It's Bike Week in Myrtle Beach. This is an annual event when upwards of 300,000 bikers (we're talking the vroom-vroom-VROOM kind...not the pedaling kind) descend on Myrtle Beach SC for 10 days of partying, biking, vendors, and whatever else that many bikers do when they get together.
To be perfectly honest, I've never had a reason to care one way or the other. I've never had a "bike", and my general tendency is to avoid crowds - not to seek them out.
Over this past weekend we rode up to Myrtle Beach for the beginning of it all. It all hits high gear later this week, so the BIG crowds are only beginning to swell. Based on some of the descriptions I got from others about some of the mayhem it sometimes brings I Google'd images of previous Bike Weeks (link here). All I can say is that I didn't see anything nearly that interesting or colorful yesterday. But as I say - it's just beginning.
Other than the sounds of motorcycles wherever you go everyone was well behaved and seemed to be having fun. I can't speak to what it's going to be like over the weekend, or at night when things can get rowdy, but my experience was a positive one. I had a blast.
For one thing, I enjoy going places where others are far more interesting than I am. Bikers come in all shapes and sizes, all ages and walks of life, all colors, genders, backgrounds....it's fascinating. And there is really such a thing as a biker "lifestyle". The vendors were full of biker gear (mostly leather, lots of skulls and chrome), bike accessories, fancy bikes, and anything biking.
Someone mentioned "RUBS" (Rich Urban Bikers). I had never heard that term before. I suppose they were part of this eclectic mix. All I can say is that this beginner had fun.
One of the things I most liked was being reminded that getting somewhere is sometimes more about the journey more than it is about the destination. Riding the bike puts you in the elements with very little between you and the road. All the fragrances, all the weather, the wind and the sun - it's all there and they're things you typically don't "feel" in a car.
I love this time of year. During the week I'm still doing the work I was brought here to do. On weekends I go home to Charleston. It's a bit more hectic than I like but it's ok for now. Things have been so busy that I would have loved to have spent some time downtown - it's magical during the springtime - but given the classes that have consumed my weekends since late March I've had to get comfortable that I can't fit it all in.
I've talked before about how Transitions take time. More to the point - successful transitions take time. Well- it's my experience that they also take money. When I transitioned years ago one of my biggest fears was getting stuck in the middle with no income and no way to move forward or back. Thank God that didn't happen.
As I slowly get my fledgling new career off the ground I'm acutely aware that the sucking sound I'm hearing is the vacuum on my pocketbook. $400 for National Assoc of Realtors. $125 for SmartCard access. Business Cards, website, etc. etc. etc. It all costs. Sigh. The only things I take solace from are the fact that (a) I've got a little money to do these things and (b) this is necessary. I'd rather by arranging a trip to Europe or spending it on something more exciting but I'm well aware of the costs involved in starting a new business.
One thing I'm arranging is getting a new professional Head and Shoulder shot. The last one I had was 10 years ago - it's the shot on my website. It's probably time to do that anyway.