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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Gremlins, Gravel, and Grit Part Three

Chad Brislawn
A lifelong Muscatine resident, Chad Brislawn has a passion for motorcycles and writing. He writes No Baffles No Brakes, for Discover Muscatine newspaper.

Muscatine Living

There were ten thousand things that should have gone wrong, and none of them did. After a very heated exchange with the pickup truck driver, we made our exit off the highway and pulled into the first gas station.

Very shook up, we all hugged each other and continued to thank our lucky stars for the situation that we just avoided. We took a few minutes to gain our composure, fueled up, and headed back out onto the highway. After getting home we all had time to reflect on what just happened. Those questions started popping up. How did we make it out of that? What would we have done if one of us had went down on that highway? We thanked God. We thanked our gremlin bells. We thanked each other for having the ability to maintain our composure and get ourselves out of that situation.

So, is it worth it? To put your life on the line for those people? For those memories and experiences? The answer is yes. Absolutely. When is our next ride? We know the dangers that we face every time we get out on two wheels, but we choose to not live our lives in fear of what may happen. Motorcycling is dangerous, but everything is dangerous. Driving a car is dangerous. There is danger everywhere and if you let that control how you live your life then you are desperately in need of the freedom that riding offers.

Other riders may feel differently, but in my opinion times like that only make my love for riding stronger. The bond between me and my brothers and sisters has become stronger. My confidence that my fellow brothers can handle a situation like that becomes stronger. The reassurance that after being shook up like that, they will have our backs, throw their arms around us, and let us know that they are there for us, becomes stronger. We’ve been through something together and that means a lot.

There are gremlins out on that road. They’re waiting to tear your bike apart. There’s gravel out on that road. It’s waiting to knock your tires out from under you. There’s grit out on that road. It gets kicked up and thrown in your face and stings your eyes. But that grit on the road also builds grit in your soul. True grit is the foundation of what makes a rider a rider. We live for that stuff. I mean we truly live. When you are flying down the highway with your brothers in tow, riding in perfect formation, there is nothing like it and you truly feel alive. The danger is always present. It’s always in the back of your mind. But don’t fear it, embrace it, and twist that throttle! The memories and the bonds and the experiences far outweigh the danger.

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