October 29, 2016

Ode To Socks

My Carolina Boots on the left, Steve's Wolverines on the right. I'm on my second pair of Carolinas and Steve still has his original Wolverines. His boots have taken him over 111,000 miles thus far and are going strong. 

I bought the $14 pair of socks at the boot store when I bought my first pair of motorcycle boots.

"$14! They had better be worth it," I snapped at the young clerk.

"I can assure you they are! They wick the sweat away, are padded in the soles and are odor resistant. They'll take you a very long way."

I wondered if I was a sucker but decided it was a small price to pay if they were really as good as he claimed.

It was February 2013 and the scent of leather was thick in the boot store as I had just committed to purchasing a pair of Carolina Waterproof Work Boots. Since I was finally riding my own bike Steve had gone with me to help me select the perfect boots for our upcoming Road Pickle Motorcycle Bohemia. We were moving out of our apartment and setting off on an epic ride across the U.S. for six months.

That six months turned into two and one half years of being homeless motorcycle vagabonds. We stayed in hotels and vacation rentals in 35 states and rode 50,000+ miles.

So I bought the boots and socks in preparation for an amazing adventure.

These socks were everything they were cracked up to be and quickly became my favorites. I wore them for almost every ride over those years. (On very cold days I wore the wool socks I picked up in a bargain bin at a market in Nebraska.) It seems silly, somehow, to be so attached to a pair of socks, but they were part of my "uniform" to me.

If you're anything like me, you become sentimental about particular pieces of motorcycle gear. Once while doing laundry in Tucson I went into a panic because I had lost one of the socks. I was embarrassed by the amount of relief I felt having found it an hour later. When the road became my only destination and I carried with me everything was all I had, each piece mattered greatly. But the sock thing was a little over the top.

Over the many miles we've lost other important pieces as well; Steve's favorite gloves he wore on his ride from So. Cal. to Alaska that wore out, a $5 watch I strapped to my handlebars for 6 months that stopped, a laptop that wouldn't boot up any longer, 4 cameras and 3 mp3 players I dropped, and my ATM card that blew out of my pocket in South Dakota.

Loss is part of riding. You can't become too attached to anything; material items, places, people. . .

"'To love is to feel pain' there ain't no way around it
The very nature of love is to grieve when it's over
The secret to a happy ending is knowing when to roll the credits
Better roll 'em now before something else goes wrong."

~ Drive By Truckers

Today I'll have to say "Farewell" to my threadbare socks. Their story is over. They did their job.

Goodbye Old Friends. I appreciate you so.

But the socks are more than a clothing. They represent a time of my life that matters to me a great deal. My most adventurous time to date.

There will be other socks, other roads, other adventures, other favorites, other loves.


  1. What great memories, Sash. I can relate.

  2. Beautifully written, Sash, and I totally understand the importance of the right gear. In my case, it's backpacking gear. My pack has been with me through some great adventures.


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