Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Rare Opportunity

Well, a unique opportunity has presented itself to me. Something I have always wanted to do. I have a chance to ride a motorbike across the country, from east coast to west coast. But before I get into that, let me give you a little history.

I have four brothers. Zach, Chad, Josh, Cole aged oldest to youngest. We may not say it much, but after my lady they are my four closest friends. Call it a brothers bond or whatever you will, but I'd lay down my life for these four.

Cole and Josh are years younger than Chad, Zach, and I due to the fact that we have different fathers. Cole and Josh are still in high school and progressing through with much more success than I. Cole is a ladies man, kind hearted, meek, loving, always thinking of other people. Josh, well, I think he's a mix between myself and my great friend Aaron. Josh takes after me in looks. Not to say we look alike. We don't. I look like my father, he looks like his. But, I'm dashing and so is he. Yes, this is said with a bit of arrogance. But, this is my story so I'll elaborate where I want to. Josh is a jock, playing baseball religiously; a choir boy, singing in the vocal ensemble; an avid music lover, recently picked up an electric keyboard and taught himself how to play; a book worm, he gets good grades with a relative amount of ease. Neither one know how to clean their rooms.

Chad is a year younger than I. For this, we fought a lot. I remember throwing him across the room when I was in 6th grade and he in 5th. Not sure why. I also remember him pulling a knife on me and threatening to stab me. So...I did the only rational thing at the time and pulled a bigger one and did try to stab him. I should be careful here not to elaborate too much for fear that I'll paint our childhood a violent one. It was not. But to also show love for my brother, it was that same year during a bus ride home that a neighbor, and I say that loosely as we lived in the country, was picking on Chad. I was tired of it so on the way off the bus I punched him in the face as hard as I could. His head hit the window, it broke, although I'm not sure if the cracking sound was his head or the window. Chad is now grown. As successful, if not more, than I am in business. He's much better looking and could grow a beard to rival mine if he ever got up enough courage.

This leads me to Zach. Gregory Zachary Scott Lucas to be exact. It's hard to tell where to start with Zach. He's the oldest child. Always looked after us, but never carried us, always made us walk through life. He was smarter than I growing up, as far as books were concerned. I remember him wearing Jesus sandals and rainbow belts and shoelaces, etc in high school. I thought he was trying to be a hippy most of the time, but also heard that he might have been trying to take the rainbow back from the gays. Apparently he didn't think it was fair that only gays could wear those colors. A bit of a rebel that one.

He went off to college. Randomly drove across the country to visit a girl. Dropped out of college. Moved in with our father. Worked construction. Joined the Marine Corps and that is where he is at today. 6 or so years after joining and he is now an officer, married, two beautiful kids, strict, passionate about numbers, business, motorcycles, the Marine Corps, and his family, in no particular order.

My older brother, who I never fully understood, and still don't is the same today that he was 15 years ago. He always stood, protecting us as best he could, watching, keeping the worst at bay. He is still doing that. Today, though he keeps us all safe, guarded. He's the shadow on top of that wall, with the big ass gun pointed at any outsider who wanders too close. I don't care your politics, what side of the isle you are on, or if you are standing in the middle. That is the life of a marine. The life of an older brother.

For this reason I am honored to have been asked to guard something that led to this great opportunity I mentioned earlier. He's asked me to watch over his motorcycle. His only motorcycle. His brand new Harley Davidson. To be exact it's a 2009 Harley Davidson Sportster Iron 883.

To give you an idea of what this means to me. I was into bikes long before he. I own two Honda CB650's. One sleeper, the other is slowly on it's way to being a street tracker. The monetary value of both combined, after all the work, is still less than half the value of my brothers Iron. Last year I started this blog to document my longer rides. Not my daily commute, or even Saturday runs around town, but really getting out and hitting roads I've never seen. I live in Portland, Oregon. The Iron is in Stafford, Virginia.

I knew one day in the next few years I wanted to take some time and ride around the United States. I didn't think that the opportunity would present itself so soon after, and on a bike I have to worry much less about breaking down along some back county road in Alabama.

This is an opportunity I plan to never forget.


  1. After reading some of the mail, I had gotten myself to wondering...what's he up to?

    Well, I'm gonna tell ya, this is one very well written piece. I read it and remembered how I feel about my oldest brother. He's the one who felt bad for me when I was punished and banished to my bedroom all alone when I was 5. He's the one who got me to stop crying by telling me stories.

    He's the one who still looks after me...even today. He is someone I admire like you admire your brother. Too cool for the 883 Iron...{{{whistle}}}}

    I will be sure to try to meet you along the way...perhaps in Boone...or Raleigh? All depends upon the month and what is happening. Looking forward to meeting you, riding with you along the roads toward your home. ride!

  2. Chessie. Thanks for the kind words on my writing. My brothers are very special to me. I don't get to see the Zach much, but Chad recently moved to Portland from San Diego and we hang out constantly. I'll let you know what the plans become as they well, as they become. I'm trying to see just how many people from Twitter and elsewhere I can meet and ride with along the way. I'm going to use this blog to continue the story. I'd like to make the story as fun as possible.

  3. I can tell how proud you are! I am the oldest & don't have an older brother. But this post gave me a great feeling!

  4. Rodney, I enjoyed the story about you and your brothers and how Zach has moved through his life. It really is an honor to take care of someones motorcycle. Are going to ride on your coast to coast ride? and..three hours with google maps is a drop in the bucket. Go to AAA get a ton of maps, sit in the barrage with some beers and highlighters and have fun.
    I liked your story.

  5. Hey Paul, Thanks for the words there. After reading one of your recent posts I did decide to go get some maps. I'm hoping others will join me in helping figure out the best place to ride. I will be limited in that I only have 9 days to do this in. Unfortunately I'd love to take more time...but hell, even if I had a month I'd think I wanted more time.