talking to myself is easy for me. talking to others is easy for me. given a choice between the two i'd choose the latter simply cuz good company is a luxury few can afford. similarly when i ride out, i love my own company and i dare say it's better than most. however sex is always more fun than masturbation. interaction is always more fun than isolation.
what's my game?
one of the reasons i believe riding solo is not lonely cuz it surfaces insights that make you a more valuable player when playing with others. solitary exploratory play helps me know myself and understand my strengths and weaknesses better. it's important to share this awareness of self vocally with others so they know what they can expect of and from me.
don't just wear your group insignia on your sleeve but bare your heart ♥ for all to see. when you ride out on an adventure together you're not only sharing your greatest dreams but also exposing your greatest fears for all to see.
on a practical note, it's vital for me to be aware of my abilities or lack thereof with respect to my skills; off-road riding chops, motorcycle maintenance, old skool map navigation, local language knowledge, spiritedness in crisis, etc. and equally important is to advertise the same to others so they know what can depend on me for.
pick your players
if i'm in charge of leading the expedition, i'm mostly able to select who i want to ride with. and this is a very important aspect of embarking on an adventure. we've all heard of the adage 'it's the journey not the destination' but i'll take it a step further and say 'it's the journey men...' so pick your players well knowing they will make or break your experience.
i'm biased towards amiability over ability when selecting those i ride with, for i've found in the worst of the situations it's a smile that's often the savior. an extremely competent but high strung, easily irritable and always on edge individual would bring down the morale of the group. obviously that's not to say i'll ride along into the middle of nowhere with a clueless grinning idiot by my side. but if you want one of those riding with you, hit me up!
to keep it simple, know your abilities and that of your buddies. balance your selves out such that the group as a whole has greater chances of survival, while being devoted a clear mutual goal.
my goal is adventure with maximum fun, moderate risk and minimum danger.
how many is too many?
another reason why i enjoy adventure and off-road riding is because of the smaller group sizes. highway touring groups usually ride in excess of 25 members while off-road groups are usually just a handful. as outlined above, i'd like to know who i'm riding with and my brain bandwidth can't handle the information and connection of more than a few.
sometimes there's nothing tighter than a buddy pair who will ride together thru thick and thin, always having each other's back, never leaving the other's side no matter the odds. this sorta camaraderie is not easy to come by, and even harder to sustain into a steadfast partnership. if you're one of the lucky people i'd love to know your origin story; the how it started how it's going sorta thing.
play hard play nice
they're not mutually exclusive so let's look at how we can all play better together. how might we aggressively push and challenge each other further while still being supportive and encouraging when we fall behind?
it's always harder to start playing with others if you don't know them and getting to know each other takes time. that's where icebreaker games play an important role. i'll probably update this post with games to play but no matter what, try to figure out your buddy's three more endearing attributes and three most annoying eccentricities.
then compare notes to see how y'all see each other. haha... don't be scandalized, we're all naked in the wild wild world of adventure! real connection happens when you can express honestly who you are. the sooner you get cockiness and cringe out of the way, sooner you can start having fun... together!
it's all about the ride
no friendship would survive if it were simply self-centered or goal oriented. now that you know each other better, relating well along the way becomes more important than reaching the destination as planned. the partnership is more important than the plan.
making friends is challenging enough, but staying friends is often even tougher. and the ride is not always going to be fun and games. how do you make sure it is always moving forward regardless? how do you stay together without wanting to walk away, or worse, destroy each other? how indeed?
there are no definitive answers but i've found that a strong enough 'why do we wanna ride together?' is enough to throw light on the way thru uncertainty. i try to share my thoughts and ask for feedback from others in three buckets: thank you sorry fuck you
it helps to understand that this is a journey we're riding together. it really doesn't matter if we make it or not. well, sure it does. but then again, it really doesn't. what matters more is how well we rode together. when we're able to place that above all else, we'll build a long-standing friendship ahead of us, which means so many more rides and each one getting more precious than the previous.
this is my journey with motorcycles and mud, wanna ride with me?