The Machida Connection

21 Mar

According to this world population clock (which must be completely accurate because it’s on the Internet), there are about 7.4 billion people living in the world today. Thank goodness they’re spread across the globe and not all concentrated on one continent.

Our world is a big place, but it’s small in some ways, too. There are threads that connect us to people, common ties that bind. Not just blood ties and physical connections, but common interests and beliefs that unite some of us in unique ways.

When I started this blog in 2008, it was primarily meant to serve as a place to document our travels. It’s morphed into something better, broader, and it’s enriched my life in ways I would not have thought possible eight years ago when I began this little endeavor.

Bloggers are a unique bunch. We put ourselves out there on a regular basis, sharing snippets of our lives, pieces of our dreams, pictures of our fantasies, loved ones, and general surroundings, pathways into our hearts and minds. Some are more-revealing than others. Some are more eloquent and/or funnier, heartwarming, bolder, braver, literary, frank, obtuse, reserved… the list of adjectives could go on and on.

Not everyone “gets” the why behind wanting to maintain a web presence such as this. And not all bloggers blog for the same reason. Having this blog has connected me with a wide group of people collectively referred to as my MotoBlog Buddies. Most have blogs, too (see the links in the sidebar). Many are in North America, but there are some in Europe, Australia, New Zealand. I don’t think I know anyone in South America, but it’s hard to tell because not all people who read blogs like to leave comments.

This circle of motobloggers into which I have somehow been adopted is a diverse, fun group of people. I’m honored to be considered one of them. And glad I haven’t been ousted due to my recent lack of motorcycle content!

I have always enjoyed meeting new people. As long as I can remember, anyway. Getting a glimpse into their lives, learning what drives them, what worries them, what makes them happy or sad. Listening to their stories. Sharing their joys, and their pain. Seeing their pictures. Laughing with them. Crying with them, too.

Geographically speaking, my MotoBlog Buddies cover a pretty wide area. Yet we’re all connected through our blogs thanks to at least three common interests… motorcycling, storytelling, and photography.

Every now and then, the moon, stars, and/or some other cosmic forces align and some of us get the chance to meet in person. Yesterday was one of those days.

Richard_and_ToadMama

Richard (of Richard’s Page) Machida and Me

I’d been excited about the event for weeks, but didn’t want to mention it for fear of jinxing the plan.

Richard lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with his charming wife, Bridget, who I also got to meet yesterday. Hubby Mike came along, too. It was brief visit over lunch near the airport from which they departed yesterday afternoon. (They were in the area to visit Bridget’s Dad who is in an assisted living facility in Elizabethtown, PA, which, oddly enough, happens to be MY Dad’s hometown. More small world connections.)

As expected, they were both very nice people. Our “quick” lunch stretched into two hours! It felt like about 30 minutes, though. I probably talked too much, as usual, and asked too many questions. But there were so many info gaps in my mind to be filled.

I first “met” Richard when he served as troubleshooter for our mutual motoblogger friend, Bob (now deceased), who was having trouble posting comments to my blog. Bob was a frequent poster of comment here. Not being able to get his word in was painful for him. And frustrating for me. Richard helped, and I’ve sort of known Richard ever since. I got to know him a bit more during the month of February, since he participated in my do-a-post-every-day-in-February challenge (yes, I failed miserably).

Richard is a hardy guy. He rids his Ural rig (motorcycle with sidecar attached) year-round. In Fairbanks, Alaska! In the COLD, snow, and ice. That must be why he looks like he’s in his 40s even though he’s retired. (Bridget did say she’ll have to keep working forever to pay for all the Ural repairs. LOL.)

When Richard mentioned my lack of moto-related content lately, me saying “it’s Winter!” really sounded like a lame-ass excuse.

I’m still in a rut. But I am slowly, surely clawing my way out. Spring has arrived. That should help. And meeting folks like Richard and Bridget in person go a long way toward perking me up, too. AND, guess what? There are one or two more motoblogger meetups in my near future. Yes, I’m excited.

Years ago, I used to think of my blog followers as the people in my computer. Now I know better. These people are real, and they’re friends. Whether or not I meet them all in person, we still have that connection. We are still part of each others’ lives, even if we’re only connected virtually. We give each other an audience. Other people who care about the same sort of stuff enough to keep reading, keep following along (some through more than one medium), keep cheering each other on, even when we do stray from two-wheeled topics.

For more on yesterday’s meet-up, including spouse pics, check out Richard’s post.

Whether you are a motoblogger or not, I want you to know that I appreciate each and every one of you followers. Thanks for following. I look forward to sharing more adventures with you in the future.

13 thoughts on “The Machida Connection

  1. “Bob was a frequent poster of comment here. Not being able to get his word in was painful for him.”

    Pretty funny but accurate 😉

    Meeting other moto-bloggers has been the best part of riding and blogging. And it was completely unexpected when I had started.

  2. Great writing Kathy, it does express much of the soul of the blogger. It’s fun and even more so when you get to meet others in the circle!

    Don

  3. What a lovely, heartfelt blog post, Kathy–a delight to read. It’s too cool that you and Mike were able to join the Machidas for a quick(-ish) lunch. Now I suppose you’ll be making an announcement in a day or two?… You know, that you’ll be abandoning two wheels for three–that going forward you’ll be blogging as a proud, devoted URAList. Just be sure to begin budgeting for those repairs and that maintenance. 😉

    Unfortunately, Ticketmaster isn’t reporting that my city has been added to the Machida World Tour 2016, so I’ll have to keep my ears open for a future date. We did have a near meeting last December when their flight was diverted to Salt Lake for an evening, but alas, it was not meant to be.(sigh)

    Well, beware of the Russian infiltration: First you’ll acquire a sidecar rig; then–slowly–the accent; then you’ll find yourself regularly preparing borscht (really, it’s pretty good–I tried it about a month back for the first time); and before you know it, you’ll be blogging in an whole new language.

    • Thanks, Ry. Don’t worry, no rig is in the cards for either of us! Although it sure would be fun to take the dogs along. I’m more likely to convert to Dutch or German than Russian. 🙂

  4. Those tricky Machidas!

    I was half expecting my doorbell to ring after their surprise appearance with Steve Williams in the Sticks, then over here.

    Bob Leong was a person like a needle and thread. He made so many connections in the bloggosphere among us. It fairly boggles the mind.

    Kathy, reading this post felt odd. Odd because your words expressed my thoughts in a way that I could easily have expressed them myself.

    Very eloquently done. Thank you.

    • Thanks for the kind words, David. I’m sure the Machidas would love to come and visit you one day. I may just show up on your doorstep one day. Or at least in your new city.

  5. I didn’t expect the connection when I started blogging either, but having moto-blogging friends around the world is pretty cool.

    Richard and Bridget are some of my favorite people. I am very glad you all got to meet up.

    Sadly my moto-content has been lacking too. If this rain ever stops we’re hoping to do more riding this year.

    • Brandy, I hope the weather dries up for you. If not, I’m sure you’ll find something exciting or at least a bit interesting to share with us. 🙂

  6. Kathy, very cool that you met another Moto blogger in person! One day, that will be us, I promise!

    You eloquently expressed the blogging experience as I feel it, thank you. I have not only been lacking in Moto content, but all content, but that is about to change. 🙂 Hope you get our on the bike soon! Cheers, Lynne

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