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Breathtaking Moments

In the romantic comedy Hitch, Will Smith plays Alex “Hitch” Hitchens. Hitch is a date and love advisor who helps clients learn to date the woman of their dreams. His task is to help an ungainly financial advisor Albert Brennaman get a date with the powerful Allegra Cole. One of his lines in the movie is, “Life is not the amount of breaths you take; it’s the moments that take your breath away.”

The same can be said about motorcycling. Riding a motorcycle is not about the amount of time or the miles you rack up on your odometer. The joy of riding is in the number of times that your breath is taken away by the beauty of the countryside you’re riding through.

"The joy of riding is in the number of times that your breath is taken away."

Maybe you’re gliding through the curves of Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota heading towards Savoy. The craggy Paha Sapa limestone walls tower high above as the Ponderosa and spruce pines stand tall wherever they can find a place to root. Bridal Veil Falls drops over a cliff in the Precambrian metamorphic rocks and cascades down the face as it shimmers like a diamond train in the blazing sun.

Perhaps you’re rolling west along the winding, razor-backed ridge called the “Devil’s Backbone” on FM 32 in the Texas Hill Country. The soft gray color of the Ashe juniper, also known as mountain cedar, sprinkled among the rich, deep greens of awakened oaks stand like cotton swabs the scraggly hardwoods. Or you might be slicing the multitude of twists and turns of the Three Sisters as Ranch Roads 335, 336, and 337 loop through the Hill Country.

Sometimes it is the unbelievable scenic panoramas while other times it’s simply an awe inspiring sunrise or sunset that takes your breath away. A beautiful rainbow with its vivid colors arcing across the sky or the rays of a hidden sun piercing the pillowing clouds with shafts of golden light can create a splendorous vista that writes itself indelibly in your mind.

But while you’re enjoying your ride and the untold majesties that surround you, there are also dangers possibly lurking around every bend in the roadway. You must remain alert so these potential threats don’t reach out to touch you and ruin your day. It’s all too easy to become immersed in the grandeur that spreads around you and letting the serenity lull you into complacency.

Staying on top of your game as you soak up the magnificence of your ride is a challenging task that requires a significant amount of effort. If the unexpected suddenly rears its ugly head, you need to remain in control of your motorcycle and make the problem become a non-issue for you.

But another line from the movie comes to mind. “You cannot use what you don’t have.” You have to have the motivation, the determination and the skill to handle whatever situation you face as you tour the vast lavishness of our great country. Keep learning everything you can and keep purposefully practicing your skills so they are ready if you ever need them. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss out on your next breathtaking moment.

Ride Smart! Ride Safe!