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  • Writer's pictureAllie Moroney

What I've learned from riding a motorcycle

My husband did many things to catch my attention before and during our courtship– His long hair, confident way of speaking, his ability to plan trips and community events, as well as his tender strength, just to name a few.


Another thing was his electric green motorcycle.


I remember one of my first times seeing Fernando, he rode right up the entrance of our church for Mass. I happened to be walking in at the exact same time, as he ever so gracefully took off his helmet and shook out his aforementioned long hair. Though I was never a fan motorcycles nor attracted to guys who owned them... I have to admit, I swooned a little. What can I say? My husband is hot and for whatever reason the motorcycle really suits him.


The motorcycle was never a secret, yet I never really thought about riding it with him, or rather never really processed that reality, until we were cruising down the highway surrounding Madrid at over 100 KM/H. It's been almost a year of riding paquete (In Spain they refer to the person riding on the back of the motorcycle as the paquete, which means "package" in English!) I'd like to say I've gotten over all my fears and ride with elegance and easy like the gals you see on TV.... but sometimes I still find myself holding on for dear life and praying that God will protect us! It truly depends upon the day, each ride is a unique experience, but overall it's something I have grown to enjoy.


Here are a few things I've learned from riding paquete:


  1. Trust: Since beginning my relationship with my husband, trust has been a huge theme for me in prayer. Opening my heart to love and be loved again, has not been a one and done experience but something I have to decide every single day. Though my husband has proved he is worthy of my love, my wandering heart is easily scared and quick to mistrust. Riding the moto has been one experiencial way in which the Lord has invited my heart to move in the way of trust instead of fear. As the passenger, my life is in the hands of the driver. Though this is theoretically the same in a car, on a motorcycle, you are more conscious of this reality. In a culture of Uber and Lyft, we get in and out of cars without much thought to whom we have entrusted to get us from point A to point B. Every single time I get on the bike and all throughout the ride, I'm constantly challenged to trust that my husband is in control and he knows what he is doing.

  2. The Active Passenger: Though my husband is in full control as the driver, what I do as the passenger effects the ride. I cannot move my body however I want. It's not all about my comfort on the seat. As I am on the bike, I have to be a thoughtful passenger– aware of where I put my hands, how I am positioning my body, and be aware of what's going on around me. Essentially, my job is to position myself so that my husband can do what he needs to do. This has been a great lesson in regards to submission in Marriage, but also surrender to the Lord. I used to think of surrender as simply passive. I used to think the movement looked like giving everything to the Lord and then walking away. Yet through this experience on the motorcycle, I've learned surrender looks more like giving things to God and then abiding with Him as He works all things for good. On the moto, I simply cannot close my eyes, hold on for dear life, and then POOF arrive at the destination. I have to position myself on the bike, maintain my posture, and then wait for my husband to say it is safe to get off. Prayer is very similar, we position ourselves to receive grace and then are tasked to remain in that grace until Christ brings us home.

  3. It's not all about what you feel: Going off of this idea of the active passenger, I have specifically learned the importance of being alert and aware of what's going on around me. When I first started riding on the bike, I would close my eyes our of fear. I did not realize this was dangerous until one particularly windy day (Fernando and I were on the bike headed to our pre-cana marriage retreat), the visor on my helmet clipped against Fernando and made a loud noise that scared me. As a result, I moved abruptly on the bike. Though this did not cause an accident, it did distract Fernando and gave us a good scare. After we arrived at our destination and took off our gear, Fer gently yet with concern, started to ask me about what had happened. In the moment I didn't actually know what happened, because my eyes were closed. I was going off of pure feelings and sensations. "You had your eyes close?" He asked, sort of dumbfounded. "Well yeah, how else am I supposed to make it through the ride?" My husband paused (I could tell he was trying to find the gentlest way to share some tough love with me!) "Allie. If you are going to ride on the motorcycle, you have to keep your eyes open. If you don't, you cannot ride with me. I know you are afraid, but you are putting both of us in danger by keeping your eyes closed because you cannot make adjustments as you see things moving around us. When you close your eyes, you are reacting based on what you feel. Your feelings are important, but in this case they can be misleading and actually put your life in danger." The awareness required to ride the moto makes me more aware of my emotions but also my will. As I am on the moto, adjusting my body throughout the ride, I'm feeling every single thing. Often times the sound of the wind frightens me. Some times when the highway dips down and we are going 130 KM/H I lose my stomach. Pretty much every ride I feel like the cars alongside of us are way too close. All of these things and more cause fear and anxiety. Yet despite what I am feeling, I keep my feelings in check by reminding myself that my husband is the driver, whom I trust, and then fix my mind on the things that I can do to make sure he can get us where we need to go.

My first time on the motorcycle. I cannot tell if I'm smiling or crying.

On the back of Fernando's helmet, he has a sticker of a skull with the phrase "Memento Mori" written beneath it. I spend a good amount of time looking at it as I ride paquete. As I mentioned early, we seldom ponder life and death when we get in our car to drive, and though I am not advocating for thrill seeking and risky behavior, riding the motorcycle has brought me a deeper awareness of life for the better.


I'm challenged to not sleep walk through life, but rather to learn the art of trust-filled surrender with my whole will. In being more aware and engaged with my emotions and body, I'm invited find deeper communion with God through the leadership of my spouse, whom He has chosen to accompany me along the journey and unto eternity.




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