Unfortunately, after my visit to the neurologist, the news isn't good. He said that I can't run anymore (which sucks because I really wanted to improve on my last marathon time) or use a stairstepper or an eliptical trainer. When I asked him what I could do for aerobic exercise, he said "well, you can swim..."
I waited for him to finish his sentence but that was it. I assume that meant I can't snow ski or ride bikes anymore but I didn't ask the question, so he didn't actually say "no". I can't hear that answer, to be honest with you all. I love riding too much. To me life's not worth living if you can't do the things that makes life worth living.
I rode to work today after a brief hietus (which was due to both of my bikes being broken at the moment, not my back). My husky is good to go now but the Daytona is still waiting on the fabricator to finish the repair to the header. After that, I'll put her back together and put the new bodywork on.
I would like to take a moment to issue a great deal of thanks to John at "Sky King Prodcuts". Without his help, I would still have some really messed up fairings and a really ugly bike overall. For all of you who need performance parts for your Daytonas, give John a ring. He's a class act, I promise!
On a positive note, I'm out of the military now and they paid me a good deal of money to leave. Congress said the Air Force was over-manned so they offered us a bonus to get out. I just got my money yesterday, I'm happy about that, obviously. I'm really looking at the new MV Agusta 312 F4. That's the best looking motorcycle I've seen in years and I'm not sure I can pass it up.
I've done a lot of soul searching lately and I'm a little drunk right now, so I'm sorry if this comes off as 'freaky' or whatever but I have a few things I want to get off my chest, so bear with me:
I grew up in a small town where I rode bikes occasionally but never enough to gain a lot of valuable experience. Since I was 7 years old, I only ever wanted to do one thing; become an Air Force pilot. Well, after a lot of hard work and getting through college (a feat which neither my father nor my stepfather had accomplished) I made it! I myself didn't believe it was possible. I injured my back during Air Force pilot training and had the chance to either try to tough it out or quit.
The word "quit" doesn't exist in my vocabulary, so I tried to tough it out. In the end, I failed. I'm not sure if it matters that I never quit, but I don't think I could have lived with myself otherwise, so I didn't.
I went through a really dark time in my life and on my way back from California from Vance, AFB, I was sipping on a bottle of Jack the whole trip back. I didn't care anymore and it was at this time when I finally made the decision to buy my first bike (which, I admit, is probably the worst reason to buy a bike). My reasons were probably all wrong but the point was that I lived my whole life sheltered because I knew that if I got hurt, I couldn't pass a flight physical to fly for the Air Force. After I was disqualified, it didn't matter to me anymore.
Then, this amazing thing happened, I found myself falling in love with the whole experience of riding. I loved twisting the throttle and feeling the pull of the bike underneath me. I loved throwing the bike into the turns and feeling the lateral G's as I hit the apex and accelerated into the next turn. As time went on my confidence got greater and I became a better rider. I'm not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but I feel like I know what I'm doing now.
Was this whole ordeal part of my destiny? I don't know. What I do know is that if it wasn't for all those events, I wouldn't have got a bike at all (much less, my beautiful CE Daytona). So how did I come to be a Triumph owner? Well, some of you (more spiritual types) might have heard the expression "The bike chooses the rider, the rider does not choose the bike." In my case, that's 100% true. The bike I found wasn't listed on cycletrader or anything else. One night, my roomate turned to me and asked, "Hey, what was that Triumph you said was your all time dream bike?"
I said, "A 2002 Daytona CE." He glanced down at his computer and said, "Great! A buddy of mine has one for sale."
My motives might have been wrong in getting into riding but I've grown to love it now. The bottom line is that if you read my earlier statement about how "the word quit isn't in my vocabulary" then you'll understand that no matter what, I'll never give up on riding.
My bike was my all time dream bike when I first saw it in 2002. I always thought that it would be the coolest bike in the world to own. So today, despite all my hardship, I can tell you with complete certainty that I am living the dream.
Thank you all for being a part of my life and please know that despite how all this trash sounds, I promise, I'm not crazy...
I don't think there's a bad reason for buying a bike. If riding is what connects you, that's cool. I got into bikes for another reason, I knew I'd never have the car I wanted. An exotic bike would fill my need for exclusivity and speed.
I looked at Ducati and Aprilia then Moto Guzzi because I had lived in Italy as a twenty-something-year-old at the time when production cafe racers were just emerging. (Always wanted a Laverda.) But the sane side of me said I wanted a reliabile bike too.
I made list after list of bikes that had decent reputations finally settling on 10. After exercising the left side of my brain, it was time for a little emotion. I happened into a new dealership in Salt Lake City, talked to the salesman, and within a few minutes was sitting on my Speed Triple. I know there are bikes that perform better at the limits. But I love those twin bugeyes (A throw back to the days when I drove sports cars.), the upright position, and the sound and pull of the 3-pot motor.
It's all about what makes you whole. Whatever your future holds, may it be positive and fulfilling. Best of Luck!
TbirdNZ and Omaz said it well so take their comments on board.
Really sorry to hear this fivehundo, I understand back problems from a 2nd hand perspective - my wife is medically retired through damaged discs and vertebrae. You *know* it's bad when someone is sobbing in pain just getting into the car. She has good and bad days, and a good day is just the same as the rest of us. I hope you do as well and have more of the good.
If you can ride, maybe a push bike would do for the aerobic training and keep you fit for the Daytona. However much or little you can ride take it one day at a time and enjoy the good times. And obviously don't rush anything.
I'm really flattered that you guys took the time to ask about my well-being. I don't really feel like I'm someone important in the grand scheme of the world. So when someone takes time out of their day to ask how I'm doing, I'm really stunned by that. Thank you all for your kind words.
I am doing my best to take care of my back as well as I can. I have a temperpedic bed and a bunch of other contraptions that help me deal with the pain (gravity boots, therapy ball, etc). The biggest obsticle in the whole ordeal is my girlfriend, who truly is only concerned with my well-being (lucky for me she's not a forum member). She really is taking this whole thing a little too seriously but I understand where she's coming from. God knows if she was hurt, I'd be doing my best to look after her too.
I rode up to Hell's Kitchen on Hwy 74 with a buddy of mine today and had a great time. The Husky seat needs some upgrading but they make a kit for that (which I'll be investing in on Monday ). It's nice to be 'back in the saddle' so to speak. When I get the Daytona up and running again, I hope we can put a group ride together. I miss just riding around and seeing you guys. I met Redslope and a few others just hanging out at the rockstore one day. I'd like to do that again.
Thanks again for your thoughts, guys! I hope to see you out on the road soon!!!
Hey 5 respect mate, I am as others on here classed as disabled due to military service, dont regret a minute of what I did and put up with the aches, great to hear your the same, whats life about if not doing the stuff you love to do, keep kicking against it mate, and never give up.
I like this place. Good people and good information. Okay, Triumphs are pretty damn cool, too.
Any interest in a Rat Rally somewhere in the Continental U.S. next year? Colorado has some great riding.
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