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For some, there’s therapy… For the rest of us, there’s motorcycles

For some, there’s therapy… For the rest of us, there’s motorcycles

Discover how one rider was baptized by the wind

“There are certain truths that occurs to us, which we cannot convey in words, but requires a personal experience to grasp more vividly.”  Michael Bassey Johnson



You’ve seen it.

I know you’ve seen it.

Whether it’s been on facebook, as a motivational poster, or a sticker attached to someone’s helmet, the ‘For some, there’s therapy… For the rest of us, there’s motorcycles’ saying rings true for anyone who has been baptized by the wind.

As a new rider, I didn’t really understand just how true that old saying is until a found myself staring out the window this past winter, waiting for the snow to melt and gazing longingly out at the garden shed where Ruby was resting comfortably in hibernation.

Once I started riding, it never really occurred to me that there would be a time when I couldn’t.

Ride, that is.

There are days when I can’t wait to leave work and get home fast enough to suit up and hit the back roads.

There are other days when my heart isn’t quite into yet, but I surrender to the voice in my head that tells me I need to get out into the wind. Once I’m there, I can’t imagine why I even questioned the decision to get out and ride.

You know what I’m talking about. If you ride, you know.

What’s that other old saying? ‘You never see a motorcycle outside of a therapist’s office’? Who would have thought that there were universal truths and wisdom to be found on helmet stickers and biker patches…

We bikers, motorcycle enthusiasts, and riders – whatever you want to call us – are a rather spiritual bunch. We find inner peace and outer pleasure in the intangibles that are tied to riding on two (and sometimes three) wheels.

It’s all about the journeys we take, the roads we fly, and the sometimes ordinarily incredible places we find ourselves that define us as a group and family.

I read about road trips and daytrips and side-trips on this site and I wonder if some of the things that I attach to and find meaning in are the least bit interesting to more ‘seasoned’ riders browsing through the stories here.

I’d like to think so.

We all had to start somewhere. Many of you have either ‘Been there, done that’, know someone who has, or are right in the middle of finding out these things for yourself.

My new rider status has me seeking out new and interesting things to explore while I get more comfortable riding in traffic, explore unknown (to me) roads without the comforting guidance of a GPS, and documenting my progress with the trusty camera that is always by my side (and in my saddlebag) every single time I put on my helmet.

I’m always looking for great places and interesting backdrops for a photo session with Ruby (my VStar 650 Custom).

Sometimes, it’s a simple stop on the side of some country road. At other times, it’s a little more interesting and the location holds a special place in my heart and is significant for personal reasons.

Such is the Central Park Labyrinth in Burlington, Ontario.

CENTRAL PARK SIGN

Fairly easy to get to, Central Park is an expansive green space not far from the QEW. Home to a rose garden, children’s playgrounds, soccer fields, baseball diamonds, the Rotary Memorial Forest and much more, the Park is also home to the Central Park Labyrinth.

LABYRINTH SIGN

When my girls were little, we would travel to the labyrinth by car, and the objective was to get there in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Most often, we used the 403 / QEW to get there and back home again.

Since the park entrance closest to the Labyrinth is directly off of Guelph Line, however you choose to get there by bike is simply a matter of your starting point. I find Highway #5 a nice, leisurely trip, passing through small towns and by-passing the heavier traffic of the 400-series of highways, and as with most of my adventures, it’s the ‘getting there’ that is just as much an important part of the experience as the destination I have waiting for me at the end.

RUBY AT FRONT

 

I have shared the ‘walking the labyrinth’ experience with my children and a few of my close friends. Up until the time that I started riding, I often found solace, comfort, resolution, and peace walking the pathway of the Central Park Labyrinth.

Riding is my new therapy; the labyrinth tradition is and will always be a part of my tried-and-true ‘old’ therapy.

The best of both worlds came together the day I introduced Ruby to the Labyrinth. I didn’t bring her into the circle, but I parked her under the arbor and stood between her and the entrance to the path.

Overwhelmed.

That’s the only word I can think of to describe the feelings I felt wash over me.

Standing between the two symbols of my own personal therapy touchstones was an exhilarating moment. It may sound strange or even a bit too introspective, but I felt like I was standing still and flying at the same time.

LABYRINTH IN FOREGROUND

I’m in the process of planning my very first motorcycling road trip, and it’s an exciting prospect. When it comes to more ordinary, everyday kinds of adventures, trips to places like a labyrinth in a city park or making a stop to find out what that blue and gold Ontario Heritage Trust plaque (http://www.heritagetrust.on.ca/Resources-and-Learning/Online-Plaque-Guide.aspx) says that are creating my motorcycling memories right now.

If you are looking for an interesting destination for your next ‘I have a few hours to spend out on the bike – I wonder where I should go’ adventure, consider a double dose of ‘therapy’ and take a ride to one of Ontario’s many labyrinth locations.

Labyrinth Aerial 1

KAT (aka KimberleeAnna) will be contributing to this site on a bi-weekly basis, and is looking forward to sharing her adventures with you. To reach KAT by email, send your questions and/or comments to kattales@rogers.com

Links that you may find interesting or helpful:

http://cms.burlington.ca/Page55.aspx#.VAiAzfldXUU    Information page on Burlington, Ontario’s Central Park Labyrinth

http://www.lessons4living.com/labyrinth     A brief overview of what a labyrinth is, and an explanation of its purpose and objectives

http://labyrinthnetwork.ca/ontario-labyrinth-directory/    A comprehensive directory of labyrinth locations – including private/public status, directions, contact information, and a brief overview of the labyrinth’s construction and environment – within Ontario

http://www.lessons4living.com/walking    An explanation of how to approach the walking of a labyrinth, and the emotional, mental, and spiritual benefits of choosing to walk a labyrinth

http://labyrinthnetwork.ca/      The Labyrinth Community Network

 

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