Loneliness of the long distance motorcycle rider


June 4, 2016


In spite of my late night nagging, Jim O’Neill covered almost 500 miles, including a rerouting, today to get to eastern Idaho. He didn’t mean to go that far, but couldn’t find a town with a motel. Still he stopped early for the night, checked in, crossed the street for a burger and headed to bed.

He admitted he was tired and lonely. He would love to have his long time friend Richard Blake riding with him—for company and to slow the trip down. Instead of the free flowing trip he imagined, it is becoming a grind. He wouldn’t do it again. Without me whining beside him, he just keeps riding. I’m always keen for an adventure. Soon after we met, we talked about me riding with him. But there are the head injuries, the metal in my head and now a metal back and a colostomy!! Noooooo wayyyy! But the motorcycle is preforming well, and no mishaps today. He stopped at a roadside historical marker and called me. From his voice, I knew he was lonely. And I know he is exhausted. I reminded him that sometimes, when we had driven long distances in the Sprinter and I insisted we check into a hotel for a night or two, we had both crashed and slept and slept.

Tonight when he called he promised to try and sleep in. He needs it. He will start later tomorrow and a shorter distance.

I reminded him, like many adventures, that the post trip stories would become rich with details, laughter and fond memories. Ride on.

Loneliness of the long distance motorcycle rider

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