Friday, October 12, 2007

The Movie Wild Hogs, Harleys, and My Own Mid-Life Crisis

I finally crawled out of my cave this past weekend and rented the movie Wild Hogs. Just in case there's anybody else on the planet that hasn't seen it; this biker comedy flick is well worth the watch. I laughed my head off, it's one of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time.

The movie is about four "RUBs" (Rich Urban Bikers)played by Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy. They embark on a road-trip and find lots of trouble along the way, especially when they run into a real biker gang.

Those characters reminded me of a couple of guys I ran across in Texas some years ago and wrote a post on recently. They had a lot in common with the movie characters and were real life RUBs.

Sometimes I wonder if people think of me as a laughable poser too, riding my Harley through a mid-life crisis. Maybe the one-time observer would think so, but anyone that knows me or sees me go by on a regular basis know I ride a lot and have been riding regularly for quite a few years. However, the mid-life crisis part would be a correct assumption.

My earlier adulthood seemed to be absorbed in making a family, building a career, buying a house, grooming the lawn, collecting material wealth; pursuing the American dream. Then I reached middle-age. That, combined with my dad dying of cancer and my mom coming down with Alzheimer's disease made it hit, WHAM! I called into question everything about how I was living my life, and so that's how it all started.

When it hit, it hit hard. Quite a few years had passed since I'd been on a motorcycle and I started thinking about riding again. Then I bought my first Harley and soon after quit my stressful job, embarking on a different life course. I wanted a life focused on the truly important things such as my family who had long been neglected from my own exhaustion and depression.

I left the security of a fairly good paying job after realizing I wasn't living life as it should be. I'd lost my way. All the ideals of my youth; one by one had been left on the side of the road. I'd become exactly what I didn't want to be, a burned-out and cynical old man.

Plenty of hardships have had to be endured as a result of leaving my old life behind. My family is living a more precarious and spartan lifestyle, but it's all worth it. Our life is richer now. Not in figures that can be measured, nor stuff in the garage, or dollars in a bank account, but in ways that can barely be put into words.

My wife has a husband again, my kids a dad. I've begun to reclaim some of the happiness lost along the way. Getting my life back again started the day I bought my first Harley. So I keep riding, trying my best to keep the Sportster, my family, and myself on the road and between the ditches.

In conclusion, am I like those Wild Hogs? Or the Texas bikers mentioned in my previous post, so transparant that they might as well had price tags still attached to their shiny helmets? No, well OK, a little bit. Laughing at those guys is like laughing at myself in a way, and I don't mind.

One thing I've learned is not to take myself too seriously. So if people want to think I'm a poser, so be it. Let people think what they want and let them laugh. I'll just keep on riding my Harley through life, chasing after windmills in my own Don Quixote like way. "It's not the destination" someone once said, "never the destination, only the ride".
©2007 N.(Kano)Miles, Kano's eCoffee House

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Wild Hogs (Widescreen Edition)

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buckwheateater said...

I saw this movie at the theatre with friends a few months ago. If you go to a movie simply to be entertained and "de-stress" then this one should work. Pure fluff - lots of stereotypes, slapstick and all around goofiness.

Off topic: I tried to complete your poll on favourite bikes but Kawasaki isn't listed as an option.....

Kano said...

buckwheateater-Thank you and I agree the humor in the movie is pretty "low brow" but hey, like you said, a diversion. Stereotypes can be pretty funny sometimes.

Sorry that I forgot to have Kawasaki in the poll. I don't know how I could have missed one of the "big 4". Stay tuned for another poll to come out soon on another subject.

irondad said...

I prefer to refer to a bike as an antenna. It helps a person tune into whatever larger force swirls around us. If you can't tune in, you're a poser. If you find perspective, in other words, if riding helps you find out what's important AWAY from riding, then you're not a poser. I'd have to list you on the NOT A POSER side.

Kano said...

irondad-thanks for the confirmation, I was beginning to worry! I don't have any plans for joining up with the Hell's Angels any time soon however!