Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pavement Ends

In hindsight, those multi-cylinder street bikes were powerfully addictive... so smooth… so silky fast.  I could feel it when the fuel hit; that surging, intoxicating rush.  It was not easy to quit that and I still miss it sometimes.  But I could see a dark, blurry figure out of the corner of my minds eye... coming for me... I felt the tremulous and hesitating snatch of mortality creeping and lurching its way toward the pavement, haunting me at the apex of turns and taunting me on every straight away.

It’s so much better this way.

Before, I would roll on the throttle and watch the horizon shift and rotate as screaming torque gnashed teeth and bit the leather.  Now that I've converted to sedate, single-cylinder dirt bikes, a tranquil and serene mood has settled over my riding. Such a soothing and tender acceleration... stable and planted...  I feel like a polite gentleman again.   I obey speed limits.  I signal at intersections.   I hear the red-wing black bird calling from the marsh beside the gravel road.  

I never realized how confining the pavement was.  What a joy to venture past the civilized road surface and savor the raw scenery on lonely dirt roads where traffic is sparse and serenity slips inside my helmet and relaxes my mind.

Go slow.  Have fun.  Smell the pines.