The last year of my life was spent working very hard on a book that I published about the music scene here in Austin. It did very well, selling in 12 countries and has enjoyed a very warm reception.
This trip is my chance to follow another passion, exhale, enjoy some down time in the saddle, laugh with friends, and see some beautiful remote areas of this country of ours. Also, I will get to spend some of my attention with my inner dialogue.
My therapist believes I am agoraphobic. The description from WEBMD
reads as follows: Symptoms of agoraphobia include anxiety and subsequent avoidance of being in a situation in which one will have a panic attack, when in a situation from which escape is not possible, or is difficult.
When I read this a couple years back I was relieved. At least there was a name for all the crazy shit going on in my head. I used to live a less than healthy lifestyle and I thought it was just payback time and I was going to lose my mind. Most of the time I am not panicky. The situations which now bother me which never used to, are ones where I have no control or where I can't extract myself quickly. Airplanes, for now, are way too freaky. I couldn't care less about turburlences; it's just being stuck on that thing that scares me. Waiting on tarmac for an hour would be my undoing.
Statistically, motorcycles are infinitely more dangerous but the critical difference is the perception of some degree of control, whereas on a plane I am totally surrendered. What this has allowed me to do is slowly stretch out of my comfort zone in a way that I can really seem to grow from. Motorcycle travel forces me into the current moment in a way that I hadn't previously known. Yes, I still freak myself out about all kinds of future events that could maybe just maybe happen, but I am working on it.
This is my once-and-for-all hang it all out there for a month and JUST DEAL WITH IT
My ride report "Hypothermia or Bust" spoke a lot about my strange inner workings and many of you really related.
So, if you are up for traversing the darkest, scariest topography of my tattered cerebellum, read on. If you are more the type who is manly man, leather chaps, no helmet, grunting about your 600-mile a-day-trip to Sturgis, you'll probably get bored of my sensitivity. I'm just grateful we have a community who are willing share what all this adventure means to them.
Below was my first taste of the real mountain trails: