Friday, January 27, 2006

The week winds down, sort of.

Thursday morning was rider friendly. Roads are wet but no rain or fog. The rain will return in the afternoon but this morning I enjoy the break. As I "gear up" I feel ready to go forth. Strong, powerful. Like a fighter pilot watching the canopy close. Pulling the visor down. Taking off to deal with whatever "bogeys" might be encountered. A powerful machine at my hands. Three decades or so ago I badly wanted to fly those steel hunting birds. Uncle Sam wanted both feet on the ground. Slogging through mud. A dream beyond me, now.

It was still dark as I started. On the freeway drivers were pulling over to let me go by. Why today and not others? Did cosmic forces align for me today? Toward the end of the ride the daylight was winning. A dark green Ford Explorer pulls over to let me by. Most drivers will not look at me. Too bad, for I would like to thank them with a cheerful wave. The young man driving the Ford was different. My gaze was met. He waved first. Followed by a big "thumbs up". Whatever caused his cheer I am grateful for it. As I came up to a stop light in town I saw a young man in the left turn lane. He was on a blue Yamaha sport bike. A backpack adorned the back of his leathers. As I stopped at my own light I looked back. He was watching me to see if I turned around. We acknowledged each other and went our ways. A little later I saw another motor cop. If he would have looked my way I would have waved. He never looked at me. I know he had to have seen me. Perhaps his mind was in another place.

The rain came back to stay. With it came the howling wind on the edge of the storm. My ride was spent huddled behind the fairing. I am growing to hate this rain. Rain is part of the experience. This year seems to be one of the worst in a decade. The constant rain is draining my enthusiasm and will to ride. I tell myself it will end one day. I continue to hang in there. Small breaks become precious morsels to savor.

This morning I saw a man on a white Goldwing heading North on the freeway. This is the first bike I have seen on the freeway in the mornings for months. We waved in passing. I wonder about him. Is he commuting? Is he on his way to some weekend adventure? Will I see him again or is this a one time thing? Either way the moment of connection lifts my spirits.

The weekend will be spent in the "Big City" doing more instructor updates. These people show they are passionate about bikes and helping others. Yet, few will ride. Passion does not equal committment. Me, I will ride. It is who I am. It is what I do. The forecast calls for very heavy rain and wind. I am not pleased.


THE SCRIBE said...

I like your post...

When you get a chance you should visit my blog at

I have over 32 poems, some in audio, awesome illustrations and pictures to help capture your eye. Don't be affraid to scroll down near the bottom of the page. You'll find your horoscope and a "Today in History" for your viewing pleasure. You'll also find some of my favorite pieces of work, like the poem "Words" and "No Evil."

I hope you enjoy and please come back soon. Thanks and have a good one, Mike. A.K.A-The Scribe-

Gary Charpentier said...

Dan, you seem to be hitting your stride here. Nice work. I really dig the fighter pilot analogy, and have felt exactly what you describe many times. Keep up the good work, and don't let the rain get you down.

Ride well,

Steve Williams said...

Like Gary indicated, the fighter pilot analogy is appropriate. I have felt it many times including humming "Ride of the Valkyrie" inside my helmet to complete the effect. Reality always pushes back to remind me I am piloting a 150cc Vespa....

Keep riding. I am committed to never "winterizing" my scooter for a long garage nap.


irondad said...

I don't believe that the "machine" dictates attitude. We are all "Fighter pilots" under the helmet. On each venture we hope for peace but are ready to meet the enemy. Vespa, Hornet, or F-18. The machine determines what options are available but not the spirit.


Mad said...

I read a bike magazine article recently in which fighter jet pilots claimed to get more of a kick from riding their bikes than piloting their aircraft... I still want to fly a plane though