What I Learned Embracing My Husband’s Hobby

Motorcycles: I wish I they didn't freak me out so much. 
Motorcycles: I wish I they didn’t freak me out so much.

Growing up, I had all the normal rules.

An 11 pm curfew, do your homework or else, and was expected to help out around the house. My dad, however, had one very specific rule: never date a guy with a motorcycle. Of course, I didn’t date that motorcycle guy.

I married him.

Before dating Josh, I’d only been on a motorcycle one time, which is a whole long story involving my car breaking down and needing to hitch a ride on the back of a tattoo-covered mechanic’s Harley, which sounds like the beginning of a horror film. But I made it, and it was actually pretty fun. So when Josh, this guy I kinda knew who was pretty handsome showed up at my house on some sort of crotch rocket, I gulped.

He really liked motorcycle. Since I thought I might really like him, I put on a helmet, slung my left leg over the [tiny, uncomfortable] saddle, and then realized I was supposed to wrap my arms around his torso. It felt a little too intimate.

We drove two miles from my house & I screamed almost the entire way.

In the nearly seven years since that initial ride, I’ve joined Josh on the motorcycle a few times a season. I trust him, BIG TIME. Even so, and even though I officially have my own motorcycle jacket, it’s still not my thing. However…

My husband’s motorcycle love runs deep.

He not only has three motorcycles in our garage, but he has hundreds of them at his office. Yeah…my husband designs motorcycles for his job. So, for example, going to Sturgis isn’t an annual vacation. It’s a requirement. In fact, this summer, his job required him to spend a full month on the road, doing motorcycle-y stuff.

So when he asked if I wanted to join him on a work trip to Indianapolis, I said yes.

The caveat? We’d be driving a motorcycle there. 14 white-knuckling hours from the Land of 10,000 Lakes to Whatever They Call Indiana. I wasn’t thrilled, but my options were to stay at home, by myself, for the third weekend in a row… or just embrace the adventure.

You know what I picked.

Helmet hair, don't care.
Helmet hair, don’t care.

We spent a full day and a half making our way to Indy, stopping for great meals and photo opps along the way. In case you’re wondering, the Press Box in Sauk City, Wisconsin makes EPIC bar food and delicious cheese curds.


Sauk City, Wisconsin: Cheese curd heaven.
Sauk City, Wisconsin: Cheese curd heaven.

I listened to The Girl on the Train on audiobook (via Scribd… it’s like Netflix but for books & audiobooks !) that took my brain off the fact that at times we were going 70 miles an hour!

A few hours in, as we leisurely wound down the scenic Mississippi River Valley, I thought to myself, “Hey, this is kinda fun!”

Duh, Molly. Of course it’s fun!

As it turns out, I love the pace of motorcycle travel. When you’re on a car road trip, often times, stopping is an inconvenience (you have to pee AGAIN?!). On a bike, it’s a necessity. We’d stop to stretch our legs at a scenic overview or grab some food from a roadside stand. We even made a game-time pit stop at my friend Virginia’s house near Chicago. Being outside on a beautiful summer day, taking in the sites and all the farm smells (literally, every farm smell you can imagine) was actually delightful. We purposely picked the backroads, and I even got to wave at a buggy driven my three Amish teenagers. They waved back. !!!! It was awesome.

On the outside: biker babe. On the inside: not really a biker babe.
On the outside: biker babe. On the inside: not really a biker babe.

I wouldn’t say this trip got me over my fear of motorcycles completely, but I do have a new appreciation for them & my husband’s love of them. It did inspire me to at least consider getting my license. Because understanding something that scares you is the best way to overcome fear.

The simple act of trying something new with someone you care about it a great way to infuse more fun into your relationship. And what’s great about me working on my fear of motorcycles is that now Josh’s hobby isn’t something he has to do alone; we can enjoy it together.

Precisely why I’ll be taking him to hot yoga soon.

* * *

PS If you’d like to read more motor-y Hey Eleanor stuff, here’s the time I went 0-60 in a Tesla, the time I jump started my car all by myself, and the time I learned how to put air in my tires.

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Comments (4)

  • Liz Scott 5 years ago Reply

    This is great. Motorcycles terrify me too! I just had to tell you that " Land of 10,000 Lakes to Whatever They Call Indiana" made me actually LOL. Aww…Indiana.

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    HAHA, I am sure they have a great name. Is it the Hoosier State? What’s a hoosier, anyhow?

  • Stefanie 5 years ago Reply

    Learning to ride a motorcyle (and getting my license) was the most challenging thing I’ve done in a long time. However, it was totally worth the risk/fear of failure. I ended up buying my Harley two days after passing the road test and I haven’t looked back. I also enjoy the necessary breaks and the lovely scenery I’d probably not otherwise notice. I also got a kick out of waving to Amish travelers as we rode past. My boyfriend (an experienced rider) rides close behind, and even though I’d like to do a solo ride at some point, it’s great having an activity we can do together. Good for you for embracing your husband’s hobby and facing a new challenge!

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    I gotta convince myself to do that! I’ll bet I’d really like it. Thanks for the push.

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