The first rule of (
Fight Club) 2021 is: You do not talk about 2020. It’s all going to be ok now we are in the new year according to my social media feeds. Sounds great, but I think that is ignoring how long it’s going to take to get the world vaccinated and any sort of normality reestablished. I hope I am wrong.
While I am not yet confident enough to talk about where I might ride next I can at least do the glass half full thing on the year that just passed.
Chance to detox
With businesses and services shifting their online communications from web pages to social media you have no choice but to be a part of it, and indeed during the pandemic Facebook Groups has been the only source of support information for me as an expat.
However Facebook and Twitter are toxic. I have exited most motorcycle Groups to escape the shit-birds that flock to those online communities. I’ve also unfollowed those well known moto bloggers who are now just salespersons. Instead I’ve been reading old moto blogs. Ride reports from 5 – 10 years ago which remain more interesting and inspiring than any of the recent YouTube spam.
I also quit the ride club I previously did a tour of Thailand with. I was booked to ride Southern India with the club last February until I detected the admin pulling a bait and switch scam with the hotels. I’d long thought the guys claims were as dubious as his identity but chose to overlook. The psychology of groups and wanting to belong can be a strong. I went to central Vietnam instead, an area I otherwise had no plans to visit and enjoyed a fantastic ride. It might be my new favourite place in SE Asia.
Social media and fake people detox in the year You Do Not Talk About was a positive.
I really had not been paying any attention to my riding equipment. I knew some items were getting old but thought as long as they are still intact I’ll just keep using what I have because the money saved will pay for another ride.
But with time on my hands a detailed inspection showed most of my gear was falling apart and in a crash possibly would not have faired well. Around this time the Japanese PM gave everyone 100,000Y Covid cash. The result is I am now sporting new and improved gear which is more comfortable, more functional and probably much safer.
Being given money to update my worn out riding gear was an unexpected surprise in the year You Do Not Talk About.
Incredible local weather
No denying it was a crap year for so many but when it came to weather it was the best I have ever seen in Japan. I did four tours covering ten weeks and out of that had just three days I would call properly wet and even they were not all day solid rain.
That is incredible for Japan where if I get 3 days in a row fine I think I am doing well. There was still some miserable months where it rained non stop but for my tours I got an amazing run and even sailed through the typhoon season safely.
I could not easy leave Japan but was gifted the best weather for moto touring seen here in decades in the year You Do Not Talk About.
Early last year I had become blaze’ about travel. I was taking time and ability to do things for granted. I’d fallen into the very trap I posted about in the BlogX2 before. That started in 2019 when I told myself I needed a breather after being attacked in South Africa and ended with my meandering in SE Asia by year end instead of taking on the next big challenge.
Covid-19 has been a big wake up call for me to get a move on. The window to complete the rest of my ride bucket list before I reach that age where men lose confidence and find travel too much bother was already closing. I can delude myself I will not be like everyone else, but all the evidence says otherwise and I need to be much more purposeful going forward.
Gaining an awareness of that is a positive thing even if I have lost a lot of time and momentum.
I hope some places open this year and next January I am not saying ‘The first rule of of 2022 is: You do not talk about 2021‘