In November, Brighton hit 10,000 miles. I wrote most of this entry back in November, and have finally finished it.
9000 miles ago I stood in exactly the same place. I rolled down the same street, on the same bike, felt the same feeling of triumph, excitement and pride. I had done it, I had reached 10,000 miles. I pulled my bike off to they side of the road, with a real shit-eating grin on my face. I had bought my bike just 9 months ago, brand spankin’ new, 0 miles. I wasn’t sure I would make 10,000 miles in one season, but with all the adventures I was going on, I knew it was going to be close. And now, here I was, my odometer reading 10000.
The road to this moment had been long (literally and figuratively). After my last moto, Bubba, died I didn’t think I’d be able to afford another bike, so the whole year had been incredibly surreal. Determined not to screw this one up, I carefully focused on the first 1000 miles; the break-in period. I had to watch the RPMs, and therefore keep the bike under 60 MPH. This meant I had to keep it off the highway which made it tedious work. I was constantly trying to find new places to ride, and of course find the time to do it. I needed it to be ready to go before Motos in Moab (Memorial Day weekend) so I made a schedule. I finished the first 1000 miles out in the middle of Toeele, on Easter Sunday. It was a gorgeous location, and I was so excited to be done with the break-in, so it was well documented in my mind, and in photos.
From there it was an open road, everyday was a new chance to ride, that I might not have gotten before. It was similar to the first season I owned a bike, except I had so much more experience, so I was comfortable going faster and farther. The Bolt is completely different than the Boulevard, it’s much sportier in look and acceleration, and handles completely differently. The aggressive stance, and the way it rips made me want to ride it all the time. I found any excuse to ride; I rode to work, to the grocery store (presenting it’s own challenges), and every chance I got I played in our canyons. I also too many long trips last year, I rode to Moab, Montana, Yellowstone, California, and attempted an Iron Butt. Upon return from Babes Ride Out, at the end of October, I needed less than 300 miles. Though late in the year, the weather was cooperative, so I kept riding.
As I approached my 10,000, my excitement grew and I counted down every mile. Finally I was only 60 miles away, so headed out to hit the big 10K. I was trying to figure out what direction to head, I had been north the day before, and I was afraid of the temperatures if I headed East, up into the mountains. So, I chose to head West. As I rode down the freeway, I tried to think of a good place to go, I wanted to make it memorable. I racked my brain and suddenly, the memory of the gorgeous road I had found when I hit 1000 miles crossed my mind. I wasn’t sure how far it was or if there was any chance I could time it right to hit 10,000 in about the same place. I headed west but finally pulled off in Tooele to looked at a map. It took me some time to find the road, and to make sure it was the same one. The place where I had reached my 1000 was 15 miles by freeway, or 24.1 by surface roads. I laughed out loud, and grinned like a maniac. I had just under 25 miles to go.
As each mile ticked off the odometer, I couldn’t help but reflect back on the last 9 months. I started thinking about where all those miles had taken me. I have traveled a good many places, but more remarkable is how I had changed in those 9 months. I am not who I used to be, I am stronger, more confident and happy. Somewhere in those 10,000 miles I found the courage to get out and be myself. I thought of the friendships I had forged just through miles and road trips. I realized I have surrounded myself with amazing people that love me and how they have allowed me to see the strength within myself. (See my post “Untitled”) I know that many people struggle to see the light they bring to the world, and have trouble appreciating themselves the way that others do. And I know that there will likely be a time that I wont feel so confident, and self-loving. But I was thankful that at least in this moment I could see it, and I was as happy as I should be.
Soon I was encroaching on the bend in the road that signified my 1000 milestone. My eyes darted back and forth from the road ahead to the odometer. I slowed just before 10,000 and checked the odometer. I was excited, and wanted to make sure I wouldn’t missed the 10,000 on the odometer. I crept along until it happened. I rolled over to the side of the road, and dismounted. I took off my helmet and retrieved my camera. I waited until traffic passed and pulled my bike into the lane to take photos.