Road trip - this is what it's all about!!
(Cape Town, South Africa)
On the Road!
I've just returned from my first bike road-trip riding my own bike. Just my husband and I, me on my 650 Suzuki Savage, him on my (!) 800 S50 Boulevard, 11 days with only a vague plan, we ended up doing 1 610 km, just over 1000 miles. It has definitely been the best trip of my life! We did a big loop leaving our home town of Cape Town, South Africa, heading up the West Coast a bit, then inland through the Northern Cape, and back home through the Little Karoo. Now I'm talking about long open roads, very little traffic once we'd left the National Roads, and just the best semi-desert vistas!
We encountered a little bit of rain, some sea mist, a bit of wind, but in general we'd chosen the time of year well, so had plenty of sunshine, and I actually found that it really didn't matter what the weather was like, what mattered was that every day I got to hop on my bike and ride somewhere different, with the biggest grin on my face!
I only started riding my own bike last year, and have managed to clock up a number of kilometers since (I was determined to be comfortable on the bike before this trip), and while I did feel a twinge of apprehension each morning before getting on the bike, it only took a minute or two before I felt settled again, and in my element. It's so absolutely true what I've read here on this forum, 4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul. I just loved being inside my helmet for hours of the day, with my own thoughts, sometimes some tears as I worked through recent hurts, got some good wind therapy, often a great song going through my brain (grateful that no-one else could hear my tunelessness!!), but mostly just freeing up my mind, living in the moment and LOVING it!
My husband and I shared so many great moments on this trip, little memories to build up, the kind of things that he'd previously only been able to share with his mates, with me feeling left out and left behind at home. Riding my own bike has changed everything!
I even tackled some dirt roads (we have plenty of them), mostly in great condition, but one really tough challenge, which, because my bike has very little clearance, had to be negotiated carefully, but I did it, and showed the world that at 46 this old girl can still learn new tricks!! I found that once I stopped fighting the bike, and started guiding and responding, rather, we both handled the conditions better!
I know I'm still new at this, and still have plenty to learn, but wow, what an experience, and what a joy to know that there will be more!! To all my fellow "newbies" out there, don't give up when it gets scary, keep at it at your own pace, it does get better, even after only a few months, as in my case, and I just know it's going to keep getting better and better!