WAKING UP IN VEGAS
Thought we’d start the year with something a little different. Our friend and motorcycle photographer Errol Colandro wrote a raw and honest story that we think all riders could relate to.
Words and photography by Errol Colandro.
Riding down this beautiful stretch of road. Miles and miles of pure desert landscape. All I’m hearing is the wind, the engine, that beautiful Harley exhaust note.
Where the hell am I even going? As we all know, getting on these two wheels is our therapy, our escape, our healing. Healing…. the healing of what? I look back a few weeks at what made this “healing” ride happen.
Waking up, not knowing the surroundings, the walls are that typical Las Vegas hotel room, and I am covered in what seems to be vomit and I am alone.
Wait, that is exactly what that is. Looking around, luggage open, clothes strewn everywhere, pretty sure theres AT LEAST 12 beer cans next to me and what seems to be a bottle of sleeping pills, oh no, nope there’s two of them… and they are empty. But as seeing what I am covered in and what is all over the floor, my body rejected it all.
You already know where this is going, yep, you guessed correctly. I tried to kill myself.
Embarrassment, shame, guilt, those are all of the feelings that I have at that moment. Why, you ask? All because of a breakup, a breakup that didn’t have to happen, but it did and hey, when alcohol is involved, we think we are smarter, me, I wasn’t. I realized that I needed to quit drinking.
These are all of the thoughts that I have running through my mind while the lines on the road pass by me, the landscape slowly rolls next to me and tears slowly run down my cheeks in my helmet, this is my healing, this is me helping put me back together. The hole of shame is being filled, that crevice of embarrassment is being covered, that “bandage” of guilt is getting peeled off. I’m realizing that this is exactly what I needed.
The open road and my motorcycle have become my best friends, my teachers, my therapists, most of all my solitude. Road trips on your motorcycle are life changing, soul searching, we learn so much about ourselves during that time on the bike. I’ve had so many conversations with myself, tried to solve all of the worlds problems, tried to justify something I had done 10 years or even 10 minutes ago. Then there are days or moments when we are riding when you don’t think of one thing.
As a photographer, I always have my camera with me, Especially when I am on the bike. Being able to tell a story with one image, being able to inspire from my journey, from my experience. Capturing the story of the road, you see things differently while you’re on the bike, I feel that my photos when I’m on a trip are more truthful, more raw, more personable. We pick these beautiful and amazing machines to take us to these locations. As cliche as it is, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey,” is one of the truest things I have read.
My motorcycle has brought me miles and miles of “therapy”. My camera has told thousands of stories.
Today it’s long stretches of desert roads, tomorrow it could be sweeping mountain curves, or maybe a red light at every intersection.
We ride because we love it, we ride because it heals us, we ride because in my case…saves lives.
This journey has just begun…