Sedans don't go VROOOM!
AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHH! Rain and more rain. Only one word to describe the ride today. WET!! Normally in this part of Oregon we have two seasons. Winter and Road Construction. Right now it's going back and forth between Winter and Monsoon. On top of it all the weather people are saying we could get snow again tonight and in the early morning.
The rain was vigorous this morning. Visibility was down to a little over a quarter of a mile. Picture a rain forest with heavy water mist blocking out the sky. That's what it looked like. Only this ain't no rain forest. It's the asphalt jungle and it's cold. The good news is that my waterproofing held up. I've had really good luck with the Nikwax products. They make a wash-in formula that does a good job of restoring water repellency in a garment. There's also a direct spray for spot treatments and for things you don't throw in the washing machine.
I think it's easy for people to get a slanted idea from reading this blog. Some folks still think I'm some sort of crazy thrill seeker. And that's ok. I'm not really put on this earth to make people like me. I try to be kind and help others as I can. It would be nice, at whatever final reckoning there is, to be regarded as having made the world a little better for having been here. At the same time, I'm dancing to my own beat. There's a saying that goes "Those that dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music".
That's all right by me. Not all will hear my music the same as I will not hear theirs. As long as we have no evil intent and respect each other life will be good.
I've already addressed why some of us "hardcore" people ride so much. I also discussed how we developed the skills to ride in such harsh conditions. What some people might consider to be "riding on the edge". The post was called "Know your limits".
That post covered the "why" and "how". Now for the "who".
Most of us are pretty much normal people from all outward appearances. We're family folks or have the qualities to be so. In fact, we care deeply about those who love and depend on us. That's one reason we take our riding so seriously. There's an inner urge that compels us to make whatever music we make on a bike. It's as deeply ingrained as is the need to breathe and eat. Therein lies the struggle. This urge needs an outlet. Our families need us. We owe it to our families to be as prepared and as skilled as possible. Some might say it's riding responsibly. That word means different things to different people. Depends on the limits of your skills and how you view risk acceptance.
Some people are homebodies. A friend of mine is like that. Content to spend his life taking care of others. Loving, sincere, sensitive, and reliable. God bless all people like him. The world desperately needs more like him. Most of us hardcore riders are slightly different than my friend. Wally drives a sedan to work. Whereas Wally is content to be sort of wistful about it, we have set out to actually FIND adventure. At the same time we know and honor commitment. Think about it. Riding in the weather we do, sticking to it despite adversity, staying with it until we master it. Isn't that perfect practice for committing to other human beings?
For me, personally, although I try to embody the qualities of Wally, I've never quite been able to BE him exactly. Wally's an innocent. I'm cursed with being a little bit of a rogue. It might be a fault on my part but I enjoy the feeling of being the Dashing Hero. It feels good to be the object of the wistful look or sigh. I don't use it to look down on others. It just makes me feel good about myself. That, in turn, better enables me to reach out in support of others. I've even had the privilege of being the defender and protector of the innocent in two countries. That has been even better.
All in all, we're pretty much like everyone else. We have families to support financially and emotionally. It's not that I live to ride. I just ride to where I make a living. We commute like everyone else. We just choose to do it with flair!
Speaking of which, time to tackle the wet ride home. Vrrroooom!