Lost and Found – A Biker’s Ride Through K-18

Here’s our first post from someone who isn’t, well…ME!  Fellow riding member and longtime friend Reese Sporrer shares his experience on our blog with a recent trip he’d taken last year in March when he lost his job as a chemist just prior to the the proverbial shit hitting the proverbial fan regarding the Corona virus outbreak.  Also to note:  Reese wanted me to specifically call out the Clockwork Towing Company who he said were the only ones to answer the call that night .

Biker on sport motorcycle outdoor on the road

I love solo rides.  Spontaneous, a bit dangerous, and always – weirdly enough – mystical – it’s during these types of trips I am able to clearly assess things in a way that just isn’t possible with anything else I’ve tried.

I hardly ever play the radio, or talk on the “helmet phone”, and it’s not just to think or for safety reasons, but – at the heart of it – to enjoy every bit of the ride – even during the ugly stretches of highway.

In the past, I’d have to steal away for a hour or two, sometimes a day – never more than a weekend.  But that all changed when I was laid off unexpectedly from my research position at the hospital.

Being jobless in the current state of the world is not something you expect to happen, with this being my first I decided to deal with it the way I thought most people do … and after the successful completion of those infamous five stages of grief, I decided to take matters into my own hand. It was time to do something just as unexpected, if not more thrilling.

My family is 3rd generation Kansasians, to the point that merely mentioning Kansas City, Missouri is like denigrating someone’s mother (they’ll politely tell you that Kansas City, KANSAS is the proper way to refer to KC)

It has been year’s since I’d seen the clan aside from holidays and special occasions, so I figured what better occasion to do so than when you have all the time in the world, right?

So I packed and headed from my home in Long Branch, New Jersey to the heartland of Kansas – home sweet home!

I was excited to find myself among familiar faces and equally so among familiar roadways and surroundings.

I was in a metaphorical cross-section, a stage in my life I never anticipated. Every one of my family members had an intake on how I should move on with my life, their own ideas of the kind of career I should be pursuing, the goals I should aim to accomplish. It was impossible to calm the raging storm of thoughts bubbling inside my head and after a few days, I was anxious to get out on State Highway 18 for a long and reflective ride, truly a biker’s dream.

And so I did.

It was an insightful ride, to say the least, and dare I say one of the best evening rides I ever had. The rush of adrenaline as I darted through the highway was unparalleled. I have never felt as alive and vibrant. I was on top of the world.

I could conquer anything.

But soon, the high will crash into the lowest low, my mood shifted from thrilling excitement to despair in a matter of minutes as my unexpected sputtered to a halt near some train tracks near at lonely stretch of road and train tracks near a place, I would later find out, was called “Wolf Creek”.

Now as it goes with motorcycles, so it goes with like, when one piece falls, all the others begin to drop with it. My momentary blind optimism soon turned into despair when I realized there was no cell service in the area. I was starting to panic. Here I was in the middle of bumble-weed Kansas with a broken bike and no way to call for help. My brain was swarming with discouraging thoughts and improbable but disturbing scenarios of where I could end up. The what-ifs were truly soul-crushing. What if I couldn’t find my way back? What if I stayed here all night? What if nobody found me? …

The scenarios where I was rescued were sparse, and my brain refused to entertain any ideas but the dark and ominous ones. After what seemed to be an eternity (but ended up being 4 hours), I realized there is really not a lot I can do. Like someone struggling in the water, forceful attempts to get back to the surface are far more draining than relaxing your muscles to stay afloat.

I had one of those few realization moments in life that only come to you through tragedy or a deep state of mindfulness. And in the stillness of the night, I decided to listen to mother nature’s soft words of wisdom encouraging me to slow down. I suddenly had a resolute conviction that everything was going to be okay. I had no doubt I would emerge from this experience unscathed, although somewhat changed.

And it wasn’t just positive thinking here.  I was absolutely convinced this was so.  Deep down in my soul I wasn’t worried anymore.

It was at this very moment I felt a series of buzzings in my jacket pocket.  It was from my cell phone indicating text messages were being received.

I said a quick “Thank You Jesus” and called for a tow before I lost the signal.  Thirty minutes later a tow truck service from nearby Kansas City called Clockwork was loading my motorcycle on a flat bed and an hour later I was having a cold beer with my two brothers.

I went back to NJ a week later with a more positive outlook on life and starting treating every day like the blessing that it is.  Thanks for reading!

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