(Pretty much all my worldly possessions bungeed onto a motorcycle)
The keen-eyed observers among you may have noticed that my name was somewhat absent around the site for about two weeks early in July. It just so happens that for those two weeks I was riding my motorcycle across Canada and then down the Pacific coast, ultimately landing here in Oakland, California. Why? To be closer to Skate[Slate] HQ of course. “Relocating to serve you better”.
Riding a motorcycle eight hours a day for two weeks does not make for an easy move. In fact, I’d recommend U-haul if you’re considering a trans-continental relocation of your own. Nevertheless, it was pretty damn amazing. If you had told me two years ago that at the age of 25 I would be biking across the continent to live in California and work as the editor of a downhill skateboarding magazine, I would have laughed in your face. Today, I just feel lucky.
The problem with riding a bike versus renting a moving truck like a normal person is that you can’t really take much stuff with you. Fortunately my needs are simple and I don’t have much in the way of possessions. A skateboard, some clothes, my computer, and my camera. What you see strapped down on the bike is pretty much everything I own, minus a few odds and sods that went to my parents’ place or the thrift store.
Riding a motorcycle is a lot like riding a skateboard: It’s dangerous, it takes practice to do it right, and it’s way too much fun. Polite society will also treat you as a deranged lunatic when they find out about your passion, and will spare no breath telling you how dangerous it is. Sometimes it’s a giant pain in the ass, too.
Two days into the trip, my buddy and I got caught in rainstorm. My phone got fried and, at the height of the downpour, my friend’s bike ran out of gas a mere kilometer before the next town. Standing on the side of the road in the pouring rain, siphoning gas from my tank into his, there was nothing to do but laugh.
Like a longboard, a motorcycle is a ticket into a new family. See another biker on the road and you know they’ve got your back. Roll into a new town, state, or country with a longboard, and you’ll have a place to stay and new friends to show you around. I can’t think of a better way to travel.
Skaters just know how to have more fun. I was on a tight schedule, but managed to stay in Whistler for half a day during the Whistler Longboard Festival. In less than 24 hours I managed to make some new friends, see some old ones, spend way too much money on the expensive ski resort beer and food, and feed the majority of BC’s mosquito population while sleeping on the ground. I also chipped a tooth, saw Kody Noble almost get kicked out of the bar for having too much fun, looked on as Braden Tibbles and Justin Readings stickered as many unsuspecting girls as possible, and witnessed Casey Morrow do some serious cage dancing with some random dudes. All in a good night’s fun. I think some people went skateboarding at some point during the weekend, too.
Moral of the story? (Because there must always be a moral.) Get out and ride. You’ll probably have fun doing it and who knows where you might end up.