Every new rider is somebody’s kid, but what if that new rider is your kid? There’s no more emotionally complicated moment in a motorcyclist’s life than the day their offspring gets a motorbike of their own. Meet Wes Stephenson, who has been both that excited kid and that terrified parent in the course of his long motorcycle life. If you ask him, the recipe for being a great motorcycle mentor is much the same as the recipe for being a great parent: share your joy along with your wisdom, collect stories together… and know when it’s time to let go.

Show Notes

My daughter’s new motorcycle in a photo she took on her first solo ride. Who doesn’t remember that feeling?

Wes Stephenson’s book ‘Molded on a Motorcycle’ is a fun read, and a warm-hearted meditation on what it means to inherit a love of motorcycles. You can find it here in both text and audible forms. Wes also has his own web site where you can get to know him better, and you’ll find that right here.

The author, next to his favourite subject.

It turns out that the conflicted experience of parenting a motorcyclist (it seems silly to use that word when you’re talking about a fully independent adult, but indulge me) is a hot topic about which much has been written. Researching for this episode, I wouldn’t say that I found a definitive text on the subject, but I was charmed by this short piece from the mother of an aspiring motocrosser. The writer is reminded that the job of a parent is to prepare their child for life, and that this is ultimately the only way you can ever ‘protect’ them. To believe you can do more, it argues moreover, is selfish.  There’s some solid advice in here if your particular child happens to be of the small and young variety.

Here’s some background on the Iron Butt Association’s 48 State Challenge. You’ll recall that I touched on the IBA and endurance riding with Rick Muhr in Episode 39. That episode garnered a lot of interest from other IBA riders, who wanted me to know there is much more to the story of what they do than Rick’s saga alone could possibly tell. Look for a future episode on that.

The Rural Alberta Advantage. Photo: thraa.com

Many thanks to The Rural Alberta Advantage for sharing ‘Late September Snow’ with us. You can get to know this Toronto band better by visiting their web site, which is here. But the best way to do that, of course, is to see them live. Ahead of the release of a new album (check out the sample track ‘Plague Dogs’ below), they’re on tour, and here are some upcoming dates and venues… if the new track is any indication, it’ll be a killer show:

The Rural Alberta Advantage March 28, 2023 Richmond, VA Richmond Music Hall
The Rural Alberta Advantage March 29, 2023 Durham, NC Motorco Music Hall
The Rural Alberta Advantage March 31, 2023 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom
The Rural Alberta Advantage April 1, 2023 Detroit, MI El Club
The Rural Alberta Advantage April 2, 2023 London, ON Rum Runners
The Rural Alberta Advantage May 22, 2023 Fredericton, NB The Capital
The Rural Alberta Advantage May 23, 2023 Fredericton, NB The Capital
The Rural Alberta Advantage May 24,2023 Charlottetown, PEI PEI Brewing Co.
The Rural Alberta Advantage May 25, 2023 Halifax, NS Lighthouse Arts Centre
The Rural Alberta Advantage May 26, 2023 Moncton, NB Tide & Boar
The Rural Alberta Advantage May 28, 2023 St.John’s, NL Rock House
The Rural Alberta Advantage June 3, 2023 Fergus, ON Meadows Music Fest
The Rural Alberta Advantage June 16, 2023 Beaumont, AB Four Seasons Park
The Rural Alberta Advantage July 6, 2023 Calgary, AB Wildhorse Saloon
The Rural Alberta Advantage July 7, 2023 Orillia, ON Tudhope Park

As always, the theme music for this episode was arranged and performed by Harry Bartlett. Harry just released a new album in December, I believe his first. You should give it a listen.

If you’d like to help keep This Motorcycle Life podcasting, be sure to visit the ‘Support’ page on this site. And finally, a nudge to scrounge up a few bucks from the couch cushions and make a contribution to the Movember Foundation in the name of this podcast… just click on the moustache below. They could use all the help you can give, and you’ll be letting me know how much you value this content. Thank you!

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2 comments on “Episode 51 – The Gift

  1. Jarrid Apr 30, 2023

    Hey Bruce! My name is Jarrid and I’ve recently started binging all of your podcasts and let me say I’m getting hyped up with each one. I’m a 23 year old truck driver and im about to get my M endorsement here in America. Sadly, my dad is strongly against my decision and my mother, before she passed of cancer, disagreed as well. And I respect and love them both dearly but I feel this is something I truly want in life but u have no support from family. Any advice?

    • Hey, Jarrid, thanks for listening and for getting hyped! You ask a great question… my answer is long, so check your email 😉

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