I have always said that I would never wear a patch because I wanted to ride with everyone. Kind of silly really because for most of my road life, I have ridden alone. Last year I made a ride with another group, but I had not ridden with A.B.A.T.E.
This year I got ride with them twice, the first time I was still a bit of an outsider. The second time even though Elf gave me fits I was a member. On that second ride I got my patch and I now have it proudly on my jacket.
Now I guess I will say that I wear this patch so I can ride with anyone, and help ensure they can ride with me. Because A.B.A.T.E. is not a club, or a gang, we are motorcyclists that are working towards bringing and preserving motorcycle rights and freedoms.
I won’t say that I don’t admire clubs, and I have longed for the brotherhood they seem to carry. However, I stood strong that I wanted to ride with everyone. Even though I rode on my own.
I pushed against the idea of me becoming an A.B.A.T.E.member as well. But PITA and Runamuck, my chapter President and VP, were unrelenting. PITA met me at the anti-suicide ride I showed up to last year.
She never let go. She saw very early that I was not going to be an easy case. She knew she would not be able to recruit me the way she did others. She was very wise in that she didn’t push, but she knew in those first few moments what motorcycles mean to me.
I am also willing to bet she knew I would go home and learn more and more about A.B.A.T.E. She was right. When I mustered up the courage to go to the spring ride, everyone was happy to see me.
However, I know that it meant more to PITA, she knew what it had taken for me to come out. Now my chapter accepted me and I grow my friendships everyday. I am making new friends faster than I ever have.
I can’t wait to see what the years bring being part of this great organization. I have said it many times now, but if you ride some type of motorcycle, A.B.A.T.E. should be something you look into.
A.B.A.T.E. was created preserve and fight for rights and education of ANY TYPE of motorcycle and its rider. They have chapters in every state, and we all need to participate. I am starting to carry a great deal of passion for this group.
Not just because they befriended me, but because they fight for the rights of every rider out there. Because they participate in the system that most just bitch about.
A.B.A.T.E. is near you,
A.B.A.T.E. rides with any type of bike.
A.B.A.T.E. Protects your ability to ride.
Find out when you next local meeting or ride is, and go experience all of this for yourself. I know in our chapter WE would love to have you out!
Read more about Lucien and his adventures on Elf the Motorcycle
A Couple weeks ago I got my ABATE patch, and when I put it on my jacket I have to admit it looked a bit lonely. So I started to think of what kind of patches I wanted to get.
I thought of a couple of ideas. I am sure in the next few months my jacket will have lots of other patches on it as well.
My bike is pretty unique, I bought it as a 1981 Kawasaki KZ1000m CSR. I had a second blown up engine that I got with it. 1,600 miles into my first season I blew up my number one piston. I rebuilt the bike combining the two engines with a Jug and cylinder from a 84 gpz1100.
Anyway the bike has been modified enough that I needed to rejet. So I wanted the best so I got a Dynojet kit, I was also lucky enough to score a kerker pipe to wrap it all up.
So when I was thinking about patches I thought that would be cool to have a patch from my aftermarket parts. So I put out an email explaining who I am and what I was looking for.
I have yet to hear back from Supertrapp the makers of Kerker, and Kawasaki probably has not even opened it yet. I figured it would take a long time to get through to the right marketing people to get some kind of patch.
So far that has proven correct for every except DynoJET. I don’t it was even two hours later, I got an email from Chris. He threw some patches in the mail that day and got me over to their marketing person.
Who has also been very responsive. Now my stuff does not get read by millions. Maybe one day but certainly not now. Yet DynoJET saw past that. They just thought it was cool I was riding with their product and were happy I wanted to show it off.
As you can see in the picture I got my patch, plus a bunch of stickers.
I hope to add patches for all my performace parts eventually. However I wanted to take a moment to thank Dyno-jet for the amazing response, it is rare to see a business take that kind of special interest.
The next piece I want to get for the bike is the Dyna-s ignition by DynaJets sister company DnyaTek. Hopefully I can score a patch for that piece to.
Again a big thank you to Chris for responding so quickly and positively to me.
If you need a Jet kit for your bike check em out today
I was all set on Friday night. First time I have been ready for a ride days in advance. The plan was to ride out to the start at Timpanogos Harley, for the pancake breakfast. I would ride the route with the crew to a picnic in the park in Payson. T and the kids were gracious enough make the long drive out and meet up for lunch and then chase truck me home.
The morning started out beautiful, The weather could not have been much better and Elf started on the second turn. I rode the back way, on 36. My hands made me pull over and swap out my gloves to ones that did not have venting. The ride was crisp but not quite cold.
I pulled Timpanogos Harley and as soon as I parked Elf Died. PITA walked over spotting me right away. I checked and I was right Elf was dead, no electrics. I said hello to PITA and explained my situation, she assured me someone could push start me.
At that point the first F*&K came into the conversation, in the form of “Fuck it.” Hoping the first leg the ride would put enough charge in the the battery to start the bike.
I made my way inside, although this time not quietly. Last ride I was able to walk around with virtually no one talking to me.This time however, they greeted me with smiles and hugs. It was a wave of people normally something that would paralyze me. But yet here with these people it seems I am alright.
Luv, has become a good friend over the net and last ride she had been there but I had not known so we had never said hello. This time as I walked in and saw her I asked. “This time will you at least say hello to me.”
She rolled her eyes at me and gave me a hug. It didn’t feel like meeting someone, it felt like saying hello to an old friend.
I got a cup of coffee, but this time instead of running to my bike to sit by myself, I was greeted by many people and pulled to this table and that to say hello. I even reached out and said hello to a guy that I had talked to online and was out for his first ABATE ride.
As we meet outside for the riders meeting, I didn’t feel like I was standing on the outside. I was in with everyone, joking and laughing. I remember being struck by that.
Its been a long time since I felt confident enough to joke like that in public. Normally with a group of people I feel different and like the outcast. However with my new friends I feel like I am a valuable part of the group.
We made our way to our bikes and my buddy Crash got me push started in no time. Elf was burbling on the extra gas from push starting so when Thumper walked over to greet me I asked if I had enough time to clean out my carbs before we took off.
He smiled knowing what I had in mind and replied, yes. I pulled out of the parking lot and shot all the way through my first gear in a roar. I am not sure if everyone was looking but it sure was fun to give everyone a little taste of what Elf can really do.
I pulled back into the parking lot and soon we were on the road up to the Provo gun club. I am really starting to enjoy riding with a group. This may sound strange but I feel like you can feel the other riders. All the energy is shared, the horsepower the wind the smiles, Its all shared.
I always had thought that riding in a group would be slow and constraining. For me though its not. The lower speed can be very nice to enjoy the views, something I should do more when I ride on my own. Also I am sure it seems we are all very close together but the staggered formation actually is a very safe method.
We pulled into a side road in the canyon and wound up to a gun range with the best view I have ever seen. The bike was on a hill so I thought no issues I will get ready early and be started and ready to go. It would not go that way…
The second F*&K of the day,as in “Where the fuck did the piece of my license plate go?”
Everyone was milling around talking, making their way over to the hand gun range. I was looking around and saw a shipping container embed into the far side of the mountain. So in true Lucien style I found a way climb to the top of it.
As you can see in this picture.
another F*&K was Runamuk asking what the fuck I am doing.
Here is the other picture I took, and the reason why I climbed to the top of this thing. I think it was worth it. Although I like the first one better now.
We went to the gun range, I don’t carry a side-arm so I drew my card instead of shooting for it. Making my way back to my bike I caught in a couple conversations. This was surprising to me because it was not really people i knew, and yet I was comfortable.
I heard the call to get on the bikes so I rushed over to Elf, hoping to be started and ready, but as I tried to push start down the hill she would not kick over. My face burned red. This is my worst nightmare.
Another F*&K, this one muttered under my breath over and over.
As everyone rolled away I tucked off to the side and tried not to look at anyone as they went by. My plan was to wave off everyone get Elf started and call Tam and let her know I was headed for home.
forty-three bikes rolled passed me, but three refused. I looked up enough to see Cutter next to me. I tried to say. Its ok I will get going and catch up. Cutter smiled and shook his head, there would be none of that today and I saw it in his face.
He put his bike down on its kickstand, along with VooDoo and Mac. As their engines shut off I had to collect myself. They were not going to leave me alone, Embarrassment started to bubble in me.
They did not notice it or maybe acknowledge it. They were all smiles and never gave the indication that this was any issue at all.
Mac wound up having jumper cables won in a raffle. The battery dead as it could be, my spark was even gone. We got a couple hints of starting up, so we let Elf sit sucking power off of Cutters bike The “Mistress”.
After a few minutes we were able to get Elf started. We all geared up and we rode down the canyon, a little faster than the way up. Mac split off by the highway and we waved him off but I never got to thank him for hanging behind.
I will be sure to let him know, how much he and his raffle jumper cables were appreciated on that day. Cutter, VooDoo and I buzzed the 15 until a Payson exit, then we rode the frontage road to a place called Stick Flippers, an archery range.
My plan when I pulled into the parking lot was to keep the bike running so I would be ready for the next step. However Cutter walked over and convinced me we could get on a charger.
I shut down but I was so on edge I really didn’t feel like shooting the bow. So again I slipped in and drew my card for the poker hand and slipped out. Cutter was able to find someone with one of those cool charging boxes.
Elf soaked up the power and She started and I waited at the edge of the parking lot. as the last person swung out Elf died. F*&K.
I ran back and got the charging box and got her started again and we were off. we actually caught up with the group as we rode into a cemetery.
We were there to honor one of the UMF, named Lucky who has passed on. I stopped Elf far back from the pack, this time dead set to leave her running. Cutter and the rest joined everyone up at the grave sight.
I stayed back with Elf, trembling with embarrassment. Let me take a moment to apologize to the UMF. I really felt like I was disrespecting their homage to their brother and friend. If I bothered anyone in anyway I am deeply deeply sorry.
Elf is not a huge fan of just sitting idling and soon she began to smoke and sputter, Once again I was embarrassed and if it hadn’t been for T and the kids meeting me at the picnic, I would have slinked away never to be seen again.
As we got going I feel in line and rode the rest of the way with the pack. It was nice easy paced cruise. We pulled up to the park and one left turn in front of the park, Elf died. F*&K
It was easy enough to roll her in and park her. But that did not take the sting of embarrassment away.
I was super excited, T and the kids were waiting for me. They had driven up for the Picnic at the end. It was good to feel T hug me. Her presence immediately calms me. Both the kids were happy to eat and look at the bikes.
We enjoyed the rest of the lunch in the park, not making too much conversation. A little here and there. I think I was very focused on T and the kids and so I may have pulled away a bit from everyone else.
The family got to say hello to PITA and Runamuk, They’re still pretty new to the group so there was not that many more that knew them. I was hoping to introduce them to Gary and Funsize, but we missed Gary for some reason, and Funsize didn’t make the ride.
They were able to meet Crash, and I was happy for that. Although I later found out he had been fighting a headache for the ride and so he was hurting.
Jester got up when everything was winding down and told the story of the Guardian Bell. I would post it, but I think Jester does a better job explaining it.
(VIDEO coming soon)
Jaina and Kyler put my bell on for me, with Jesters help. I have to say that when Jester said that I was a new rider In their group I felt really… Accepted I guess would be the best word. They had not judged me for Elf having issues.
They had pushed past my social anxiety, they had become my friends over all odds and me pushing against it. We said our goodbyes and again more people popped out of the woodwork, letting me know our presence was appreciated and enjoyed.
T and I got Elf going again with a jump off our SUV, and we started the long road home. Elf was not done though. As I rode I felt the spark wain, and she would die out. Elf killed out four times on the hundred miles to home.
Antoher couple F*&ks along the way a big rock came up and hit and broke my Right blinker,
F*&K! then not even 30 miles down the road my right side rear view mirror started to fall off so I grabbed it and put in my pocket. F*&K!
Having T behind me made all the difference, but it was still 7:00 when we rolled into the driveway of our home, all of us were beat.
I thought I would be embarrassed over the next few days, but a ton of people contacted me through facebook to tell me how great it had been to see Elf and myself on the ride. I wanted to apologize for getting in the way, or holding things up.
None of them would have it. That is the nature of bikes. they told me, we all break down. Basically in one resounding voice they told me “Sorry this is not the excuse you get to use to run away.”
I really want to thank all my friends for the warm reception, but to Cutter, VooDoo and Mac I want to say a special thank you for hanging with me, I can’t tell you what it meant to me.
I can’t wait for the next ride with my group, the Utah county chapter of ABATE. How about you come join us, if your on two wheels I promise you will get a warm reception, and most likely leave with a whole new group of friends.
If you see any errors in this piece I would love an email and I will try to get the error fixed LucienMaier@gmail.com
But It never gives you what you want, you fight at it over and over. You have written and written and written, and its never paid off. No fame, No fortune.
I dont do it for that. I do it to be a voice through time. A highwayman.
Sure sure you tell yourself that. You want to be shakespeare we have all heard it. But its not completely true is it. You have other dreams don’t you? A little shop full of bikes all your own, Movies with your words all over them, Long motorcycle rides and even longer writes. So your not without material want.
Its true I have long dreamed of a live built around my family, wrenching, riding and writing. and yeah I even admit I would love to see something by me on the screen. But that is not why I write.
Well then why do you write?
Because I have too. Because all those years ago I set myself on this path.
Knowing full well this is most likely where I would wind up. Knowing that even I was successful there was a damn good chance I would never see a lick of that success. But yet I wanted this anyway, for all the pain and the heartache I could do it no other way.
But then why are you so hurt by it? It destroys you that people don’t grab onto your words. You have put it above everything and all its ever brought you is disappointment?
You know I wish it was a fucking choice I wish I could walk away and never think about it again. But the simple truth is I know I need to do this, even if I keep falling flat on my face. Then that is exactly what is meant for me. It always has been. Sometime I think….
What do you think?
I can’t stop writing but maybe I should just stop releasing it to the world. Maybe then the pain won’t be as harsh. Accepting failure….
It will just call you back like it always does. No my friend you are just in for it. You get to open your chest and let the contents pour out on the sheet of paper. and For all your good intent and your hard work, You can’t stop writing, and you can’t stop presenting your work to the world like a pathetic child in hope of some praise.
And it will never take off and I will always be that poor author that never did anything.
So Be It.
so be it.
If you see any errors in this piece I would love an email and I will try to get the error fixed LucienMaier@gmail.com
Its been a few years now. But he is never far away.
Cancer caught him far to early, He had so much more to teach me.
You see I used to be the IT guy for a printing company.
I knew a lot about computers but my knowledge of Press’s when I started was very little.
One day the IR dryers went out on one of these presses.
The computer interface had an issue.
Desperate to get back and running my boss assigned, Carlos and myself to try to figure it out.
Carlos like me took the world by the horns and hardly ever took no for an answer.
We worked together that day for 2 hours, and not only did we repair the two million dollar press. We also found the recurring problem and wrote it out of the system. A fix we applied to the other two press’s in Salt lake and then six more in Raleigh and Dallas.
Carlos and I became good friends, always giving each other shit when we crossed paths.
Our little print company was doing real good and they decided they wanted to expand to Raleigh NC.
Carlos jumped on the chance to go and set up the new shop. So off they went to convert a fish packing plant into a printing operation. I was sent a few months later, to set up the computer systems.
On the IT side of things, power was not run correctly, the network was not done correctly and the bandwidth was not married to our system correctly. I had my work cut out for me. In dealing with the contractors, I heard a saying a lot. “It is what it is.”
They said it to everything, if something went wrong it was meet with “It is what it is.”
The second day of my trip I stopped by Carlos’s office and expressed my frustration with the “It is what it is” attitude. Carlos gave me his trademark smile.
“Fuck that, it is what we make it.”
And over that day and the next every time I ran into the attitude, Carlos’s voice would go over them in my head and I would present them with a solution. I was able to resolve every issue and when I left the whole system was up and running.
Even to this day anytime I hear someone say something like “It is what it is”
Carlos always pops into my head, encouraging me not to believe them.
During that trip we would normally walk into the bosses office at the end of the day to report what had gotten done. He would always walk into that meeting with the same saying. “GOT WORK?”
Carlos always looked for where he could be helpful. He never turned down any job. He did everything to get that old fish plant into a state of the art print shop. He was always looking to work and to contribute.
One day I told him I wanted to use his last name as the name of a werewolf in my book OF THE WOLF “ZION”. I asked because I wanted permission, but the reaction I got I was not prepared for.
He was really taken back, and thanked me profusely. I was thrown off that it meant so much to him. The wolf Bour’don was honest kind and helpful to all. He didn’t believe in limits, and he was always ready to push things to the next level. Just like Carlos.
I miss you everyday Carlos, Your voice is never far from my mind.
I try to live by “It is what we make it.”
But man I sure wish I could make it so you could be back with us.
If you see any errors in this piece I would love an email and I will try to get the error fixed LucienMaier@gmail.com
I approached my buddy Blair about hitting a ride North. My compass patch is pretty modest already compared to some who have them, but my North was really pathetic. I have big trip planned soon for my south. My east Basalt, CO was from a trip last year, that my wife and kids ran as my chase truck.
My west is not amazing, a long solitary ride to the Dugway proving grounds in Utah.
My north was really sad, Salt lake City Utah. So it has been on my mind to go north ever since it warmed enough to ride. My buddy rides all the time. He gets more saddle time than anyone I know.
He agreed and we decided we would leave early from work on Friday and head north. I let him pick the route because he knows the northern Utah much better than I. I could not wait the whole week.
Elf had a few issues, one with the starter motor. I had sorted it mostly out when Friday morning rolled around. I went out to the lab, and my starter motor issue reared its head again. I tried and tried to get her going.
Defeated I drove my car into work, not looking forward to letting my buddy know that I would have to cancel the ride. Talking to my buddy at work was torture. He was bummed, but he was gonna go ride anyway.
I proceeded to brood at my desk for the morning. I went for a walk to clear my head, we just moved into a new building at my job so I went exploring down by a small stream.
When I was a kid a group of us used to walk rivers and explore tunnels. The stream runs under the road at my work so I went through the large tunnel. I even took a picture to show my old friends on Facebook.
The whole thing made me feel better, but also back in those times we did not give up. We accomplished some crazy goals back then, only because we never allowed defeat. We continued to fight until we had won.
As I walked back I started thinking about that, As I have grown older I have learned to accept defeat. When I arrived back at my desk I decided I would not be defeated today.
I went by my buddies desk and asked him when he was going to head out. I got out of work and headed home. I worked quickly once home to tear the starter cover apart, this time I got the gear working better.
The bike was started and running, I dropped my buddy a text that I was good to go and could meet him at the base of the canyon.
I rode in and to the lower part of Parleys Canyon. The A on the map marks where this was taken waiting for Blair and Victoria to show up.
Blair rolled up a few moments later. He commented on the oil that was leaking out of my bike. She was dripping pretty bad, when I had put the cover back on a piece of gasket had broken away. leaving a small drip that produced some bad looking puddles when I stopped.
He even asked “What’s that?”
I waved him off. “Yeah thats me, but its ok I have more.” I said with a smile and Blair rolled his eyes at me. We hit the road and briskly rode to the the top of Parleys. Just below Wanship we ran into construction.
Blair led and was trying to get open spaces that I could clear out Elf. She is not a huge fan of riding constantly slow. Even though the construction sucked I was so happy to get past Wanship.
As we rode past Echo reservoir I knew my patch was broken. Once the construction lifted we started to ride faster. Really fast actually, we flew onto I-84 off of I-80, heading toward Morgan.
We really didn’t slow much until we pulled off at Devil’s slide for a photo op.
Not long before we were back on the road heading for Morgan. Blair and I did not talk much when we had stopped so I thought he might be mad. (Later learned I was wrong he was fine) We exited the highway at Morgan, and rode the old highway a two lane blacktop that rolled over hills and through the canyon. It slowed us down but it was an awesome road to ride.
We stopped off so I could get gas and some oil. Then we headed into Trapper’s loop on 167. Blair knew the road well and maintained good speed, I fell behind a couple times. Sometimes because the turns were tight and unknown, but also because the view was amazing.
We dropped into Ogden Canyon and linked up to 39, we rode next to Pineview reservoir. My new most North point is Huntsville, Utah from this point in the ride. The ride down 39 was very mellow and breathtakingly beautiful.
As we rolled out into the valley Blair pointed to where I would get on I-15 and make my way home. He also warned me about traffic in Clearfield. We said goodbye and I hit the 15 and stopped, Blair had been right traffic was horrible. But once I made it through I rode out to my house.
This is a ride I will remember for a very long time. I can’t wait to do a lot more rides with Blair. But now, I am looking west.
And Now Blair,
By Blair Butler
Finally free of the constantly recirculated choke of my cell, I remove the face shield from my helmet, I need air. I need the roar in my ears and the wasps in my teeth. A wheel turns; a heart begins to beat again, slowly at first then faster bringing life to an idle brain. Accelerating onto the giant tarmac rattler that divides the Beehive east and west. Heading north I roll it on and immediately move across, finding the open lane far to my left, Mach 5, 6, 7, then 8 and 9. Aaaaah, that’s better!
Settling in I look for a gap to veer right on to the belt that cinches about the populous of the city that is Salt, but not salty. Not a chance, back to the HOVer and bam!.. I lean into a hard right onto America’s pork route, the highway that connects the hog butchers of the windy city to the bacon hungry west. Alas there are too many cagers, gotta get clear of the “commute”.
Just. One. More. Curve… and it’s all behind me, I push the bar and she dives first into a left and then an arcing right, a few more of these and I see my first spot for a breather. The air here is cleaner, and it only gets better as we ascend.
An Elf awaits, not just any elf, this is a dark creature, growling, hissing, spitting hot oil. She’s dark but willing and it’s on again. Now I can hear it, Victoria sounds the warning and we climb upward, still accelerating we climb, we climb like a curious child, upward toward the sky. Thin air, blue skies, conifers are streaks of blue-green in the corners of my eyes. Over the top, then gliding, moving rapidly toward another twisting turning lean fest…
Nooooooo! It’s an orange barrel bobsled run with only one good line, a line ruled by a phone talking, Sunday driving, overcautious, company pickup operator still enslaved to his workday… But the sun is on my back, and the elf pilot is on my six, life is good, even at 45.
We exit the day-glow slow roll, and wrists instinctively twitch, back up to speed through the Weber River valley, pastoral, it’s spring in farm country. The peace is shattered by the sound of petroleum exploding into horsepower, if you look up to see what it is, it’s already gone.
A stone window and a grand tree mark our distance from UP home. Shrugging off the shackles of a day in a cell, finally the mind is free to appreciate what God has created, and the scar on a mountainside carved by the tailbone of the devil himself.
The winding canyon gives way to an open valley and a gentle rolling two lane, it’s a welcome break from the adrenal rush of the highway. Time to cherish the past while mounting the present, floating effortlessly through the century old ranches of worked earth and old Fords.
I need fuel, Crispy M&M’s will do nicely. Victoria, still tanked up and willing, needs no additional octane. Elf tops off and it’s back to the Loop. Climbing once again, shifting mass left then right, on the edge of tract we test the limits, it’s right and wrong at the same time. There’s a chill, it is elevation, thinner cooler and not nearly long enough. Descending now, this time wide open, knowing we are on the back end of “the long way home”. Choices; maintain velocity and is over much too soon, or slow and savor for just a few minutes more. Choice made, my dropping wrist and a brisk kick of the gear selector signal that speed will be the rule today.
Now to water and wind and pine, we skirt the lake and then join the river on its winding twisting route through unseen beauty. The auto-bound with their roofs and climate control see only a tiny fraction of the majesty here, Elf pilot sees it all for the first time and marvels, I see it for the hundredth time and still, I also marvel.
Just one last opportunity to squeeze a few more turns out of a Friday afternoon, we circumnavigate The Mount and regrettably we are back on the grid. Homage to the kindred who have gone before, the bronze soldier turns to admire our freedom, the very freedom he died for, a smile crawls across his sculpted face. His name a mystery, he knows that today, we have appreciated the liberty earned by the blood of patriots. Just a mile more and the Elf is gone, out of sight, yet the memory of her playful, dark soul is etched upon the forged steel of a V-Twin heart.
From here it’s all familiar roads and final turns, the ticking and plinking of iron as it cools, sleep will come easy tonight, the weight of the workday has been blasted away, not unlike from the sandstone monoliths of the south, worn by wind and water.
Its a question I get almost every time I mention that I am an author. “What do you write?”
There are so many wonderful response that go through my head.
“Words, sometimes in paragraphs!” You see I am a smart ass, but the question has always plagued me.
I have tried to gauge people and tell them about something I wrote that I think they may be interested in. Or tell them about my latest book in a rehearsed way. IE:
“My latest is about the Devil falling in love on his vacation. Just look up Lucien Maier on Amazon or Nook!” But I have watched sales and it does not seem to work.
The question has always struck me as a bit strange. You see to me the idea of being an author is not limited to a genre. Most authors I have spoken to are very quick to jump in a corner at this question.
Weather it be I write horror, romance, or action, or whatever you have, it has always seemed very limiting to me. However that is not why I became and author. I became an author, because in my family they were always quick to say with my mind I could have real impact on the world.
Now my family would most likely argue and say they were more interested in me becoming a noble Doctor or a Lawyer for the people, or the environment. They would also be quick to tell you that I never do what I am told.
So I looked at the world with my young eyes, and searched for the places that I could have some meaning. When we look through history you can quickly see that Author’s have brought some of the most powerful change in our world.
A author can reach into thousands (many more if they are great) of minds, and change thoughts, perceptions, even hearts. It is my strong belief that many of the major steps we have made as humanity have been planted as seeds in the fictional stories that came before.
So for me being an author means you should write the stories that you believe in, not to a certain genre. After all what is a vampire novel without a good love story. What is a good romance with some dramatic action to spice things up.
My hero’s in writing are not Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, my heros are Richard Bach, Shakespeare, Hemingway, and Twain. They wrote because it drove them. They opened their chests and let everything fall out on the page.
If you held Shakespeare to his great Dramas, we would have missed his amazing comedies. It seems in modern times becoming an author is now about gaining the public’s admiration and selling books, and for most that seems to be fine.
That however is not why I became an author. It may seem aloof, but I wanted to affect the world. My heroes used words to change the course of of humanity, and I always wished the same for my words.
For me being an author means you use your stories, to touch people and change the way they look at the world. Not to mention I love to bounce from one thing to other. After all does not every great story have elements from all genres.
I hope some of my stories have affected you, and then truly my goal is accomplished.
I have always, at least as far as I can remember, felt broken.
When I was a young man I always fought to become something
When I hit middle age, I was so focused on making my family.
Now that I am old, old as dirt, I am only focused on,
Seeing my family grow,
Finding and keeping friends,
Seeing as much of the world as I can.
And Now that I look back through old eyes, in my life I have chased so hard,
I was there for the birth of the Internet, or at least its toddler years.
I created an Internet Radio station before they existed.
I have written five novels, along with countless stories and poems.
I have a strong marriage and two amazing kids.
For as long as I can remember I have felt like a failure.
Because the world did not react the way I had hoped.
Because I did not reach the goals that I had laid out.
Because I felt like I had no impact.
I was wrong
True the world didn’t react the way I wanted, but it did react.
Also, I didn’t reach the goals I had laid out, but I did reach some.
I felt like I had no impact, but that was because I was looking at the large scale,
But if I look on the small scale. I have effected many with my words and ideas.
Before I was old I chased very hard to be something amazing,
And I wasted my time, I was already something amazing, and so are you.
If you think for a moment, the chances that you are here, on the planet.
At one of the most dramatic times in human history.
The Equation is impossible to fathom.
Yet, each of us completed it and are here.
So for the late years of my life, Instead of chasing,
I think I will just go out and chase life,
After all, it is the one thing that is always running out.
So if you read my most recent piece, it was about the recent ride I took with ABATE. There was a ton of people there, and all of them were friendly. There were many people I didn’t comment on, and I look forward to getting to know them all more over the summer.
If you weren’t mentioned, that does not mean you were not noticed. I tend to notice a lot of things and people are on the top of that list, guess that is part of being an author. I am sure many more ride stories will come from this summer, with many more of these amazing people that have befriended me.
However there is one person I left out on purpose, and I am willing to bet he noticed. You see for the very first time I saw a Compass Patch in the wild. Jester, had one on the back of his Jacket and I spotted before we took off on the ride.
Now if you know me, you probably know I am trying to get these little Compass Patches to take off. It basicly tracks how far you have gone from home in any given direction. Although they can be used to represent any form of travel, they were conceived to track your motorcycle range.
Seeing it the first time as he walked, was a moment of disbelief. I collected myself enough to thank him for getting his patch and asking for a picture of it.
He let me snap one laughing that I was trying to get a picture of his ass.
Jester had been so cool when he sent his order in. In all our communications he was patient and excited for the patch. Even if he is not very good with his north. 😉
I still can’t say what that meant to see it on someones gear. I can’t wait to see a ton more of course, but I am really glad the first time was Jester. Jester and I have not talked much, but he is very active in ABATE and I am sure he has noticed me.
Although we have not had many conversations, I think there is a good deal of silent respect between the two of us. I hope that grows into a strong friendship, and I hope he feels the same.
He has always been an encouraging voice, and then to do me honor not just buying my patch but displaying it. Well again, the feeling is just indescribable.
I know there are a few out there. I have seen pictures on the net, but something about seeing it in person. Seeing a product you came up with bring someone else pride and a smile is so great.
Throughout the whole ride I would spot the patch here and there floating by. Always bringing a smile to my face. Although I did feel a little shame that once again I was staring at Jester’s ass.
I am starting to think that he may have planned it that way. If so, well played my friend, well played.
There were so many there that extended that hand of friendship, and I really do hope to get to know them all better. ABATE is a cause that everyone one on two wheels should be engaged with. If you don’t know why, be sure to read my piece:
Last riding season, I tried to go out with a couple groups to see what group riding was about. I wound up meeting the Utah county chapter of ABATE for their anti-suicide ride. I met quite a few of the members, and even came away with a couple friends.
PITA is one of those friends. Since Elf was running strong I wanted to make good on a promise to ride in their group ride with her. It was also (I thought) a good chance to surprise PITA. My Antisocial part started dragging feet about Thursday, looking for excuses not to go.
However as Sunday rolled into view, Elf was running amazing as if to say. “Its time.”
The morning came and I crawled out of bed. I thought I would have been super excited, but I drug a little. When I got geared up and rode to the gas station, it was FREEZING. I pulled every piece of extra gear out of my pack and put it on. Once all bundled up I hit the road again.
The rest of the ride into my first little rest stop was very cold as well. As I sat in the parking lot of the gas station with a cup of coffee trying to warm up. My thoughts kept turning back to going home and forgetting about the ride.
I was just about to head home when a surge of confidence hit me and I completed the ride to the ABATE Spring ride start point. It started at Timpanogos Harley Davidson, If you haven’t ever seen it you should know it’s a very cool Harley shop
The second I pulled in, all the old insecurities and thoughts flooded in.
I wanted to turn around and head home, but I pushed myself to park the bike. I walked in and PITA spotted me. She came over and seemed happy to see me, but not really surprised. I think someone must have spilled that I was coming.
Sometimes things Run-a-muck
I went in and signed up and then floated around the shop, in the end I spent most of my time out by my bike. It seems no matter how many folks there are, and how friendly they are, I will always float to a place by myself.
As this picture, which a friend of mine took reflects, I am out with the bikes as everyone else was having a nice pancake breakfast. They are all welcoming enough, but I can’t cross that line. I try but I can’t.
So I was on my bike waiting to ride, focusing on the ride was keeping my anxiety in check. Somewhat, what you don’t see in the picture is me working very hard not to swing my leg over my bike and get out of there as fast as I could.
When everyone came out, we were called together in a riders meeting. They went over the plan and it was time to ride. Elf started up, even in a sea of Harleys you can hear her clearly. Well, I can.
So I rolled in to join the line I looked over and “Fun Size” fell in next to me. She rides this this great shadow, all matt black and bad ass.
She smiled when I pulled in next to her so I felt pretty good and we rolled out up the into Provo Canyon. She was in front and she rolled that Canyon. Watching her prep for corners gave me great indications, and I felt at ease behind her.
Next time I roll through that canyon I will remember a lot of things I picked up from her. She knew that canyon perfectly, I found out later she has ridden it a whole lot.
We pulled into Heber and a couple of people made their way over. Because yes, I was sitting on my bike, by myself.
A facebook friend that was nice enough to buy a Compass Patch from me named Gary came over and introduced himself. He had said online that he was pretty much going to ignore my whole loner thing and he did.
He walked me back over his way and we talked bikes here and there. Another quick riders meeting, and our expert road crew had us on the pavement. Again I was next to Fun Size but this time she was my tail.
We rode up to the next stop in Park City. I gassed up and then parked at the back of the line. I was bummed because I thought I would lose my spot next to Fun Size for sure.
PITA, hung out with me on that stop. Which meant that everyone came by to say hello, but PITA has the ability to get me to talk to people. We talked about ABATE, and what we could do to get rid of the misconception that it is for “Bikers”.
This is subject that would stick with me the rest of the ride. I mean here I am a recluse that shys away from people. Top it off with my foreign bike, and well I should not fit in with this group of “Bikers”.
And yet, there I was right in the middle of their ranks, As we rode down into Salt Lake we stopped at one last rest on 90th south. Funsize and Crash, both had gotten a small look at how fast Elf can be, and both were raving about the speed.
Now when people compliment my writing I freeze up, and never know what to say. But hearing someone brag on Elf I was just fine with, and I couldn’t help but smile. They went into the bar and I, well, I stayed with my bike.
Gary came up a few moments later, he invited me in for a drink so we went in the bar, I had a coke. I was pulled onto a table with Funsize, and Gary, a couple other people joined us. I was comfortable enough to participate in the conversation.
It was really cool to have a moment where even in the crowd I felt confident. After a rider meeting we headed back to the freeway. This time Merging onto I-15, now every group ride where we try to get onto I-15, we get chopped up into little groups.
As we hit the freeway it happened again and we were all scattered. I am sure there was groups that took this slow, but not my group. I think we were happy to see the opportunity to open our throttles and ride at speed.
I lit Elf up and we flew down the road. At one point I noticed I didn’t see much of a pack so I dropped off the throttle and waited to be passed. I fell in behind a group and we finished out the ride to a small restaurant in Lehi called Kickn’ it.
Now everyone was commenting on how fast Elf was. Again I could do little but smile. We had lunch and they finished the raffle and poker hand. At this point I decided to head home. I got on Elf and gave a good blast as I shot out of the parking lot.
On my ride home, I felt something I have not felt in a long time.
Normally when I leave an event, I start to tear it down in my head. How I should have never gone because I didn’t add anything. By the end of my ride home I have usually convinced myself that I should have never gone.
That did not happen this time. They won.
Every time a bad thought went through my head,
I would see PITA’s face, so happy I had overcome.
Gary, who didn’t give a thought to my weakness, merely wanted to be friends,
FunSize, who rode with next to me and spotted how special Elf really is.
Crash, a Brand new face, but one that wanted to be my friend and made no bones about it.
All the others that gave me a smile and accepting me in the group.
For the first time in a long time, I could not come up with a reason not to go back.
ABATE does incredible work everyday, but on Sunday they proved to someone that thought he could never fit in, that he could. They grabbed him and would not let me go until he knew, that people do care about him.
And he can’t express what that meant to him.
You know I always said I would not fly a patch on my Leather, so that I can ride with anyone. But now I can’t wait to fly my ABATE patch, so I CAN RIDE WITH ANYONE!
Big Thanks to PITA, Jodi, and BEAUTY for the pictures!