i’ve been writing about my recent trip to phoenix and my encounters with the locals. my buddy, john, asked, “Did you ride your Harley to Phoenix? Ouch!” in fact, i trailered my bike to arizona (first time i’ve ever taken it somewhere) and i am so glad i did! phoenix is surrounded by mountains and national forests (don’t think “trees,” think “cactus”) and the weather was gorgeous (as it happens, oklahoma had the coldest week of the year while we were in phoenix. 8 degrees. he he he.).
since i got my bike, i’ve been pleased to find that i have entered a guild, a brotherhood. we wave at one another on the road. we admire one another’s bikes (my road king is a head-turner, ya’ll). at a stoplight in downtown phoenix, a bus driver gave me a thumbs up, slid his window open, and shouted to me “i’ve got an ’09 street bob!” one afternoon, i rode out to tortilla flats (amazing scenery, neat restaurant) and parked among the other bikers. they acted like i was a long lost cousin! we talked about where we were from and where we had been. interestingly, i never had a biker ask me “what do you do for a living?” i suppose it doesn’t matter to them. consequently, it’s a little tougher to broach the subject of things spiritual.
probably the most communal spot for bikers is the harley store. i visited one in phoenix and one in chandler and had a great time at both of them. buddy stubbs harley davidson is on cave creek road, right across the street from first assembly of god (tommy barnett, pastor). i asked one of the guys there about the massive church and he told me “they do a lot of good in the community.” i asked him if he visited and he said that sunday was his only day to ride (“i leave early and get home before my wife gets out of bed”). i asked, “you don’t go to church…don’t you believe in god?” he said, “sure i believe in god, i just don’t think you have to go to church to go to heaven.”
in the parking lot, i was approached by an elderly gentleman with a thick german accent. he introduced himself as albert. he has been riding a little honda and asked how long i’d had my bike and how i liked it. after a few minutes of conversation i asked albert if he attended church. he said that he considered spirituality a private matter and preferred not to discuss it. but he was very pleasant.
tomorrow i will try to draw a lesson from my experiences in phoenix. today, though, i will share pictures of some gorgeous scenery (i didn’t take the pictures but i saw these sights).