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A Little Ride in The Mountains


So I made the plunge the other day. I have been thinking about doing it for a while now, but for one reason or another I never done it. Maybe I was a little nervous about what would happen, maybe even a little scared. A lot of my trepidation had to do with the fact that I am becoming more and more like a hermit the older I get. I went online and had a look at Craigslist’s “women seeking men.” 
Gasp! What was he thinking!
The truth is I was drinking a little wine and I gotta admit that maybe I wasn’t thinkin’ so great! I saw an ad for some one wanting to talk. She sent a reply and we chatted through email Saturday night. Again, I had a little wine in my system.
Well, I went to bed and woke early and decided that the day was just right for a ride. I let my new Craigslist friend know I would be her way in a little while and wondered if she would like a cup of coffee. I told her that I would be at coffee shop in her town in just a little while. 
Turns out the place is closed on Sundays. 
We never met.
However the day was warming up nicely and the sky was a glorious blue inviting me to experience the beauty of Nature.
Now, as anyone who has read my blogs knows, I like to ride my Motorcycle, and I am privileged to live in one of the prettiest places in the world...mountains, lakes, valleys and coves, rivers and farmland all populate this region...lucky me! Even the city I live in is diverse and nestled in the mountains.
I finished my black bean and kale breakfast burrito and fantastic cup of coffee (ask me were I got it and I’ll tell ya’) and hopped on The Grinner. The cages got in my way as I was leaving town, but they have a right to be on the road too, I guess.
Passing by the University, the road opened up and I was able to put some distance between me and the city. I could feel the welcoming relaxation, my shoulders loosening and the tension in my back began to ease. 
The river running beside me reflected the sun making stars fly like little fairies. This part of the road, close to the town, yet far enough to give me a sense of isolation, looks like a fine fishing place, however I seem to never slow down enough to find out. Someday…
My little sportster has a small gas tank so I always have a part of my mind thinking about where the next fossil fuel outlet may be. The last one for a while came along and I tried to fill up. The pump was not having a good day, but I finally fed my Grinner.
At the gas station, a man and his son pulled in behind, they had a fishing boat. It turns out there is a lake up my road and I guessed they where gonna go fishin’ this fine Sunday.
The father and his son seemed to be totally in tune with each other. Little was said between them, yet I saw the team work and trust eachother. Those two knew what they had to do to get to the lake and they trusted each other to do it right.
State road #281 goes left off the road I had started on and it was my goal for this ride. At one point on this road it branches off to another place, but on this ride I wanted to stay on my chosen path. Eventually my road bumps into another road going back home and this was my riding goal.
I shook off the frustration of that silly gas pump before I slipped into second gear. 
Trust, now there is something. My brain went where it always goes when trust and relationships come up…
Fifth gear and a sharp turn coming. Front and rear disc brakes and do their job, a little sashay going out. Dunlap tires are so predictable. A little more gas, second to third. The rumble of that Milwaukee iron turning into a roar. Going up the side of the ridge, I feel gravity pulling my hands from the grips, another gear up. Then a curve, down two. Push left to go right, leaning onto my knee. Just a little contact with the tar sends a thrill of adrenaline. 
A raven flies ahead. I settle back and watch it soar. Is it circling, or just letting the wind eddies guide its path? Finally it drifts over a ridge. To my right is the lake the boy and his father will be fishing soon. The air is crisp and smells of mid fall decay, a sweet yet musky oder. The leaves have mostly left their summer homes and fill the sky, sometimes one will try to kamikaze into my face. Sometimes one will succeed to bounce off my leather jacket, making an audible impact.



Leaves litter the road and the curves are sharp around here. As I get older, I find that I don’t always need to slide into, and out spin out of every turn in the road. Sometimes there is something to see at the apex, besides the tar ahead. 
I ride this part letting the bike guide me, my mind wondering even further than the bike. The thrill of pushing the bike to its limits will always be part of the ride, checking my skill against the forces of nature, gravity, momentum and luck, yet as I get older I don’t need to push as hard all the time to get the euphoria...the sense of accomplishment, any more.
When I was a teenager, o so many years ago, my Father and I would go camping in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We would find the most spectacular places and simply be there. The moment would last for a moment. Some times we would be looking over a vast Wilderness Area, seeing nothing but river, trees and glacially cleaned bare rock. Others, we would be having lunch sitting by a cascading mountain stream, crisp and clear and oh so cold!
Riding this road gave me a feeling almost the same. The Grinner had disappeared or become part of me. I felt no compulsion to operate the vehicle, we just moved along the road ahead. Leaves blurred by at times, but then a glimpse of water or vast opening in the trees pulled me to a stop so I could see the grandeur around me.
At one point, I stopped at a lake that was drained and I could see the layers left behind. The dam was holding little water back, the water a deep green. I saw the fire circles of parties gone by. For a moment I experienced their fun.
The road twisted ahead. There were more houses than before, the homes of the partiers, perhaps? It did not really matter.
The bike and I rumbled on, leaning and twisting up and down the valley wall. As I got closer to more inhabited areas I noticed more dead animals in the road. There where squirrels, opossums and larger animals too. I wondered about that. Anyone out there, have an idea on that?
I saw many little turn offs that I want to explore. They looked like roads that might lead to adventures on foot. I’ll need to look into that with the Runtyun next summer.
Finally, my road lead to the more travelled one leading back to the world. I was lucky through out the ride in this fine wilderness, there were no cars anywhere. I did not have anyone pushing me from behind while I looked at the beauty all around me, nor did I come upon any cages slowing me down.
My road finally lead back home. Though I wanted to ride longer, I was left with the feeling that this ride was just right. I was refreshed and tired at the same time. I wanted to go on, yet I felt like the ride had been complete. How often does that happen?


olc

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