When you find “your thing” in life, you know it. My son Alden has been obsessed with sword fighting and knights since he was 3 years old. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table has been read so many times and in so many variations in our house we know much of it as if it were our own story. At his fencing lesson recently, I noticed this poster. Two years ago I would not have known where Leipzig was in Germany despite many trips to this wonderful country, and now it is my second home!
A good friend of mine recommended a book called “Raising a Modern Day Knight” when Alden was a baby. The book talks about how we can help our boys become men in today’s world. The concept of a “rite of passage” and surrounding my boys with men that they could learn from, men of great integrity and knowledge, is something that I have sought out since they were born.
When I think of MotoSoul, I think of my Father’s garage. A gathering place for men of great wisdom, great integrity. There are many stories I can tell about my Father, and of course I have a few personal favorites, but this one always stands out in my mind. My Father spent months restoring a vintage 1969 Triumph Bonneville for a man who soon became his friend through the process. The man spent many a sunny Sunday riding his Bonneville around in Michigan once the restoration was completed. One Sunday, my Dad received a call from a friend saying that the man was involved in an accident and was in critical condition in the hospital. The man’s bike was left at the scene and needed to be picked up. My Dad hopped into his van and went to retrieve the bike.
The man went through multiple surgeries and in the end, lost the lower part of his leg and foot as a result of the accident. The Vintage motorbike group stayed close and my Dad did too. Throughout the entire ordeal, the man had a great attitude and talked about riding his bike again, however he could. Once he finished his rehabilitation, the man was ready to come and see his bike and face his fears at my Dad’s garage. When he arrived, he found not only my Father there, but a huge gathering of the Vintage bikers from the region. His Triumph, front and center, was completely restored without a scratch. When he saw that my Dad had modified it so that he could ride it again, he cried, and so did my Dad and many others.
These men, these “tough motorcycle dudes,” “outlaws,” and “rebels” are the Knights of the Round Table today. When people ask me about bikers, my response is always the same. These often big, sometimes tough appearing men and women are almost all the same. Motorbike people are full of heart – sensitive, giving, generous people. Why do they ride, or what attracts them to riding? From what I have seen and heard, they are all driven by a deep need for freedom, for solitude, and for time to think. They are adventurers and explorers. Fiercely independent, and yet also dependent on community. I believe that what bands them together is their caring hearts first and their shared passion second.
There are few hobbies in life these days that bring adults together with the passion that riding does. MotoSoul is designed to be a gathering place much like my Dad’s garage. A place to share stories, meet friends and make new ones, view the performance art (motorbikes), and create memories. My role in creating MotoSoul is simply to ensure that the Soul stays in it. The spirit of the endeavor remains fixed on the WHY! Yes, MotoSoul is a business, but that is simply the structure. More importantly, MotoSoul is a feeling. If we accomplish what we set out to do, when riders come, they will know they are home!