Are You Still Being Stupid?

motorcycles on top of the Beartooth

Yeah, we did things differently way back then.

Do you ever ride stoned? I mean, hey, we can talk about these things. Marijuana is legal in Colorado. (Riding stoned is not!!)

We used to, some of us in the OFMC. A long time ago. Boy, you better believe we don’t any more. And I really don’t think it’s so much because we realized that riding impaired is stupid. I think it happened because we just got to where we couldn’t imagine riding stoned. “I can’t ride–I’m freaking high!”

But we used to. At least John and I. John had this thing where we’d head out in the morning but stop pretty soon, usually both to “drain the unit” and so John could pull out his pipe. Bill didn’t generally partake, but would on the rare occasion.

And then we’d get back on the bikes and head off again. It was not a problem. We never had a crash or any other issues.

Then I remember one time we were headed up to Encampment, Wyoming, and were in the Snowy Range and stopped at an alpine lake. Friggs surprised us by pulling out some weed that he told us his ladyfriend had confiscated from her son. Of course we were happy to toke at the kid’s expense, but a short time later I realized that wow, I was really stoned. And I wasn’t exactly enthused to get back on the bike.

But I did and we went on and all was fine. For me, I think that was the point where smoking and riding didn’t seem like such a good idea any more. I can’t speak for John on where it hit him but I do know that nowadays he just doesn’t even consider riding stoned, either. (Of course, John just sold his bike, so he’s not riding at all now.)

So am I saying it’s really cool to get high and ride, and you should just ignore all the “Ride Sober” warnings you see? Heck no, riding high is stupid. I know that now. Just like I know now that riding without a helmet is stupid, but I used to do that. Used to ride without eye protection. Just how stupid can you get?

I see this as proof that society does make progress. Or at least it can at times. I’m not anything close to the only one who used to do all these things. People learn. People change. Public attitudes change. It’s really not appropriate to judge ideas from an era long ago on the basis of current thinking, although a lot of people do. That doesn’t mean some of these ideas were any less wrong then than they are now, but they were prevalent and accepted. We’ve gotten smarter. Now they’re not accepted. But they were then.

Is there a point I’m making here? I had to ask myself that question. Maybe this: You had an excuse before; maybe not a good one but an excuse nonetheless. You don’t have any excuse now. Get with the century. Welcome to this century.

Biker Quote for Today

Bikers don’t go gray, we turn chrome.

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