The man behind Angiepalooza opens up about the role of the road during a time of great personal turmoil.
I bought a Harley Davison motorcycle back when Angie and I were dating. I’d always wanted one, and her family had been riding for years, so I decided to look for a bike. One day we went in just to look and an hour later walked out the door with a title in hand.
Angie and I loved the open road. I’m not sure there’s a better feeling in the world than having the girl you love hug you tight as you ride with the wind in your face and her breath in your ear. We rode as often as we could.
When Angie was diagnosed with stage-four colon cancer, we knew our time was limited. I basically quit work, spent nearly every moment I could with Angie and cared for her. We did have some amazing times — and often it involved riding.
Her stamina was not what it had once been, but she still loved to leather up and go for short rides. It was a time when she got to feel normal again, where we were just two people in love in our own world, going nowhere in particular, which at the time seemed like the most important place in the world to be headed.
When the stresses and realities of knowing I was going to lose her to cancer became overwhelming, I would check out for a short ride by myself, often just to town to my beloved Coffee Zone on High Street, just to get away. I loved the short ride, the open air, the freedom and knowing it was the one place where no one could hear you cry. It became an oasis, even if for just a few moments. Riding was my therapy when there was little else that seemed to matter. An occasional 30-minute ride was the pressure-relief valve I needed to recharge my internal batteries and get back to the business of caring for and loving my girl for the rest of her life.
When Angie died, it was hard to ride again. So many memories of her back hugs, quirky mannerisms and made-up songs (all to the tune of “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger), were so fresh that riding alone was nearly impossible. Since then, I’ve ridden a lot, and it again has become a treasured time to reflect and admire the otherwise overlooked beauty around me.
Riding to me isn’t about getting somewhere fast or being macho or trying to impress others. To the contrary: It’s about taking your time, truly seeing the world around you and appreciating the things you simply can’t if you’re in a car. It’s about going somewhere with a group of friends who, by the nature of a bike, have to be minimalist. There’s no room for a ton of stuff. You take what you need, and you go.
Generally, the only thing you truly need is seated behind you. Everything else is optional.
Tim Tinnin is a 27-year veteran of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. He was widowed on Dec. 11, 2012, when he lost his wife, Angie, to colon cancer. Since then, he has produced two charitable live music events called Angiepalooza and Angiepalooza Street Dance, which are held annually with proceeds benefitting the Angie Capps Tinnin Foundation and Safety Net. Tinnin is a father of two, Tim and Kaitilin, and stepfather to Angie’s three children, Reiana, Madison and Connor. In his spare time, he enjoys sports, cooking (especially barbecue), spending time with family and friends and traveling to the Caribbean. For more information please visit: https://www.angiepalooza.com/2013/ or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Angiepalooza-2013/213940005415943