What's on your Bucket List? Its a phrase that seems to have come into vogue in recent years. For some it means adventure, for others its reaching a life goal in education or business. They have even made a movie about the concept.
Most of us live boring lives that involve jobs we don't enjoy and dreams we have always had but just never made happen. We all know people who talk about what they really would like to do - one day - but for one reason life gets in the way.
About 20 years ago, I found myself in such a situation. My dream had been to ride a motorcycle and get paid for it. Its a funny thing, but that goal had sat inside my head for many years way back to the early days when I
purchased my first motorcycle (well, maybe not that far back but sometime later). You see, after school I found myself in the Army where I graduated from the illustrious Royal Military College Duntroon, and so began a 22 year sojourn where I went on a great adventure in, as the Recruiting Major on the day we swore allegiance to serve Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth called it, The Big Green Machine.
Military service was an adventure. Along the way I ticked a few things off my bucket list such as becoming a Tank Commander in Armoured Corps, leading an adventure training expedition across the Simpson Desert, travelling overseas to serve four months with a British Tank Regiment to name just a few. These were the best days of my life and commanding combat troops, albeit during peacetime as Australia wasn't sending troops to foreign wars in the 20 years of peace after the end of the Vietnam War (I joined after Australia stopped sending troops overseas), and it was both challenging and fun to do what I knew few others would ever get to experience.
But, for the good times came the price. For me the price was to end up flying a desk performing routine office work (as you
rise up in the ranks as a military officer they take you away from troops and put you into Staff jobs that don't involve commanding combat troops but rather more boring tasks such as Human Resources, Logistics or Operational Planning etc. After 22 years I found myself working in area which I really couldn't relate to and working with people I didn't really feel I liked or had a lot in common with. For me it was time to move on. So I resigned and headed off to see what the outside world had to offer.
During my time in the Army I had always owned or ridden a motorcycle. At Duntroon I was President of the RMC Motorcycle Club (our supervising officer recalled to me many years later that he remembers us as "a strange bunch of individuals"). The idea of one day owning a Harley Davidson was a dream that seemed out of reach and distant. But, it was a goal. It was something that I had programmed into my brain - as a desire that needed to be filled.
That's the funny thing about goals and desire - when
opportunity presents itself you are ready. That's what happened to me. One day I ran into a guy that owned a Harley Rides business, which he had set up and had functioning to meet the insatiable demand that existed for the Harley Davidson Ride experience, back in 1993. However, in 1996 he was ready to move onto something else. For me the opportunity was too good to pass by. The opportunity to own a Harley Davidson and run a business where I could share my motorcycle passion with others began. Almost 20 years and many many customers later I'm still here.
What I've learned in the last 20 years is that what I do as a business is a Bucket List activity for many others. For some its a once in a life opportunity, like going for a ride down the Great Ocean Road on a motorcycle as opposed to inside a car (how boring). Others have always wanted to get their motorcycle licence but time and family commitments have got in their way. Sadly for some it gets left until too late, as was the case when we got called upon to do a funeral motorcycle escort for a guy who was killed in a construction accident. In his case he had allowed his business to consume too much time and he died before he could get one of his own (he was not that old). Age is no barrier, nor are they just male or female (come to think of it, we have taken many more females for a Bucket List Harley Ride).
Most often its not the person we take on a ride, who
decides on the time they will tick it off their bucket list. Quite often its a friend or family member who makes the decision for them and surprises them with the gift of a Harley Ride. The reality is - people don't tend to book rides for themselves, yet they will happily organise one for someone else (hallelujah for these people, they are what keeps us in business).
There may be other Bucket List experiences to be had in this world. But, when someone comes for a ride with us and ticks it off their list we ensure that it will be something they won't forget. At the same time for us its a never ending activity. I can't think of anything better that sharing the Harley Davidson experience with people and seeing the joy it brings to people - whatever their age.
Please share this with someone who you know has a Bucket List. Tell us about your list - we'd love to hear your story.
Call John on +61 0419 359 628 to organise a Harley Ride, so that you can tick it off your Bucket List.
One of the first things I ticked off my Bucket List long ago.