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Leave time to stop and smell the roses on a ride

Suzuki dual-sport stopped along quiet dirt road
Tom Batchelor

Riding a motorcycle is certainly the fun part of a ride, right? Maybe. Well, most certainly the action of riding is indeed fun. But one part of the ride many often forget about is stopping once in a while and smell the roses. Or, take a picture.

Not just break-taking, folks. No, that's a given. Fuel stops and backside-rests are mandatory. The type of stop most riders ignore is the "just do it" stop.

JDI's are the kind of stop made on a particularly nice back road, perhaps a dirt lane in a rural setting, alongside a snake-rail fence where animals are grazing, next to an orange grove in spring, to take in the aroma.

We riders ignore JDI's way too often. How many times has it happened? Every rider knows. They recall numerous spots where they would have liked to stop, which looked interesting and warranted a closer look, but they simply kept on riding.

This is often because we're riding in groups. Take 5 or 6 guys, gals, perhaps more, and ask them all to stop because one rider wants a photo-op of orange trees? Probably ain't gonna be pretty.

That's why it's often best to not only do group rides, but take time to do a single gig. Most riders enjoy riding alone for this very reason, to have the freedom to stop and snap a pic or two at a neat-o looking place.

Next option if riding solo isn't an option (or, in adventure or dual-sport riding, just plain dangerous), just two riders who both agree on the frequent stop matrix.

Make sure planning is part of the JDI stop, though. Planning means, no sudden "holy crud" braking, no-signal turns and pull-off's, where grandma Smith in the old Buick following, nearly runs off the road in a panic. Planning means, looking way ahead, slowing down a bit and anticipating that turning off will occur sooner than later. Planning also means, making sure that camera stashed in the tank bag has a charged battery. And, that if the device needs a zap of energy, make sure the USB adapter purchased for such events didn't get left in the family truckster.

Stopping and smelling the roses, well, definitely Just Do It! Life is too short and there are too many way-cool places to pass by. So go ahead, get off the saddle now and then. Take some pics, enjoy not just the ride, but the places ridden through as well. They say that it's all about the ride. Maybe not. Maybe, it's about what's in between as well.

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