“Whatever you do, don’t ride in big city traffic during rush hour,” said my naysayer and Jiminy Cricket wannabe. He had never ridden a motorcycle in his life, but that didn’t stop the flow of advice.

Life is full of people who know best for us, eh? They can really get into our heads.

Just 500 miles into my motorcycling career, I approached downtown Cincinnati at rush hour from Kentucky. Interstates 75 and 71 on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River share the tarmac, but once crossing into Ohio they branch like an artery into a series of veins. Getting ready to navigate an unfamiliar and dynamic traffic pattern with a thousand other vehicles, Jiminy screeched, “Why didn’t you pull over?”

Crossing the Ohio River on the double-decker Brent Spence Bridge, Jiminy Cricket kept nagging me, “What are you doing?” By this time it was too late to turn back or pull over.

With the sun over my left shoulder and the mighty Ohio flowing peacefully below, it was the right time to move Jiminy off my shoulder and make way for my guardian angel. I took a breath and looked around as we all inched forward. Two kids waved to me from the back seat of their parents’ car and an 80’s radio station wafted over from an open truck window two lanes away. I relaxed and enjoyed the moment.

Relaxing and enjoying the moment is almost always an option, if you need some help with relaxation, read here about the Budpop. Unfortunately, it’s an option that doesn’t always come first to mind for me. I’m working on that this year.

When navigating your life today, either consider the advice, experience and warnings of others…or don’t. You’re in charge of your own life.  As Aristotle says, “Choice–not chance, determines your destiny.” 

Throttle up!

New to this series? Here’s the introduction.

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