The Million Mile Ride

The Harley-Davidson Owners Group has come up with a concept they declared Million Mile Monday. They set aside June 30, 2008 as a day to get everyone out on their bikes. The goal was to collectively try and accumulate one-million miles worldwide. The miles could be pretty much anything. Some would use their bikes to commute while others had planned a long journey that would incorporate this date into their plan. At the end of the day members were invited to log into the H.O.G. web site and enter their miles. It is a cool idea really. What better way to remind people how great it is to ride a motorcycle than to get them out on the road. Hopefully it would also increase the total number of riders on the road for at least a day. This should in turn make other drivers more aware that the motorcycle population is not a niche market but is much more mainstream than they had previously imagined. Perhaps then drivers would be more conscientious than they have been in the past.

Initially I had huge plans for Million Mile Monday. I thought about taking the day off from work and loading up the Night Train and heading out for an epic ride. Those plans were dashed when I realized that this date fell during the time that Trina and Whitney would be gone and I would have Dakota at home alone. For a moment I considered putting Dakota on the back of the bike and making it a father and son outing.
It seemed like everything was working against me on this. First there was the fact that I was still pretty sick and with all the medication driving a bike a long distance was probably not the smartest thing. Secondly, this was the day that Trina actually returned to town and I needed to go and pick her up. I wasn’t exactly sure she would appreciate me pulling into the parking lot on a motorcycle since she would have all of her camping equipment with her. Then of course there was the small fact that it was to be 114 degrees today with a 15 mile per hour wind making the wind chill about 120 degrees. I swear it feels hotter when the wind blows in Arizona. Regardless of all this I was committed to be a part of Million Mile Monday. So after making sure Dakota was settled and checking the clock to verify that I had time before Trina came back into town I grabbed my helmet, my leather jacket, my gloves, and jumped onto the Night Train. It felt great starting it up and rolling down the driveway.
Before long I was out on the road; the sound of the exhaust serenading me. Each passing mile brought a bigger smile to my face. The trials and troubles I had been enduring seemed to melt away every moment I was in the saddle. After an hour or so I knew I needed to get back. It took every ounce of strength that I had to turn the bike around. Not because I was weak but because I knew that once I parked that bike I would again be thrust into the real world and my fun would be over. Sometimes obligations get in the way of what you really want to do.
I pulled back into the garage and parked the bike. For a moment I sat there as the silent engine cooled. It had been the best part of my whole day and I have the Harley Owner’s Group to thank for that. It may be hot and I might not have felt the best before but I was feeling pretty healthy now. Maybe I need to make every day Million Mile day.

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