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Grace (BikeHedonia)

Ride Report: BikeHedonia rides the world (one way or another)

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On Saturday, I lost a friend. Well, I didn't lose him, that implies that I was simply careless and misplaced him, which you ought never to do with your friends. No, he didn't get lost, he died suddenly of pancreatic cancer, much too young. Of course it is natural to live and die and we will all do it, but I have been thinking about him (and am sharing about him here) because his role in my life is fundamentally caught up with motorcycles. He was simply the most kindest man, someone with deep compassion and someone who believed in the dreams of others. He was the CEO of the Black Dog Ride for years, which (I don't know if it exists in the UK) is a big annual charity event which raises money for mental health and depression research. But on a personal level, he was kind to so many of us, and our motorcycling community is much the poorer for losing him.

Back when I announced my intention to ride halfway around the world on my own, most people said I was mad, as you'd expect. Peachie immediately understood the dream. He knew that I could do it, and he understood that I needed to do it; he was just thrilled that I was going to live my dream, and do what I needed to do, instead of staying home safely with my demons and our regrets, as so many of us do.  When you're trying to make a dream real and most people don't believe in it, the support of a few people like Peachie becomes instrumental in keeping that dream alive. So I will always be grateful to him for that. Before I left on my trip, he gave me a set of spotlights which I wired onto my bike, and which must have now saved my night-blind ass more times that I can count. I always think of him when I switch on my spotties; he has been with me on this adventure the whole way. 

A man of such deep kindness and compassion - who fostered dreams - I wish him the deepest peace.

 

cambodia.JPG

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18 hours ago, Slowlycatchymonkey said:


Maybe a lower subscription level or a ‘choose your own level of subscription’ on your Patreon account might be useful for the folk who want to contribute but aren’t quite in that lower tier league.
 

Oh, I found the custom pledge button on my patreon, it's at the bottom of this page (after you click on "become a patron" on the home page): https://www.patreon.com/join/bikehedonia?  Right at the bottom. Only patreon knows why they wouldn't put it on the first page, it's kind of annoying (because you are right that people should be able to select whatever amount they like) but I don't think I can change it. I will try to link straight through to this page more often though...

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8 hours ago, Grace (BikeHedonia) said:

Wow, first of all I'm downright impressed that you tapped all that out on a phone! That is a serious mobile-format undertaking! And thanks again, as ever, for your sincerity and thoughfulness.  Although Australia and Britain have a lot in common - and  my mother was a middle class New Zealand, last outpost of the British Empire - I am not sure that the cultural hangups about money are exactly the same. Australian culture has this strong anti-classist attitude (which is also hypocritical, because class and operate just as determinatively but perhaps more subtly in everything we do). So to talk about money or class in Australia is kind of taboo,  because making yourself out to be either rich or upper(ish) class is considered on par with simply being a contemptuous wanker. Everyone will think you're rude and spoiled. So, although people secretly admire and covet money, and (especially in Sydney) obsesss about the trappings of it, those who are socially attuned do it in a more covert way.  On the other hand, I was raised in a household where we never really had enough money to be comfortable, and I was also a homeless runaway by the time I was 17, barely beginning my last year of high school. I had $300 and no idea where I was going to sleep, how I was going to eat, how I was going to get by. The answer was, I went and got a LOT of jobs, and lived in a room with holes in the floor, and sometimes cried because I couldn't afford food, and finished high school, and lived in constant terror of eviction, hunger, and homelessness. I knew that if I fell - if something bad happened to me, or I got a toothache, or something - nobody was going to help me. This included my parents, who raised me to think that no-one - not even children, apparently - have a real right to live, to have food and shelter and necessities - unless we worked. That the value of a person could be measured in their earnings, and that anyone who didn't earn enough to support themselves should probably just die. It's pretty bleak, but it explains a lot about the decisions I made in my life, and how uncomfortable I feel about asking for money. On the one hand, there's my parents' voice in my head saying, "why should anyone give you money to live? you don't deserve it." (Funnily enough, a lot of internet trolls agree with them; they like to read my writing for free but think I'm contemptuous for hoping some people will choose to pay.) On the other hand, it's also the reason I became a lawyer and lived a life I hated, in a state of constant fear of poverty. Despite not having ever attended a school (and thus not having the initial entry credentials) I got myself into a double degree with law at one of the top universities and slaved my guts out to make a career in high end corporate law, primarily because I was so scared of homelessness: if I fall, if I get sick, no-one will help me. I have to make sure I'm okay on my own. Everyone I worked with came from very privileged backgrounds; none of them understood this feeling of vulnerability (or the social complexity of homelessness) for a moment. But anyway, yeah, basically I lived this life that I hated (and which terribly aggravated my untreated PTSD) because I was absolutely terrified of being poor. 

Eventually I couldn't do it anymore. And I was so exhausted from living in fear. I literally thought I would die soon. So - in what was partly an act of fatalism but mostly a violent, deliberate dose of exposure therapy - I decided to face my fears of homelessness by becoming homeless and really living. Every day since then, when I have woken up and everything has been okay - when I have not yet starved to death or been discarded by society - has been a revelation and a confirmation that it is possible to live in something other than a state of fear. 

Nevertheless, whenever someone says to me, "you don't deserve money/food/life because you don't work a conventional wage job", my parents' voice is still in my head agreeing with them strongly.  So I would never ask someone to give me their hard earned money. But if my writing makes them happy or entertained, and they get something worthwhile from it that they think is worth a financial or in-kind contribution, then that is so deeply appreciated (and much needed). 

I'm not sure if any of that makes sense (or simply makes me sound insane), but that's my cultural and personal baggage around money.
 

On a practical note, I really thought that Patreon included a default option to select your own donation amount, separate from the tiers. I will go and look at this...

That's an incredible story Grace!

Can't get my head round the attitude of your parents though.......that's not the mindset of normal people.

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7 hours ago, Grace (BikeHedonia) said:

On Saturday, I lost a friend. Well, I didn't lose him, that implies that I was simply careless and misplaced him, which you ought never to do with your friends. No, he didn't get lost, he died suddenly of pancreatic cancer, much too young. Of course it is natural to live and die and we will all do it, but I have been thinking about him (and am sharing about him here) because his role in my life is fundamentally caught up with motorcycles. He was simply the most kindest man, someone with deep compassion and someone who believed in the dreams of others. He was the CEO of the Black Dog Ride for years, which (I don't know if it exists in the UK) is a big annual charity event which raises money for mental health and depression research. But on a personal level, he was kind to so many of us, and our motorcycling community is much the poorer for losing him.

Back when I announced my intention to ride halfway around the world on my own, most people said I was mad, as you'd expect. Peachie immediately understood the dream. He knew that I could do it, and he understood that I needed to do it; he was just thrilled that I was going to live my dream, and do what I needed to do, instead of staying home safely with my demons and our regrets, as so many of us do.  When you're trying to make a dream real and most people don't believe in it, the support of a few people like Peachie becomes instrumental in keeping that dream alive. So I will always be grateful to him for that. Before I left on my trip, he gave me a set of spotlights which I wired onto my bike, and which must have now saved my night-blind ass more times that I can count. I always think of him when I switch on my spotties; he has been with me on this adventure the whole way. 

A man of such deep kindness and compassion - who fostered dreams - I wish him the deepest peace.

 

cambodia.JPG

Very sad. He sounds like a hell of guy, one you were lucky to know.

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13 hours ago, Grace (BikeHedonia) said:

Australian culture has this strong anti-classist attitude (which is also hypocritical, because class and operate just as determinatively but perhaps more subtly in everything we do). So to talk about money or class in Australia is kind of taboo,  because making yourself out to be either rich or upper(ish) class is considered on par with simply being a contemptuous wanker.

Folk who like to demonstrate their perceived superiority over others whether in social status or material wealth (or any other way) are also always wankers here. But there are enclaves were that bollocks flourishes. I used to absolutely hate it but now I find it useful that they reveal theyre not my sort of person so early on in conversation, saves me wasting time weeding out the aholes 😂

13 hours ago, Grace (BikeHedonia) said:

On the other hand, I was raised in a household where we never really had enough money to be comfortable, and I was also a homeless runaway by the time I was 17, barely beginning my last year of high school. I had $300 and no idea where I was going to sleep, how I was going to eat, how I was going to get by. The answer was, I went and got a LOT of jobs, and lived in a room with holes in the floor, and sometimes cried because I couldn't afford food, and finished high school, and lived in constant terror of eviction, hunger, and homelessness. I knew that if I fell - if something bad happened to me, or I got a toothache, or something - nobody was going to help me. This included my parents, who raised me to think that no-one - not even children, apparently - have a real right to live, to have food and shelter and necessities - unless we worked. That the value of a person could be measured in their earnings, and that anyone who didn't earn enough to support themselves should probably just die.

Fuck me thats brutal. Parents often don't think (I could just end that sentence there 😂) about the impact, especially the long term impact of what they are doing. I  have known a lot of parents who seem to put their children in difficult or uncomfortable positions, including only meting the love and approval children are hard wired to crave when they behave in the way the parent wants, for many its a very conditional relationship. I used to see it as plain cruelty but then I discovered it mostly seems to be down to fear (or their own fucked upness). They know life can be hard and they want their kids to be tough enough to handle it on their own. In a twisted logic they bring them pain to deal with to make sure they can cope with the pain the future might bring-  to 'toughen them up' 🙄

Cors Im not saying thats what it is in your case but we all know either first hand or from seeing someone close to us go through just how much parent/s can fuck with your head. They put in place a framework of thought processes before you have a chance to develop your own, hardwire wire you while you're a bit of a blank and that takes some undoing. So congrats in your direction for having a look at these things in a fearless way and coming out on the attack to slay any demons that cage you. You're not going to be simpering your way through life and finish up full of regret so hats off in your direction, that requires an uncommon strength of will.

13 hours ago, Grace (BikeHedonia) said:

Nevertheless, whenever someone says to me, "you don't deserve money/food/life because you don't work a conventional wage job", my parents' voice is still in my head agreeing with them strongly.  So I would never ask someone to give me their hard earned money. But if my writing makes them happy or entertained, and they get something worthwhile from it that they think is worth a financial or in-kind contribution, then that is so deeply appreciated (and much needed). 

Blogging and posting worthwhile content is work, a lot of time editing, writing, rewriting and finessing things so others will enjoy it is a craft that requires time, some people don't understand that... so fuck 'em. When someone says something designed to undermine me or just negative crapola to bring me down I find reversing whatever theyre saying destroys it. Im sure you're familiar with the question "Why do you want to do that?" being asked in derisory tones to which the only reply is "Why not?" On the money front anyone who would question why you should be given money should simply be answered with (a tongue in cheek) "because Im more than worth it"

Sounds like biking is the perfect balm for you. It is for most of us 😊

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15 hours ago, XTreme said:

That's an incredible story Grace!

Can't get my head round the attitude of your parents though.......that's not the mindset of normal people.

Yeah but who's normal? We are all fucked up in our own ways, and in trying to avoid our own fuckedupedness we fuck up our children in new and creative ways...

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15 hours ago, Slowlycatchymonkey said:

.... They put in place a framework of thought processes before you have a chance to develop your own, hardwire wire you while you're a bit of a blank and that takes some undoing. 

All of what you say is SPOT ON, particularly this bit about dismantling frameworks created by your parents. In my case, I never even went to school so didn't have any other influences to mediate their influence - except for books. Damn, I read a lot of books 🤣

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Anyway there's a new blog post up if you want to make yourself a cup of tea and read about me getting my ass absolutely kicked by hard enduro on Valentine's Day. Oh, and one of the guys made a video, which is actually not bad. The wordy stuff is here: https://bikehedonia.wordpress.com/2021/11/17/valentines-day-massacre/

And the video is here:

 

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Jesus Im knackered watching it! That is in at the deep end 😂

Although Im perplexed about why everyone found it so difficult when it becomes clear at 8 mins 47 secs (ish) that you have the force with you why didnt Yoda just levitated the logs out of the way?

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9 hours ago, XTreme said:

Incredible vid Grace......and the drone footage is amazing! What camera is the guy using?

As for the riding......count me out on that! :classic_ohmy:

Could you handle it @Sir Fallsalot?

That was pretty much what last Sundays ride was like without the fallen trees and river, plenty of muddy holes, rocks and climbs along with the off's :classic_laugh:

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On 18/11/2021 at 14:35, XTreme said:

Incredible vid Grace......and the drone footage is amazing! What camera is the guy using?

As for the riding......count me out on that! :classic_ohmy:

Could you handle it @Sir Fallsalot?

Not sure what drone, I was too busy trying not to die haha. You can drop Max a message on the youtube video and ask, I'm sure he'll get back to you

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On 18/11/2021 at 19:26, Catteeclan said:

Think I'll stick to my easy lanes.:classic_laugh:
They've made good headway with 2 strokes pulling wheelies at such low revs. 

The guys doing that are trials riders... they know what they're doing. This is why I am now spending every afternoon pulling tiny wheelies on the trials bike and trying to ride over pipes, because I need to be able to do those moves too!

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On 18/11/2021 at 15:20, Slowlycatchymonkey said:

Jesus Im knackered watching it! That is in at the deep end 😂

Although Im perplexed about why everyone found it so difficult when it becomes clear at 8 mins 47 secs (ish) that you have the force with you why didnt Yoda just levitated the logs out of the way?

Because we're all masochists, and then there would be no opportunity to yell ONE HELP ONE BEER at each other all the time 🤣

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1 hour ago, Grace (BikeHedonia) said:

Still trying to develop some actual skills. Watch me throw myself over pipes and on my face... 🤣

 

You look like you're enjoying all that Grace! :classic_laugh:

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1 hour ago, XTreme said:

You look like you're enjoying all that Grace! :classic_laugh:

I really am haha... I now have suspicious bruises on my knees all the time but gradually am getting some skills happening. Was out in the jungle on Friday and finally had the technique to jump big logs with minimum fuss. A personal victory

 

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9 hours ago, Grace (BikeHedonia) said:

Still trying to develop some actual skills. Watch me throw myself over pipes and on my face... 🤣

 

I've been practicing some of that myself today, I don't know whats happening with me. things i used to find easy i'm struggling with now. Anyhow your looking good 👍

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22 minutes ago, XTreme said:

Hurry Up Countdown GIF by Escape Hunt UK

Yup. When i was young and had my whole life in front of me i didn't give a shit and just used to throw myself at stuff without a care, now i'm older and don't have so much life left i seem to be far more careful and think about the consequences before i do stuff 

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