“You better finish what’s on your plate or there’s no dessert.”
“If I have to turn around one more time, they’ll be something to cry about.”
“It’s all good fun until someone pokes an eye out.”
And so many more ‘Parentisms’ that filled our youthful years.
We just watched a show from Modern Marvels about the history of motorcycles. Granted, this was made in 2002 so it was missing MANY of the new history-making models of the past 20 years, but it was still pertinent, informative and entertaining.
One of the tidbits of information leading into riding motorcycles was the ‘re-entry of riders’ after a hiatus due to jobs/marriage/babies/etc. The line which caught my ear was something like ‘Now you were on your own and there were no parents to tell you what to do or not do.’
While I began riding a bit later in life - say age 30 - I was still getting the sideways glance from my parents when I told them what I was doing. Even after having published several years of this magazine, I was still asked, when heading out on a trip, if we were going by motorcycle. I would just roll my eyes and ask ‘Is there any other way to go?’
And when Brian would be off for a Press Intro, wherever it might have been, and would be gone for a bit, they would tell me to come stay with them so I wouldn’t be home alone. This from people who trekked all over the world, leaving my brother, sister and I the infamous ‘Letter Under the Blotter in case of Mutual Destruction.’ We were all terrified to sneak a peek at that, fearing that to open would bring immediate disaster. When the day did come, not due to Mutual Destruction, that we did read it, it gave the necessary instructions to carry on and six simple words: ‘Don’t fight, there’s plenty for everyone.’
But I digress, as we tend to do as we get older. Which, in a sense, is the gist of this writing.
Should we be lucky (?) enough to have children, we hope that they will grow to be strong, intelligent, productive, happy people who go beyond their dreams and abilities. We wish them health, love and all the things that bring goodness to one’s life. We might, also, inward or outwardly, hope that they take an interest in our two-wheeled lifestyle and passion.
If this, indeed, does happen then we enhance our lives even more as we can share our travels and adventures with those we love.
But, if they ‘go their own way’ without ever knowing the joy and freedom of riding, we will, someday, have a reverse-roll situation. Where we were once scolded by our parents for our dangerous ways, we will now be admonished by our children for the same thing.
We’ve all seen the characterizations of the leather-clad, grey-haired couple rockin’ down the highway, pulling into their children’s driveway while they shake their head. Or the ‘crazy older mother/father/uncle/aunt’ who travel around the country on their motorcycle without regard for the worry it causes their relatives.
Probably one of the most difficult things to give up as we get older are the keys to our car or motorcycle.
I have seen this happen with some of the people who ride with us. While health issues are certainly something that need to be taken into consideration, just getting older in no way necessitates the surrendering of your motorcycle keys.
Just ask Gloria Tramontin about that. The 98-year-old from Clifton, New Jersey, is a legend in the motorcycling world, with inductions into the Sturgis Hall of Fame and the American Motorcycle Association Hall of Fame. She was one of the first members of Motor Maids, the oldest, longest-running women’s motorcycling organization in North America and has been riding since age 16.
So, if the kids start to give you grief, just roll your eyes and say, ‘Is there any other way to go?’