Monday, June 14, 2010

Iron Butt Ride Reflections

It's been a month since completing the Iron Butt Ride. I won't know if the ride has been confirmed and accepted for another month or two. I have been asked a lot of questions about the ride and I've had time to reflect on it. My wife say it was a foolhardy thing to do. I agree with her. So, why did I do it?

Was it to get my "15 minutes of fame?"

Didn't we all want to be famous when we were kids? Some people never outgrow that desire. But, no, I don't think that was the reason. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy having some degree of notoriety. But, the scooter community is pretty small, so, if it's fame I wanted, I would probably need to try something different.

Because it's there!

This is getting a bit closer. When I was still riding bicycles (I blew me knee out and can't ride anymore.) I was wanting to ride ever longer distances. I finished my first century ride (100 miles) and immediately noted that there were rides of 250 and even 500 miles. I had decided I wanted to work my way toward those. I wasn't wanting to set world records, but I did want to do something that most people hadn't done. I've always been a pretty average guy: average intelligence, average athletic ability, average height, build etc, etc. I did manage to marry a way above average wife, however. So, I guess I saw that Iron Butt ride and decided it would be a chance to do something that the average guy doesn't do.

That Middle Age Crisis thing.

I was a pretty good kid. I didn't take a lot of risks. There were things i wanted to do .....but didn't, girls I wanted to ask out ....but didn't, parts I should have auditioned for .....well, you get the idea. As a young man, I joined the Army. I wanted to be infantry or a tanker, but those skills don't translate well into the civilian world, so I passed. As an adult, I saw an excellent opportunity to start my own business, the need and the demand were there, but ...too risky. These are not things that I regret everyday, or at all, for that matter. They just are what they are. (I did take one huge risk as a young man. I fell in love with a beautiful, intelligent and witty young lady. The risky part was that we eloped when she was only 16 years old! That was over 26 years ago and she's still just as beautiful, intelligent and witty.) What does this have to do with Iron Butt Rides? Well, I knew that there was some degree of risk involved with this ride. Riding at night and on the interstate involved risk. I suppose that drew me to do it as well. Maybe I felt as if I owed myself another risk or two.

So What?
There isn't a lot of "exploring" or "discovery" that can be done by the average guy. It seems, sometimes, that everything has been done. But know what? It hasn't been done by me. I can explore my personal abilities and limits. I don't know that I've caught the Iron Butt "bug" but I will continue to ride. I will ride places to which I've never been. There won't usually be people there to congratulate or take video of me, but it won't matter. I ride because it pleases me and it probably makes me easier to get along with.

Ride on,