Sunday, February 14, 2010

Today's Morning Ride

This morning as I left for the jail about 7:00 it felt almost balmy at 50 (F) with a slight drizzle. As usual, before I left the house I waffled back and forth on whether to ride. The negative pull is it might rain too much and be too dark and even be too foggy in the country. The other thought is after the jail when I go to church the Beemer is the only motorcycle in the parking lot. What if people think I'm crazy riding on a rainy day? Then I think, "Nah, I'm riding."  When it comes to riding I don't care what people think and besides these Sunday morning rides are a personal time of reflection and joy if I may use that word. Joy is not a macho word that guys usually use. Joy is different than happiness. Happiness relies on external things while joy comes from within even in spite of external stuff.

As I've written here before I can't express the solitude and feeling of gratitude during this time. I've been riding for less than two years and I don't know how long the good Lord will let me continue but I am grateful for the enjoyment riding provides. I wish that I had stuck with it when I first rode as a teenager but there must be a reason that didn't happen.

I guess with riding more senses are being used than when driving. There's the visual stimulation of the beauty around us and the feeling that you're in it instead of just watching it. Then there are the smells, the sound of the exhaust and the vibration while straddling the motor. And finally there's the feeling when accelerating and the feeling of soaring while leaning in and out of curves. All of this is something that not everyone experiences.

Many years ago I use to run everyday for exercise. As with most runners there comes a time when you face knee surgery on one or both knees. When I had my first surgery I remember the doctor telling me that I was part of a subset of the population. Depending on the mileage that runners do it puts them into another subset so that you become a subset of a subset. You get the picture. As riders of motorcycles and scooters we are a subset of the population. Not everyone gets to experience what we do on two wheels.

I really like reading each of your blogs and how riding fits into your lives.  As I write that last sentence I realize that riding and blogging puts us into another subset. And with all of this there's another reason for gratitude. 


  1. Mike:

    25 years ago I used to do a lot of cycling. After work, weekends and even took days off work to go cycling until . . . my knees started to "click" . I think I overdid it. Haven't done much cycling since, preferring self powered propulsion.

    It's nice to be part of a subset, and to meet other subsets along the way

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  2. You make fine pictures Mike. Beautiful, elegant landscapes in the rain. Did you always see this way or is it a result of the riding?

    I find myself part of the riding and blogging subset. Not sure why but am glad I'm here.

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

  3. Bob,
    After 12 years of running I was forced to switch to cycling. I say forced because mentally it was hard to let go of running but my knees won out.

    I'm glad you're in the subset! Thanks for your comment Bob.

    Take care

    Wow, it's going to be a while before I can get my helmet back on. My noggin is a little swelled. I'm honored by what you say. You take fine pictures and I've enjoyed your blog for almost 2 years. I first found your blog from your comments on the Modern Vespa Forum.

    I think I've always seen things the way I do but riding has certainly enhanced the experience. As you know, seeing things through a visor is unique.

    I think I speak for everyone when I say that we're glad you're part of the riding and blogging subset! Thanks for your comment.

    Take care,

  4. Love the solitude in the photos. The first one is particularly cool because of the different lights glowing.

    I used to run, as well. I can't blame my knees. Maybe I just got lazy. While I was running I experienced what I felt was exceptional mental clarity. Now I find that when riding. Unless I'm dealing with a bunch of traffic. Thus the appeal of your photos. That's the solitude that inspires refection and peace.

    I, too, find joy in riding. Thus my mention of the happy dance in one of my recent posts. Mostly, I find peace. You seem to be very similar to me in thoughts and beliefs. Which would explain how two strangers can meet for lunch and two hours goes by like nothing at all.

    There is much comfort to me in the fact that there are still folks like you out there despite the general condition of society.

    Take care

  5. Dan,
    Thanks very much for you generous comments. I appreciate them. While riding up to Vancouver this morning I was thinking about when I read about bloggers meeting and how there's generally the comment made about feeling like they've known the other person for a long time. I know I experienced that when I met you. I guess blogging kind of binds the common interests and allows us to peak a little bit into other people's "world". The beginning of the friendship is there and all that's left is meeting face-to-face. What did we do before the internet?

    Next time you're heading to the Lloyd please call me. Maybe I'll be in the area and we can have lunch.