Motorcycling takes you to some amazing places. Stop and enjoy them.
So often when we talk about motorcycle travel, it's all about the ride. When I went to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, my goal was to ride the Cabot Trail. I did that, and it was amazing, but I was focused on the 186-mile loop around the north end of Cape Breton. What I didn't expect was the amazing scenery of the most beautiful place I've ever been to. High among the reasons why I must go back someday is that I didn't take as much time as I should have to pull over and enjoy it.
Tim Collins of Forty Times Around demonstrates why it's important to stop and smell the flowers during a ride in this video. While I've certainly seen more beautiful places than ever before since I started dirt riding, this applies just as much to riders who never leave the pavement. Simply pulling over at a bridge and exploring the rocks, as Tim does, brings you to a special place in nature where few people ever go. Getting to places like this is a big part of what motorcycling is all about.
Don't just stop long enough for the Instagram picture, either. Take a walk. Bring your lunch with you, or at least your water. Sit down and really enjoy the place. Sure, go ahead and take the pictures, but don't let that be all you do at places like this. Put the technology away and just be in the place, taking it all in.
Riding is fun, don't get me wrong. Riding fast is fun, too. There's also something to be said for the juxtaposition of hurtling down the road on two wheels versus sitting quietly at a remote overlook by yourself or with your buddies and no one else. Many of us ride to get away from it all. Don't forget to actually do that.