Should I stop riding for my partner?

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Dear Lynda,

My girlfriend recently found out she has a medical issue and cannot ride. I’ve offered to stop, but she says I should continue.

It’s all so new, I don’t even know what I want to do. Help!

~Aaron

Dear Aaron,

I’m sorry to hear of your girlfriend’s recent change of health that’s impacting her ability to ride, and I applaud your generosity in offering to give up your own riding in support. But first, there are normal stages of grieving you’ll both be going through, and making choices while in that state may not be the ones you’ll make down the road. Before either of you make any permanent decisions, give yourselves time to adjust to this new information and see how it impacts all areas of your life, not just motorcycling.

In the meantime, you can begin to explore what riding means to you, separate from your girlfriend. What would you be giving up if you choose to stop because of her condition? How crucial is it for you to ride, even if she can no longer join you, versus how much is riding tied to spending time with her, and won’t be the same if you head off solo?

Looking at the role riding has played in your relationship may give you some ideas going forward. Did you go on day trips just the two of you, or was it a social activity with a group? Were your vacations built on motorcycling for days or weeks at a time? Are there aspects of riding that you share that don’t actually include time in the saddle, such as arriving at a destination and spending time as tourists, or meeting friends for lunch at interesting restaurants?

Are there other ways for the two of you to enjoy being together that would eventually replace being on bikes? Investigating the areas you both enjoy, off the bike, may help point you towards some new solutions. Other options might encompass you riding to a destination while she uses alternate transportation to get there, her pursuing a passion she now has time for while you continue taking riding trips, or selling your bikes and gear and putting the money towards a sporty convertible and a whole new way of travelling together.

~Lynda

PHOTO: RTW PAUL

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