LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
It's been said that life is made up of memories from lived experiences and I just couldn't agree more. One of the best memories I have is the road trips with dad on his motorcycle. When I was old enough to be able to ride with him, we took many roads on those wonderful vacations and weekend trips. Always looking for a new destination, always a new adventure.
The beginning of each trip was always filled with feelings of excitement and intrigue toward the unknown. There was nothing better than the cold early morning wind on my face and the leathery smell of dad's moto jacket. His inseparable companion represented him and provided him with that air of the greatest hero for a 9-year-old boy. On those road trips, I learned about motorcycles, the places we went by, and their traditions. I learned about the roads and to be aware of weather conditions. About the names of cities, national parks, and mountains... I learned to live.
Having grown up in Worcester, Massachusetts we always left before dawn and when morning broke, we stopped at Brody’s Diner, a roadside trucker’s café on the route to enjoy a well-deserved breakfast. Sunny side-up eggs, bacon, hash browns, and waffles were always awaiting us sitting at the restaurant bar.
-It's where the riders have breakfast, at the bar! - he used to say as I stared at him while he was drinking his coffee and I was pampered by a magnificent hot chocolate to keep me warm.
Then each trip used to continue on many roads that climbed forest mountains lined with huge trees and gently slid into vast, green valleys. Occasionally the rain or snow was kind and sometimes relentless hitting our helmet visors causing us to lose visibility. I used to keep my eyes wide open and focused on the road to identify any hazards, as any good wingman would do. When the rain rested, the mist used to take over as a cold, thick blanket that seemed to engulf everything around us.
For several years I lived with dad through the experience of moto road trips through mountains, valleys, deserts, and many scenarios in all the East Coast States from Main down to Georgia. Knowing places, towns, cities, people, and other motorcyclists, always willing to share and help in any situation.
Motorcycle tours are more than a recreational activity. It is a culture that has been developing for more than 100 years with great explorers who have traveled around the world, through different continents, to the Arctic Circle, and the North Pole. Since the time of Carl Stearns Clancy, who in 1912 undertook the longest, most difficult, and most dangerous journey ever attempted on a motorcycle. In June 1913 he made history by becoming the first person to circumnavigate the world in his 934 ccs, 7 HP Henderson Four. Since then, numerous motorcyclists have traveled the world between countries and through different regions preserving the cultural heritage of motorcycling.
Dad and I traveled to several states for a few years, accumulating thousands of miles and thousands of stories and anecdotes before I was able to take the road on my own. We used to hit the road every time we had the opportunity, sometimes without a fixed destination or a timetable ahead of us. Just living the moment, enjoying each day.
My father has already passed away, and one day, while we were cleaning out his closet, something called up my attention, a very familiar object. At the end of the closet, there was his Moto Jacket hanging. I took it very carefully, just like you would take something precious, and noticed that over time, the jacket had acquired a worn aged appearance but still kept its beauty. Immediately, my head got full of memories. I could still perceive that characteristic smell that I remembered so well as a child and now was making me live again all those journeys and adventures.
I never stopped traveling and today my 10-year-old son and I have begun the second stage of this great tradition that he will surely take with him among the best memories of his own life. He’s starting his own journey!