mindfulness. The attention to the current moment and the need to be Skillful puts diving right next to meditation and motorcycling. The feeling of weightlessness and the visceral motion through space belongs next to sailing, riding a motorcycle, and flying – these experiences are first cousins.

The community is similar too. Just as I can walk into a bar with my vest on and have strangers ask me about my patches, where I’m riding from and to, on the way to and on the dive boat everyone is a kindred spirit. You make assumptions about people carrying their own dive gear or wearing rented gear just as you might think about someone with out of state plates on their touring bike – everyone as at a different spot on this journey.

There’s no politics on the dive boat.

And now, I look forward and realize that just as I must have one Big and several smaller motorcycle trips every year, I also need to get underwater here & there.

You get underwater, you are forced to be alone with your own thoughts. You are in a situation that is not particularly dangerous as long as your are skillful, but this is an activity that isn’t for everyone. You must be appropriately equipped. You get to see & feel things that can only really be understood by the people who share this skill. Yea, diving is mindfulness in a way that should make perfect sense to bikers.