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NC - Raleigh-Durham, Eastern/Coastal NC/SC This forum is for Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Wilmington, NC and Coastal NC/OBX,Myrtle Beach, and Hilton Head, SC area members, events, meetings, and rides.

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Old 09-28-2008, 11:11 PM
madmotomike madmotomike is offline
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Default Life ..Death..and my friend JOHN

now THAT was special.

the RIDE and the opprotunity for reflection and introspection...

last night i rode to fayetteville to attend the memorial service for my friend john " JJ" Dalley. John was a rabid life long motorcycle enthusiast and an all around great guy. he was a great father and grand father , friend, and husband.

his spirit and personality were a joy and his sense of humour was a special gift.

john would have liked last night's ride. it was dark but the moon was bright. the stars were spread across the dark sky in a buffet of beauty that promised .........peace.........and a sense of calm. the pace was studied and somewhat controlled as bambi had been sighted in the area and intentions were high. i am sure glad i was not using the same cologne as earl did on sunday or it would have gotten pretty crowded on my bike...what with me and john and 6 or seven deer!

the temperature was perfect . warm but not hot. no rain or fog....just my friend john and i on my bmw remembering all the good times and adventures.NO i did not let him drive. he has far more faith than i and is strong minded and strong willed. in fact at the memorial service longtime friend steve genter illustrated very accurately in detail the absolute strength of jj. tough guy! not an ounce of quit in him. if he was piloting the bmw the trip would have been much shorter but more exciting. god speed john..

the beemer was doing its thing to perfection. draining the worry and sadness from my heart and my life. steady on at a reasonable almost legal pace ; that "zebra" and i reminiced with john about some of the great times. there were many many many....i remember the trip home from "the rock" where we had gone to catch some great racing and cheer for our friend rick lee as he successfully championed his yamaha sr500 against far more powerful bikes. it was a night not too different than this but darker. we were flying along as young men are prone to do . it was exhilirating and scary too. the headlights were dancing off the pine forests common to that region of north carolina. it all melded together in an exhilirating and somewhat spoooky effect. it was so surreal that it lodged in my memory. funny thing is that ride was fun and a great memory then.........my immortality intact and fortified with the blessing and blind optimism of youth ...................now many years later; having found out that i am mortal and can be hurt and killed. that very same memory "scares" me. my new reality is such that i am "grounded" here in this world. the immortality of youth has vanished. oh how i love to ride my bikes. they keep me young feeling. john was the same way. he was an optimist and a "fixer" . consequently he never seemed to age or grow weary . his responsibilities were vast and demanding but he did not whine and he shouldered the challenge and met it head on.

the brain cancer won in the end. but john who was given 6 months to live3.5 years ago fought the good battle. he will be missed but the memories of the adventures and laughter will live on.

i have always loved motorcycles. at first it was about the bikes and my pursuit of riding excellence. later it became about those who chose to ride. since we don't arrive in this world with a motorcycle; the fact that some people CHOOSE to ride is significant. this choice says alot about how people accord themselves in a life time. it is an "aquired common denominator". it is an individual activity and a group collective activitiy at the same time. john dalley loved life and loved to ride his bikes. our pathes could go years and not cross but when they did ...the friendship and history was there. i shared his passion for riding with many other brethern. yesterday at the service the minister suggested that heaven trancended all the joy on earth ...greater than everything...including motorcycling. when i heard this my mind went "click" and i looked down the pew at my friend rick lee. surprise rick was lookning at me but the thought seemed the same............no motorcycles and riding adventures? ain't heaven..! i figue jj is in heaven and is probably out on the warm up lap of some race track somewhere with friends . or he is working thru a limitless inventory a great roads and grand adventures with friends old and new.

my ride back with john last night gave me time to think and to thank GOD for my life . all of it ......the good ............the bad.....everything else. i kept thinking about when i was injured ........how people would assume that i was done riding ...done living....just done doing anything at all. how i needed to give up anything that hinted of risk or adventure...i appreciate their concern but "breathing" is not "living".

people tell me as they undoubtedly told john ....."motorcycles are dangerous" "you are gonna get killed on that thing" ............maybe! know this riding my motorcycle with my friends is such a joy that dying on my bike is just a risk i will accept. i risk the bad to find the good.

john is gone now. but not forgotten....if it had been a stand up fight ; john would have prevailed. motorcycle riding with friends was a passion. he could no more stop riding than stop breathing. death took one of good guys. God bless you john ... see you some day .

and john did NOT die in a motorcycle related incident as the ignorant and misinformed prophecied. he was taken by cancer. a hideous disease that will undoubterdly take more of us. so live life with passion and determination ...stay the course and pursue your passions....manage risk but do not settle for a compromised life that is not neither lived nor savored. live like my friend john dalley.

motorcycles are a quality of life choice...........i choose like jj to ride and to live.

god speed friend...thanks for the ride and the memories
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