From Scott to the Community
The end of the journey? I would think not. It’s just time to give the bike a rest, maybe a bath and some new shoes. You know – it would be a good idea if I took a bath, also. My only real thought on Friday was to make it home. The last day of any trip is always the most dangerous day. My thoughts were going to change soon. The plan was to stop in Newnan, Georgia at Great South Harley Davidson and meet a few friends to ride back to Columbus. A few friends turned into seventeen bikes in all. It was great to see everyone. We pulled out from the shop at 4:30 p.m. and we headed for Columbus. They even let me lead the pack – which is a big honor – ok, not really. You are the one who gets the blame if you make a wrong turn or you go too fast or too slow or dirt gets in someone’s eye. They really don’t get mad but they sure will pick on you. You have to have thick skin or wear leather. I have both and I make lots of wrong turns. I’m not really lost – the GPS always tells me where I am.
As we are heading down I-185 and get to the city line, I can see a bunch of blue lights flashing. This is my second gift for the day. The Columbus Police Department Motor Squad met us at Smith Road and escorted the group to Oxbow Meadows which would be the start of the Riverwalk Ride. There are not enough words in this computer for me to tell you how special the bond is to me that I share with the law enforcement officers of Columbus.
It’s now 6 p.m. and the bikes are starting to arrive for the ride down the Riverwalk and they just seem to keep coming and coming. At last count, we had over a hundred of us. Once again we are escorted by the Motor Squad. The ride with the sun starting to set over the river is beautiful. I hope all the other riders enjoyed it as much as I did. As we make the turn off Front Avenue and onto 11th Street and I can see the crowd and it brought tears to my eyes. Even as I write this it brings back the same emotions. I can only say that the gift this community gave to me is not anything that you can go and buy in a store. To come together for a single cause and try to make a difference in one person’s life so one day that one person might be able to go on their own adventure because of what we have done here today is priceless. How could you top that gift? The people that I met on the road have been great. I may or may not ever talk to them again, but I will think of them often as I tell my stories. (You can tell me you have already heard that one if I tell it twice, I am old now and tend to forget). It’s the lifelong friends I have made with my second family at Columbus Regional that I will carry with me to the end of my days. That is the third gift I got. Everyone needs to know that the real work was done right here in Columbus. I was just the guy on the bike with a crazy idea. Karen Cook and her staff are the ones who brought it to life. I am sure that they have more hours put into this ride than I put in the saddle, and to top it all off they did not get to see all of the things that I was able to see. Then you have the real heroes of the group – the doctors and the nurses. The work they do on the Fourth and Fifth floors with all of those kids are amazing. What they do day in and day out is the real miracle. Now, about my first family – Country’s. I have such pride to be able to say that I work with such a great bunch of people. I was just overwhelmed that they raised over $13,000 for this ride – and people say that the younger generation is not like the older. They are right – I think they might be way ahead of us. Then I have Jim to thank. Not only did you introduce me to the life of being on the road with a bike, you took a kid just barely got out of high school and helped me succeed in life. I am just one of a few that you have done that for. Just think of all of the life’s that you have made a difference in… thank you.
I have no idea where life’s journey will take me next, but what I do know is that we are only here for a very short time and I plan on making the most of it. Live your life and do the things that you dream about – even if people say that you are crazy. Give just for the sake of giving. You will be surprised at what you get in return. The people in this country are good. I know that there a few who are not but don’t let them bring you down. Go out on a limb and meet someone new – even if they dress funny and they have a bad hair day like me. You might be surprised at who you might meet and what you might learn. And the next time you are in your cage – roll your windows down. Yes… all of them – let the wind blow through your hair. (Who cares how you look in the end?) Feel the life around you… smell the smells of the road… let the rain hit you in the face… and if you are lucky, maybe a bug or two. Ever watch a dog in a car? That is the first thing they want to do.
Thank you all for the gifts that you have given me and letting me share my life with you while I was on the road. Until my next journey – I love you and I hope to see you out there on the road.