Back in the Saddle

By Dale Spangler

Sometimes you just don't know what you're missing until it's back in your life again. That was the thought that crossed my mind the first time I turned the throttle and held it wide open down a perfectly groomed dirt road and then pitched the bike into a nice drift coming into a tight turn. I thought to myself, "Why have I deprived myself of this for so long?"

Of course there are many reasons, and more often than not they are flimsy. We get stuck in a particular cycle and it can be hard to break out. In my particular case, my fitness has waned in the last few years, and I felt as if I wasn't in good enough shape to do any type of serious riding. Which is true to some extent, as there is no way I could ride a dirt bike off-road or on a motocross track right now in the physical state I’m in. And there's also the money excuse, in which I kept telling myself I didn’t want a monthly payment to worry about. But the question became, is that monthly payment going to pay me back in surplus dividends by making me happy? You’ve probably already guessed the answer to that question. Which is something I think I also knew the answer to but chose to ignore for some reason. I was stuck in a rut, doing the same thing every day: get up, go to work, come home, watch some television, do a little reading, and then go to bed. Wake up and repeat.

Starting this website was the catalyst for me to get back on a motorcycle. This project has broken my cycle of monotony, stirred up the creative juices and got me thinking about all of the different projects that I want to do; stories I want to write and interviews I want to conduct. It’s also made me realize that I want to be a part of the tribe again. Not just write, but “ride and write.”

So with the help of a good friend that works in the motorcycle industry I was able to purchase my dream motorcycle: a KTM 1190 Adventure R. The right bike for the place I'm at in my life. A bike so good that it practically rides itself and doesn’t require the level of fitness a pure offroad dirt bike demands. Granted, I won’t be riding single track trails with this bike, but I’ll be riding a dirt bike nonetheless. And even though I'll be riding primarily dirt roads—it’s still dirt.

Going forward, as I ride more and get out more I plan to share some of my experiences here in this column and on this website. The state of Idaho has so much to offer the motorcyclist; and I plan to share some of my experiences here with you. A few of my first “ride and write” stories will be a trip to the National Hare and Hound event in Murphy, Idaho; as well as a ride north to Orofino, Idaho for the annual Logger Cross event.

Regardless of where I end up, or whether it ends up documented here on this website, I'm excited to get out and enjoy the simple pleasure of riding. I'm finally back in the saddle and it's never felt so good to throw a leg over a motorcycle.