Chopper Charlie: Slow Down

Article And Photos By: Charlie Weisel

Originally Published In The April 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

I see it every day in this once pleasant and chill town of Boulder, Colorado that I live in. People are scurrying around like short sighted rats, focused on nothing beyond the tip of their nose and the quantity of commas in their bank account. Teslas quietly dominate the streets piloted by uptight and privileged soccer moms pointlessly checking emails as if there is something of importance to read, acting like it’s the end of the world when their yoga class gets rescheduled. Some spoiled little brat is likely screaming in the backseat, clueless as to how the rest of the world lives, spoon fed his gluten free, vegan, humanely cultivated load of crap that life is easy and he will never have to lift a finger to get by. Sadly, that will most likely be the truth for this kid. This snot nosed little ten-year-old has more in the bank waiting for him to turn 18 than most of us will make in a lifetime. Privilege has become the norm around here and with that comes an onslaught of arrogant, spoiled citizens who somehow think life is difficult for them. Get a grip people. Life may come easy to you, but for the rest of the world, especially in the blue-collar sector, life is difficult. We wake early, strap on our tool belts and get to work. We spend our days working to build oversized, indulgent homes that are so completely unnecessary it makes me sick to my stomach. Homes with theaters that cost enough to feed a nation, $10,000 ovens, and chandeliers made of Swarovski crystals, heated toilet seats and multi-level garages. Meanwhile, at the end of the day, our callused hands grip the steering wheels of our dilapidated trucks and drive us back to our humble homes on the outskirts of town where the rest of the world lives. This is the part of society that understands what it means to work hard for everything we have. This is the part of the world that has survived without handouts, trust funds and a silver spoon.

Sadly, I have recently watched myself fall into the trap of wanting more. I leave the house before the sun comes up, and come home after the sun has set: I have become immersed in work. Chasing the almighty dollar has become my focus as of late and all it has brought is darkness to my life and a slap in the face reminder that life is about so much more. Life is not about padding the bank account, it is not about keeping up with the Jones’s. Life is about being a good person, being happy, helping your fellow man and seeing the world. Life is about exploring the unknown, seeking adventure and living a life worth writing about. What is the point of it all if the only thing you have to talk about while sitting in your rocking chair in old age is how much money you made or how many degrees you procured from some overpriced university. I don’t see that as living. Now don’t  get me wrong, there is a certain level of responsibility we have to maintain to not become a drain on society. Being a mooch is no way to live either and there are plenty of those out there as well, but I’ll go off on a rant about that some other time. So, that begs the question, how should we live? I don’t know. What I do know is this, for as much as I complain about how the other half lives, the greediness and excess that they appear to flaunt, I know deep down that I don’t want to be a part of that anyway. I feel the most at home with the blue collar, work a day, dirty jeans and tired boots type. The ones that are happiest sleeping under the stars and not under the roof of a 5-star resort. These are my people, you are my people. The dreamers, the explorers, the fearless. We are happier atop a struggling to stay alive motorcycle than in the climate controlled leather seat of a Mercedes Benz. We like machines that require a fuel pump, not a battery pack. We are the survivors, the ones that keep this world turning, the gears greased and the roads smooth.

I fully understand the level of bitterness I am exuding at the moment, I’m sure many of you feel the same way, but I do have a point to all of this. It is time to slow down. This fast-paced society of constantly chasing more has churned out an army of drones, an army of people that walk around in a daze, faces buried in their phones, information right now, forgetting how to think for themselves type of drones that appear to have lost all sight of actually living. People drive and walk around as if they are the only ones on earth, with no regard to others around them, no subtle glance over their shoulder to see if they should hold the door for someone, no awareness of the line of people behind them as they fumble though their wallet while talking on the phone at a checkout counter. Just oblivious. We have all seen it, and, on occasion have partaken in such selfish activities. We need to get back to the little things, the things that actually matter, the everyday common courtesies. Let’s all take a step back and slow down. Let’s all stop and remember that we are not alone here on this crazy spinning sphere of land and sea. Let’s spend more time stopping to help a driver in distress, holding that door open for a stranger, letting that person sneak in front of you in a line of traffic, stop to let a pedestrian cross the street. These are small things that make a difference. Humans need to spend more time stopping to smell the roses and listening to the birds chirp. I, from this moment forward, will strive to get back to living for reasons that matter, reasons worth writing about. Live a life that is noteworthy and noble. I will spend my time and energy traveling on my motorcycle and seeing the world we live in first hand. I will slow down and take in everything life has to offer. The beautiful thing that the m o t o r c y c l e community has to offer is that I think most of you will agree with what I have ranted about here, let’s foster this lifestyle of enjoy the small things together and let the rest of the world spin off into oblivion as they please. Let us not fall into the traps society has laid before us and become members of the perpetual rat race.

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