We always remember the first time. For me, the past few days had been a series of firsts.

Last week it was the first time I had ever turned 55. That's right. Can you believe it?  I told Shirley as we're heading north on I-95 to have dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse that someone put signs up reminding me of my special day. She said, "What?" About that time we passed another 55 MPH sign again. She laughed. I don't feel much different, but I do feel that others look at you differently when you reach certain milestones. It's true. I'm okay with that.

Another first happened this morning at about 5:30am as I was testing online. You heard me right. I have been taking college courses for a while now, and although I've always carried a pretty high GPA, I relish the feeling of acing a test for the first time in any given course--I usually start studying my butt off at 3:00am. I'll tell you that the coursework has been exceptionally difficult this time around. I have been taking a course in chemical dependency. I tell people that it's driving me to drink. Ironic, for sure.

The other 'first' happened at 8:00am, as I fired up Ms. Suzi and headed to work. The first motorcycle ride of the year is always special, especially after what seems like the worst and longest winter I've ever experienced in my 55 years on the planet. But there's something about riding a bike that's both liberating and confirming. Someone once posted on Facebook that on a motorcycle you may suddenly find yourself in the middle nowhere, but sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself. There's some truth to that.  I do some of my best thinking with the wind blowing around me and a few horses driving me down the road.

My final point is still related to motorcycling. I ask this for myself and for countless others that make two-wheels a way of life for what seems like an incredibly short riding season here in Maine...please watch out for us. We'll be out in force in the next few weeks. Maybe it's because of where we live that you're not used to seeing bikers on a regular basis, but we are there---most times in plain sight. That cellphone call or text message that you feel you have to tend to could very well be thing that puts an end to any more 'firsts' for us enthusiasts.

Thanks for reading an understanding.

Nelson