The Choice to Ride

Choices;  we all have choices to make, whether they are big ones or small ones.  I was once told that where I am today is the sum of all of the choices I have ever made.  I believe this saying to be true, at least in my case. One day a few years ago, I chose to truly live.

In 2012 I chose  to learn how to ride a motorcycle.  This decision in and of itself may not be a big deal, but at the time I made this choice, I didn’t know how life altering it would be for me.

Up to that point, I felt I was living in a dream; a very humdrum one.  I was a wife and a mother who didn’t fit in with many other “normal” mothers.  I had left a cultish religion in which I had grown up in and they in turn shunned me completely with the result that I lost all the people I had considered my family and friends; so much so that til this day my mother who still is in this religion will not speak to me.  So I didn’t really have anyone other than the family I had made.

Anyway, I had asked (yes, asked) my then husband if I could get a motorcycle.  I’ll never forget the response I received, “If you ever get a motorcycle, we are getting a divorce”.  The gauntlet had been thrown!  Here was the time to make a decision.  Well, I must admit to failing at rising to the challenge.  I subsumed my desire to own and ride a motorcycle to the vision of family that he wanted.  One day, a few years later, I realized that my life couldn’t continue the same way.  So what did I do?  I chose to take my life by the handlebars, that’s what.

I got a separate bank account and started to funnel money to it, little by little.  I used that money to go to a motorcycle endorsement class.  I didn’t have a bike yet, but I figured that would come in time.  I can’t remember what I said I was doing for those two days, but I remember that I was scared, exhilarated and tired by the end.  I also felt sad I couldn’t share what I had learned with anyone.

After a time, I did get my first bike; it was a little Honda CBR 250 and it was red.  I hid this little gem at a storage place along with all of the gear I had bought on Ebay.  I was such a noob!  My gear was too big and I was so scared to ride the new bike that I would just ride it around the storage facilities parking lot.  I dropped the bike once and it took two hours to pick it up and only because the storage lady saw me and came to my rescue.  My first bike ride was to Brandon Hospital to see my dad.  He was so proud of me!  Riding made me so happy and I looked forward to my stolen moments with my new two wheeled love.  Being on the motorcycle was what I was meant to do and I still feel that joy til this day.

I kept my bike hidden for four months before Geico gave me away.  My dear ex-husband opened my mail and saw that I had a motorcycle.  It would be two months before I could bring the bike home, but no divorce!  That did come later, after bike number three, hehe.  

Some choices we regret and some change us, either in a small or big way.  The choice to ride has never been one I’ve regretted.  It brought a lot of changes but I would do it all over again.  The joy of riding is always with me and I have gained such a big family.  If you are on the fence about riding, I’d say hop over and give it a try.  You may find it is or isn’t for you, but you won’t be left wondering about it.

Ride on my friends and ride well.

-Melissa Rodriguez

Melissa has been riding street and adventure bikes for 6 years. Her current love is Akira, a 2015 F700 GS. Traveling by motorcycle is her passion.
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