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A New Year’s Revolution

After more than 40 trips around the sun, I’m thinking back over the decades of New Year’s Resolutions I’ve made for myself. For the very first time in the history of Bonnie I want you to know that I DID IT!!! VAROOM VAROOM!

This year I didn’t resolve to lose those nagging 10 lbs, workout every day, eat healthier or save more money. What I decided to do, was something different and focus on being more “ME”. I’m a risk taker, I love competition and I love my Daddy. And my Daddy loved Harley’s…

In motorcycle vernacular you don’t “drive” a motorcycle you “ride”. My interest in riding was sparked at 11 when I first learned to kick start my Daddy’s first Harley. To his delight, I sat on it all by myself – with the help of the kickstand. I spent summers in Memphis, where he worked as an airplane mechanic for Federal Express, and we rode everywhere. My babysitters were airport bar waitresses and Hell’s Angels “old ladies”. As his only child, my daddy taught me a lot of “useful” skills during those formative years – like how to shoot pool well enough to beat most of his buddies. I was the son he never had. Still, he never taught me to “ride” on my own or encouraged me to get my own motorcycle. Some things, I figured, were just meant for boys.

More than a few “riders” have come in and out of my life. They come and they go and they mostly just go… VAROOM VAROOM! My last crazy boyfriend was an avid lifestyle motorcyclist – expert level from decades of using a bike as his primary mode of transportation. My first real lessons were on the back of his Vulcan 800 listening to him pontificate about his way to stay alive out there on two wheels. I jest, and would never admit to him, but I absorbed every word. Respecting his skills while hoping I’d someday put his prowess into action on my own bike. Enter his 1981 Honda 200 – a light, small and very forgiving machine with which he taught many friends the basics. I started hands on lessons. Rule #1 he said was “don’t screw up” but I dropped the thing early and often anyway. When I did, I learned as he sternly reminded me there is no time for crying in motorcycle riding. Get out of the road or end up road kill. It was the school of hard knocks but I learned quickly and took it seriously. Riding was a big part of our dating life and included lots of motorcycle day trips, camping trips, and long country rides. I never got the ring, but he did end up painting that Honda pink and gifting it to me for Christmas. If you know me, you’d know I’d take a motorcycle over a ring any day.

That relationship and my riding routine ended. Newly single, my desire to control my own motorcycle destiny mounted every time I heard a “VAROOM VAROOM” roll by and my heart sank because I knew it wasn’t coming for me. With 2013 ending and resolutions looming, I considered…why wait for someone to come into my life with a motorcycle to be able to ride?

My 2014 resolutions included obtaining a Class M License and purchasing my own motorcycle.   I reflected on my typical resolutions and pondered – are these appropriate New Year’s goals? In my family, traditional New Year’s Resolutions are about deprivation, limiting our bad habits or controlling our gluttonous ways. But let’s be honest – they are rarely seen to fruition.   Instead, why not ADD something that makes us happy and expands upon our strengths thereby leaving less room for weaknesses? To me the more space joy and happiness occupy in our lives the less room will remain for all the negative habits that New Year’s resolutions are designed to rehabilitate.

After a Harley “New Rider’s”course, a Class M license, a Triumph T100 Bonneville and 4,214 miles… I can honestly say I love this addition to my life and it has dramatically increased my happiness quotient. I did something I’ve never had the guts to do before. In the process, most of those traditional “health and wellness” New Year’s objectives resolved themselves magically. Yep, I lost some weight, shopped a lot less and am tremendously more active thanks to my “Bonnie”.

My advice for your New Year is to do more of what you love. “Be more YOU!” Happiness will follow and the rest of it may just happen naturally.   I’m still “alive” after riding all year and I feel more alive than ever. I’ve embraced a “Live to Ride and Ride to Live” lifestyle. What will your “ride” be this year? Good luck and I hope to see you out there! VAROOM VAROOM!

Written by: Bonnie Browning

Publishers Note: Lori Welch Brown decided to take the month of December off to celebrate the holidays unencumbered with deadlines. We welcome, once again, Bonnie Browning to our writers fold. Lori will be back in February.

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