"Any motorcycle is better than a car, and not for blinkered, biker type reasons, it's because you engage with the environment and the people in a far more intimate way. When it rains, you get wet, when the temperature drops, you get cold, and if those sound like reasons to take a car, they're the opposite: modern riding gear protects you enough, but it means you feel the air and the weather rather than viewing it through a screen, understand what travellers before you went through and experience the environment instead of merely looking at it. Then there are the smells, from the moisture hungry lowland desert winds to the fresh pines and scented blooms as you climb to 7,000 feet on Arizona's Kaibab Plateau, so magnificently scarred by the Grand Canyon."
... written so eloquently by our dear departed friend and mentor.
He also wrote: "I met my hero and I wasn't disillusioned. Quite the opposite, I had no idea that Route 66 would be such an intensely rich, rewarding and relentlessly entertaining experience. It's an expensive thing to do but this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are cheaper ways than Harley's, but from what I've seen they're lesser ways. I don't care what bike you ride the rest of the time, a Harley is the only one you should be riding on Route 66. You have to do it."
... I think we're all glad that he ignored the expense and gained the experience. He may not have lived as long as he should have, but I'm sure this wasn't the only 'once-in-a-lifetime experience' that he got to enjoy. I worked at my office without a break for twelve hours today. Reading these words of Kevin has firmly kicked my ass, in reminding me, that we're only in the office for the things that are out of it. We're all alive, but some people 'live' while their alive. Don't put off that special thing. Whether it's telling the girl you're cute on that you fancy her, or packing your toothbrush, credit card and having a 'proper' adventure on your motorcycle. This ain't no rehearsal.
Thank you for the reminder Captain. :)
Winter got a strong grip of the spring around here - but as you say, clothing and equipment (wind deflectors and heated grips) helps alot. The season is coming on nicely, finally.
Too right Captain.
Live to work...or work to live?
Good advice there CS. I thought of Kevin whilst in the Spanish Picos mountains on my XR1200 last week. I felt sure that he'd have approved of the roads and the scenery as well as the sights, sounds, smells...
Life's no dress rehersal.
Good sentiments well written there CS.
Don't put off until tomorrow, treat every days as if it is your last, because sure as hell is hot, one day it will be.
I think this guy gets it!
How about this guy?
Jan 22 2013...
Three years on and the void hasn't being filled. Kevin was such an articulate wordsmith and sorely missed. And from one aureate to another, I always liked this prose:
"The burble of my exhaust unwound like a long cord behind me.
Soon my speed snapped it, and I heard only the cry of the wind, which my battering head spilt and fended aside
The cry rose with my speed to a shriek, while the air's coldness streamed like two jets, of iced water into my dissolving eyes
I screwed them to slits, and focused my sight 200 yards ahead of me, on the empty mosaic of the tar's graveled undulations."
T.E. Lawrence 1936
Not really a reply but just echoing your sentiments Captain. I certainly haven't forgotten.
Hard to believe three years have passed by. Still miss the Saturday Telegraph column.
The year before last I got to ride across the USA, including the Grand Canyon & parts of Route 66. It was every bit as good as I'd dreamed.
I'm lucky, my job is much more than a money earner, but even so it's good to be reminded every so often to actually do stuff, not just dream of it. It's one lesson we can take to salvage something from Kevin's death.
3 years! Life passes quickly....
It's funny - I'm currently serving in HMNZS Canterbury and we're about to go and provide relief supplies to people in Fiji following the Tropical Cyclone there.
Things like this make me realise just how fortunate we all are and how much we take the basics in life for granted. I still find it difficult to believe that Kev's gone - I guess his writing keeps him very much 'There' in terms of us being able to hear what he had to say for himself.
Four years may have passed, but we've not forgotten. I do hope Caroline, Ingrid, Kirsten and Laurien are now enjoying their lives.
I heard of the passing of a long-time friend recently, and one of my best friends contracted cancer too. Reminders that life is for living in the moment, to enjoy, without regrets.
Enjoy your riding people and indeed enjoy your life experiences too...
Donate to the Kevin Ash Fund
Kevin's funeral was held on Thursday 28th February 2013 and was well attended by family, friends and colleagues.
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