Ralph Couey

Ralph Couey
Photo by Darryl Cannon, Powerhead Productions

About Me

My photo

Husband, father, grandfather, friend...a few of the roles acquired in 62 years of living.  I keep an upbeat attitude, loving humor and the singular freedom of a perfect laugh.  I don't let curmudgeons ruin my day; that only gives them power over me.  Having experienced death once, I no longer fear it, although I am still frightened by the process of dying.  I love to write because it allows me the freedom to vent those complex feelings that bounce restlessly off the walls of my mind; and express the beauty that can only be found within the human heart.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Choosing...Or Not

Suzuki GS550T


Honda PC800

Kawasaki Vulcan 900LT

Soooo many bikes, soooo little time...

Copyright © 2010 words and images by Ralph Couey

Like any guy, I like to look at machines. My eleven years with Caterpillar has left me with a special appreciation for those big, brawny yellow tractors. A child of the ‘60s, I also have a soft spot for carefully restored automotive denizens from that era. A couple of months ago, I came across a pristine 1967 Corvette Sting Ray, my personal favorite, in a parking lot. I stayed there for a good 30 minutes, walking around, peering through the windows, drinking in the incredibly powerful, yet graceful lines. I couldn’t tear myself away; the owner showed up and drove away, favoring me with an understanding look. Once I got home, my wife wanted to know what took me so long. I mumbled something about traffic and long checkout lines. Somehow, I just knew she wouldn’t understand.

Even though I own a perfectly good motorcycle, that doesn’t deter me from surfing websites, checking out what else is for sale. I freely admit to a serious case of E-bay Envy.

I’ve always been a long-distance rider, preferring touring or sport-touring bikes. Now, I’ve bought my first cruiser. (Actually, my second. I dumped the first one.) It is such a different look than what I was used to. Sport-tourers are narrow and sleek. They seem to want to fly even when parked. A cruiser is entirely different; big and beefy, it’s voice a manly, hairy-chested roar when accelerating. At rest, it rumbles like a barely-stable volcano. The chrome catches the sunlight with a special gleam, those random rays of light that warm the soul of a man.

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's Never "Just a Ride"*

*Somerset Daily American
August 21, 2010
Copyright © 2010 by Ralph Couey

The passion for riding motorcycles is as much a spiritual thing as it is psychological. A motorcycle is often referred to as “the cheapest form of therapy” by those who have given in to that special kind of seduction. But there’s a lot of truth to that statement. Most riders treasure their rides; the best escape from the sometimes crushing pressures of daily life. Part of that has to do with the concentration required while in the saddle.

There is an inherent risk to motorcycling. Traffic, road surfaces, debris, animals, changing weather, and texting drivers are all part and parcel of the danger that surrounds us. When on the road, you can’t simmer over a bad workday, or plan the weekend construction project. Thoughts of relationships, bills, schedules, or chores have no place in the rider’s head. There’s just too much going on to allow distractions of any kind.

The uninitiated might opine, “If that’s the case, then why ride at all?”

Listen carefully, Grasshopper.