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One year ago today I picked up my first motorcycle. A 96 600 VLX. I got a great bike for the right price off of Craig’s List. My first ride was a 40 mile trip started out on a Rural Hwy. and lead to a few Farm to Market Roads and then back into the city. Up to that point my riding experience was a few rides on a dirt bike many moons ago and the few hours I had on the 250’s in my MSC.

A year later and almost 12k miles later I find myself wondering what in the hell took me so long to getting around to actually getting a bike. I can only come to the conclusion that it was inherently in my DNA all along and for some reason or another I had been denying a fundamental part of my being.

I have for the most part been a daily rider since the day I pick up Black Betty. Only a few exceptions of when I need to haul more than I could carry on her and a few snowy/icy days have kept me from the freedom of the open air. I now know why dogs hang their heads out the window.

My travels have taken place during a variety of weather conditions, from the coldest rides at 28° F to the scorching heat of the Texas Summer at temps of 112° F. I have battled gusting winds and pouring rain, yet I still love to hop on the bike and scoot down the road grinning from ear to ear.

Most of my riding has been solo but I have managed to get in a few rides with some buds from work as well as just last weekend attending my first Charity ride. It was cool to be part of the spectacle that 30 bikes cause as we poured thru the little towns on our route.

I have also taken several trips with my Lady riding 2-up and have enjoyed the time together exploring the Texas Country side in search of the Hidden Treasures of local dining spots that we find during our weekend excursions.

Most of what I have experienced I was expecting, but the thing that has taken me by surprise are all of the smells that are negated while riding in a cage. Some of them not so good, but many that are fantastic. From the smell of sage and sweetgrass to the perfume of a beauty passing in the opposite direction to the wafting aroma of someone cooking on their grill, all of which help make a nice ride all the more memorable.

Here to my first year riding, may the rest be as memorable and fun as this past year has been.
 

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Know just how you feel, when I'm not riding, I'm thinking about riding. At the end of July I started writing reports on my rides. I shared one with a friend and he convinced me to start posting them online.

Got my first bike at 17, but never really started riding till I was over 50. If you ever get to New Mexico drop me a line and we can burn some gas together.
 

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ain't nothin' better than ridin'.
 

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Congrats on your first year of riding, here's hoping that year 2 is even better!

When we first started riding in 2006 we were fortunate to hook up with a club that not only rode every weekend but also took long overnight rides and week long trips. They are also not shy about cone practice. This GREATLY accelerated our skill set AND our overall experience.
 

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I'm so glad I got back into it. I'm sad I lost 25 years of not ridding though. I also think of ridding when I'm not on the bike. Ridding allows me to destress, It's a feeling of openness and calmness for me. I haven't ridden in 2 weeks bad weather and travel and then yesterday the weather cleared. Told the wife this is my time put the key in and the battery was dead I was mad first thing this morning ordered a new one.

On a side note got to watch the giants come back to beat the cards were sitting on top the NFC east.
 

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Roland, you expressed exactly how I feel. I've only been riding less than 2 months and haven't missed a day. Today I started feeling guilty because I feel like I'm a riding nut. It's like the day is not complete if I don't hop on the bike for at least a few miles.

I knew what I was missing but did not have the means to own one. I do not take for granted the blessing of getting to experience something close to flying.
 

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Cool post. Thanks for sharing. It's funny how most of you guys feel about your bikes the way I feel about my boat. I grew up boating and rode motorcycles in my late teens into my mid 20's. I moved in and out of boating over the years but not back into riding a bike until this year. Five years or so ago when I bought a boat after 5 or 6 years without one I swore I never be without a boat again. Six months out of the year I spend with my boat. Many nights I sleep there and many days I work from there. All I ever seem to want to talk about is boats. I subscribe to several boating magazines. I wonder around boating stores. I go to boat shows and plan my next purchase. In the winter I sit at my desk looking out the window, depressed, waiting for boating season to start.

The motorcycle is a bit different for me. I always loved riding when I was young and over the past couple of years have felt the desire to start riding again. I bought the VLX because I hadn't been on a bike for years, I got a good deal on it, and I felt like I had to learn again. Sixty eight days later I've put around 2300 miles on the bike (my friends who own Harleys don't put that many miles on their bikes in 2 or 3 years) and feel a level of confidence riding like I never left. I've done 3 pretty large organized rides, a couple of overnight trips and take the bike everywhere I go as long as weather permits. The motorcycle however hasn't taken the place of the boat in my heart. Don't get me wrong - I love it - but it's more like another toy in my stable vs. a true passion like boating.

The point of this post is that most people don't get my deep passion for being on the water and probably want to tell me to shut up already! You guys get it because you feel the same passion for your bikes. I think it's awesome to feel that level of passion in your life period.

The other day someone asked "What would you give up?". I didn't respond but actually thought long and hard about that post. The answer is would I give up my business, income and lifestyle to ride the country on my bike. Most likely not. Would I give it all up to live aboard my boat and travel. If I could swing it in a SECOND! Both of my kids are away in college. I'd like to think I'm moving towards that dream after they graduate.
 

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Right on Roland! It's obvious you do "get it". I wish you many more years of safe riding.
 
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