“If you’re not living on the edge,” a good friend and fellow Harley-Davidson rider once told me, “you’re taking up too much room.”

Living without risk is not living.

I’m an adrenaline junkie. Have been most of my life. Others can play it safe. I don’t.

At 63, I often hear friends who don’t understand tell me to slow down and take it easy.

Some tell me I’m nuts to ride a motorcycle — especially as much as I do. I’ll log more tan 20,000 miles on a two-wheeler most years. Why, they ask, does a man with bad knees, questionable hips, ankles held together with pins, screws and baling wire put his fragile body at risk day after day on a Harley?

Why? Because it’s living.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a good life: One with enough excitement to last several lifetimes. I’ve jumped out of perfectly good airplanes (and suffered landings that explains the back problems that plague me now), dodged bullets with nothing but a camera for protection, survived horrific car crashes, hand walked over a 5,000 foot deep open pit, driven race cars (and crashed a few) and faced thugs responsible for the considerable bridgework in my mouth.

My body is scarred and my gait is hampered by calcium built up on too many bones broken over the years.

And I wouldn’t trade one of those injuries or maladies for a life of ease on the couch.

Coming home from more than 200 miles on the bike Saturday, I hit a damp spot on Virginia Rte. 8 just south of Floyd.  The front tire slipped and sent the Harley into a dangerous wobble. I fought to control the bike and stayed upright. It was one of those “aha” moments that anyone who rides a motorcycle faces from time to time.

I regained control and gunned the bike into the next turn, scraping the pegs as I leaned into the curve.

My heart pounded. My pulse rate surged. Adrenaline kicked in.

It felt great. It’s called living and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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