If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.. Lewis Carroll.
But for sheer simplicity, I prefer: there can be no roadie, without a road..
As a product of the 80s, my influential brain soaked up weekly programmes like Knight Rider, The A Team, and my personal favourite, The Dukes of Hazzard – partly because I had a crush on Daisy Duke, but also because I was mesmerized by the General Lee’s hurdling abilities.
Impressionably, these screenplays cleverly etched one simple equation into my young head: Car + Road = Adventure…
Growing up, I couldn’t wait to take my first roadie.
In 1996 the chance arrived in the form of a trip through rural Northland, New Zealand.
Complete with modified exhaust, distorted speakers, and flimsy roof racks (sporting a poorly tied on kayak), the platform was set for what was to become a lasting love of Roadies. The fact that I misjudged a gravel corner and was abruptly stopped by a ditch, thus propelling the kayak into a farmer’s field, did nothing to detract from the journey – it just made me practice better knots.
Each year thereafter would be another destination. Another chance to manually wind down the window, hang the elbow, crank the tunes, catch up with friends, and cruise; because the whole point of a good roadie isn’t about arriving, it’s all about travelling.
Good times, good fun, good people, but with age (and kids) arrives a certain degree of maturity, well, supposedly:
Nowadays the driving might be slower, cornering gauged well in advance, and acceleration measured by £$£$£$ saved, but still, the idea of rolling along unknown roads is enough to stir emotions, and conjure fine times.
Moreover -as was the case during this month’s family roadie from Scotland to Spain- it’s a chance to create memories:
Like repeatedly circumnavigating a Barcelona round-about, until mum unfurled the map to steer us back on our merry course, and, pulling up to the wrong toll booth in France, before all manner of hand waving and gesticulating ensued, universally requesting everyone behind us to back up.
We’ve had lunch by the Mediterranean and breakfast at the Atlantic. Taken in views over the Pyrenees, and relaxed in the cool mountain shadows of the Massif.
There’s been stories, and we’ve sung along to all the best roadie classics; because in your own vehicle, when you’re with the people you love, you can let the good times roll.
Just like the wheels that carry us..