I wonder if all riders have a dream route planned. Something that percolates in the back of the mind during the off season and bubbles up into one’s consciousness while sitting on a bike, or enjoying a few drinks while in the proximity of a motorcycle, or maybe lying awake at night while the burdens of the day and the worries of tomorrow conspire against sleep.
My own dream route takes me down the west coast of Canada and the United States and then winds through Central and South America and into Patagonia. I plan to stop when I hit the ocean. This probably won’t happen this year. Or next year. After all, Time and Disposable Income don’t always conveniently intersect keeping some of those cherished dreams just out of reach of reality. Which, incidentally, makes them really good dreams.
Of course, sometimes our dreams change—and that’s okay. Sometimes it is we who change—and that’s okay too. And sometimes our dreams become reality. If you’re interested in being inspired (and maybe finally saying, “F*** it” and riding) check out Steph Jeavons: One Steph Beyond. She’s riding a Honda CRF 250 (yes, a 250) around the world. Hers is a story well worth reading.
Or, a little closer to home, if you wander down to the shop one afternoon, you’re likely to see 15 dreams that have morphed into reality. MotoVida is now the newest Moto Guzzi dealer and while seeing some shiny new bikes in the showroom is always exciting, it’s what these bikes represent that makes them meaningful.
Brent bought his first Guzzi in 2008—a V7 if I’m not mistaken. Although, his love affair with Moto Guzzi started more than decade before that and had less to do with the performance and more to do with the classic styling and legendary history of (I think) the oldest Italian motorcycle manufacturer in Italy. In any event, hearing him talk about it is a little like listening to someone in love: maybe not always logical, or even rational, but inexplicably enthralling and undeniably poignant.
Consequently, he’s owned a variety of Guzzis over the years and having them in the shop now really is a dream come true. In fact, MotoVida had a test-ride event a few weeks ago and more than one rider went away smitten by Cupid’s arrow…I bet half of them are learning Italian right now. Indeed, if you don’t have a dream ride brewing in your sub-conscious, try sitting on a Guzzi or two and the dreams will probably find you.
In the meantime, I try to remember that even riding was once a dream that I had relegated to the nether regions of Someday. Any ride, therefore, is a good ride. I was recently in an elevator with my jacket on and helmet under my arm. The doors opened and in walked a gentleman in his own gear. We shared the obligatory nod followed by a conspiratorial grin. “How was the ride?” he asked.
“Short,” was my answer. “Just came from across town.
“Any ride is a good ride,” he replied sagely with a solemn shake of his head. “Actually” he went on with a smirk, “sometimes I forget to buy milk on purpose just so I can go out later and pick some up.”
Ah, yes. The old “I forgot to buy milk” routine. Classic.
Naturally, after that brief exchange we parted as friends and I’ve since found myself appreciating his words.
Any ride really is a good ride.
I might not be on the road to Patagonia, but I’m on the road and on two wheels and that’s not nothing. As a matter of fact, it’s a damned good something. Besides, I think that even the hope of the dream-ride endows the reality of the present road with enchantments and wonder. Perhaps therein lies the real power of dreams: not that they can change the future; but they might change our present—making even a milk run a little magical.
I’ll take a little more magic in my life. I’m not a magician, but I’ve got a motorcycle and a dream…and we probably need some milk.
And today that’s enough.
David Balfour was born in Regina, Saskatchewan and has since lived in Edmonton, Alberta, as well as British Columbia’s Cariboo and Kootenay regions before settling in the Okanagan. David has had a variety of career tangents through the years: he was a roadie for a rock band in the 1990s, he worked on a mushroom farm, completed a Bachelor of Arts degree, owned a small business and recently completed his Education degree at the University of British Columbia. David lives in Kelowna, BC.