The title of this blog reminds me of John Wayne and it is no coincidence that I use the term when riding Harleys with my buds. I look at the group and say, “Saddle up, Pilgrims.” It doesn’t matter if I am leading that day or not – I say it anyway.
Saying it makes me proud and I get a tingle down my spine as we start the motors that have re-tamed the west. There is no road hazard, weather condition or heartache that can keep us from hitting the pavement with the wind in our faces. We conquer all our fears each and every time we ride and we always touch the face of freedom.
The world and all its problems are just a blur in the rearview mirror. The only things we face are courage, determination, joy and pride. We have the courage to do something inherently dangerous that most shy away from…the determination to return home safe from our journey…the joy of being totally free…and the pride of keeping our machines spotless and mechanically sound.
Like the cowboys of the old west, we know that the health of our iron ponies may well dictate whether we return home alive. Also like the old west cowboys, we saddle up regardless of our fears – knowing full well it could be our last ride due to circumstances beyond our control. Freedom always must be earned – it is never free.
Like the “Duke,” as we get older it is harder to saddle up and ride because our bodies are complaining loudly, but we do it anyway. Once we start the ride, old age is forgotten and youth returns strong and bold. Hearts soar and souls are joyous because once again freedom rings in our hearts. Also like the “Duke,” we know that someday we will ride into the sunset and not return. We will leave the planet smiling with the memories of a life well spent embracing family, freedom and the open road.