Postcards from a Dream

Koz Mraz – Text and Photos

Wish You Were Here

It all started with a postcard. In 1975 Pink Floyd released their 9th album, “Wish You Were Here.” It followed their smash hit “Dark Side of the Moon.”  The album cover didn’t have the band’s name or album title. It was released in the U.S., wrapped in black plastic with a sticker on the front. Inside was the iconic ‘man-on-fire’ album cover, intriguing record-sleeve photography, and a postcard.

Postcard from Motorcycle Mysteries


Where was the “here” of that mysterious postcard?  What was the meaning of the diver stuck in the surreal watery landscape? Listening to the album over and over became a madcap mix of sound and image in my mind’s eye. Upon learning that the photo was taken at Mono Lake California in the snowcapped Sierra Nevada’s, I had to go there.

Cruising the long languid Route 395 north from Los Angeles on a Harley-Davidson Super Glide, I had an epiphany. Just like my dreams, motorcycling arouses an inner rapport by which I experience life. This reward we call “Helmet Time” offers some of the few moments in life when you are virtually alone. It provides a personal connection to the present moment, and in that moment of the here-and-now, time suspends, leaving the imagination free with abounding emotions. It’s like “dreaming with your eyes wide open.” The wind howls and pipes roar while bugs and pebbles pummel me and my body fights against the forces of nature. It’s this very struggle that forces my psyche into an altered state of consciousness.

Mono Lake’s shores are filled with bizarre rock formations known to geologists as Tufa (TOO-fah). The alchemical cauldron of this lake forms strange limestone spires, some growing 30 feet tall. It’s one grand, Helmet Time inspired dream of exploring other mysterious destinations. Oh, and the diver? The image supposedly represents the band dealing with all the nonsense of the music industry: It simply states that “Any artist or musician can be as powerful as they wish and create as many – or as few – waves as you want.” Pink Floyd.

Endless Possibilities

A rider since age 15, motorcycling has always been my psychotherapy, physical therapy, and now a spiritual quest that has unquestionably kept me young.

Possibilities became endless as I explored the mystical Joshua Tree National Park and its U.F.O. Integratron, the infamous Route 66 from the iconic movie “Easy Rider,” California’s extraordinary temples and monasteries, and the famous piers all along the meandering Pacific Coast Highway. The list went on and on. I rode them all and sent home postcards filled with my journeys.

The Crystal Pier Hotel is the only pier in California where you can, in fact, sleep in a bungalow over the ocean. You ride your motorcycle onto the pier and park right in front of the hotel. Waves thunder beneath you as the old wooden pier (built-in 1927) creaks and groans! Standing at the end of a pier high above an azure sea, a cool breeze blows by. The rumbling surf pounds the shoreline with bubbling fists. The whole of the Pacific Ocean is racing toward you as if you’re riding over it.

There are five California piers you can ride your motorcycle onto. Curious as to what lay ahead at the end of many of the other piers, I rode to them all! I ultimately visited the unforgettable 65 piers on the U.S. coast from Mexico to Canada and was grinning from ‘pier-to-pier’ as I sent home 65 more postcards!

Postcard from Piers of the West Coast

Zen and the Art…

Chasing dreams (while never looking back), and writing postcards became an obsession. My altered state of Helmet Time blossomed into a higher state of consciousness and vibration. My yoga teacher continually espouses the many advantages of creating good vibrations. OOOMMM does have a nice low exhaust note! Much scientific research has gone into the beneficial value of many types of electro-acoustic-atomic vibrations. Moving at 85 mph on a two-wheel vibrator surely produces an exhilarating, tingling sensation in the body, energizing one’s blood flow.

She also stresses the importance of Hindu Prana, or “Breath of Life.” With your face in the wind at high speed, breathing becomes a completely different experience. Your breathing becomes choppy, and gusts of wind affect the effort to get a lung full of air. With bursts of passing acceleration, or with simple lane changes, you may find yourself holding your breath. Pay close attention to this, the next time you’re on your bike. Make each breath last for six seconds: inhale for three seconds and exhale for three seconds. By keeping your breathing regulated and your body relaxed, your mind will stay more alert. These are important lessons I learned that truly came in handy while riding the bumpy roads to “Shangri La.”

Shanghai H.O.G.s and Nepali Bikers

A friend of mine who lived in Shanghai, China invited me for a 6-day, 1,600-mile ride to Tsing Tao and back for their 3rd Annual Harley Owners Group meeting. I jumped at the chance. I wasn’t aware, however, that 2-wheeled vehicles are not allowed on Chinese highways and because of this, we would travel solely on secondary roads that often ended in dirt fields. We American drivers obey “Right of Way.” It quickly became apparent that China’s “First Right,” meant whoever is first has the right of way—and it was a constant battle to be first. Their only rule was, there are no rules.  This culture shock made for some of my most interesting postcards. It also inspired bigger dreams.

Suddenly, the world had infinite motorcycle riding possibilities, and my biggest dream was crystallized. I yearned to motorcycle the Himalayas. It is an expensive venture, it would be the most challenging ride of my life. It took 20 years to actualize this dream and send my prized group of postcards home.

Here’s what it took to get there:

1998: Tickets were purchased, passport and permits were approved, a multitude of shots were taken, and the Chinese closed all borders because of a Buddhist uprising.

2006: Tickets were purchased, passport and permits were approved, got a few remaining travel immunization shots, and everything stopped when my Stepmother died.

2018: Tickets were purchased, passport and permits were approved and only one shot was required. This time my plane left the ground in Los Angeles and landed 24 hours later at the Kathmandu Airport into a magical world beyond my wildest dreams.

It was a 1,000-mile adventure from Kathmandu, Nepal to Lhasa, Tibet. We rode the world’s oldest, continually produced motorcycles, Royal Enfield’s, to Rongbuk, Tibet, the world’s highest monastery at the base of Mount Everest. “Expedition” would be a better description of what was to come. We braved 14 days of riding through the world’s highest mountain ranges with Nepali bikers. Breaking bread with Tibetan families, visiting Buddhist temples and shrines, and sleeping in the bedroom of the 7th Dali Lama was not only a dream come true, but it was also a life-changing spiritual pilgrimage. This longest journey began with a single step and became a timeless quest for more.

Postcard from Motorcycling the Himalayas


In my late 50’s, the task of muscling around 1,200 pounds of a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide with a passenger and luggage worked wonders at keeping me fit. But suddenly, I’m 68 years old staring at all that money spent on a 1,000-watt, multi-speaker sound system, stage I, II and III engine upgrades, custom chrome, super comfy seating, and enough motorcycle real estate to justify property tax. Has Motorcycle riding become a big windscreen, 2-way communication, Blue-toothed, Sirius, heated seats, grips, and cappuccino-holder riding experience?  Is a big-ass Lazy Boy with a home theater on 2 wheels is even legal?

While sitting in my lumbar-support office chair with cushy mesh fabrics and more adjustments than a chiropractor on crack, I had to take inventory, how long have I been hunched over my phone and computer monitor, soaking up radiation like hot pockets in a microwave?

Hell, I’m a young guy at 68. I reminded myself why I fell in love with motorcycling and the 1970 BSA Lightning 650cc in the first place, which ignited my passion—no bags, no trunk, no stereo, and a stiff saddle that naturally demanded a spinal alignment. It would have made my yoga teacher proud. Chakras were wide open while chanting Harley Krishna, Harley Krishna.

What’s the moral of this story? Never give up the dream or the challenge. Lighten your load, get rid of excess baggage, the past has no power over the present moment. Keep on moving! Ride more, dance more, love more, worry less, and follow your passion, no matter what age or leg of the journey you’re on. Whether it’s motorcycling the Himalayas or riding the backroads of your hometown, the pursuit of your dreams will keep you young and excited about living life to the fullest.

P.S. I am now a proud owner of a 1969 BSA Lightning 650cc and still sending postcards.

Epilogue: Did these adventures happen or was it all just a dream? Well, I have collected over 200 postcards to date, and I’d love to get a postcard from you. Dream on!


One response to “Postcards from a Dream”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Phoenix Ducati Official Club Pro Rides

Story: Koz Mraz Photos: Poppy Fior & Joe Drift You don’t hear names like Loris … Continued

Legend of the Medina Snake: By Zac King

It happened in Medina Ohio, sometime in the not-so-distant Future: It’s 2034 and motorcycles on … Continued

View All