|10-21-2012, 02:05 PM||#11|
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Sprague River, Oregon
DrivelI start my morning rides very slowly. For good reasons - the motorcycle like all machinery, works better when all of the parts have been warmed up to their operating temperature gradually.
The same goes for me. I start my routine long before starting the M/C. If I am having a good day - it takes less than 20 minutes for me to get out of bed. (That is actually true.) I stagger around trying to remember if I took a shower earlier or should I just act like I didn't and go get wet. A wet towel often tells me it is the second use that A.M. I peek inside my mouth to see if I still have teeth, wave a razor at my face, push the hair out of my eyes and I am ready to tackle - putting on socks. During the night, my legs get longer. All of my bendy parts are bent in the wrong places or are bent in the wrong direction. With a modicum of moaning, deep breaths and puff outs, I can sometimes swing a sock out and over the top of my toes. With careful maneuvering of my other foot, I can trap an edge of the sock and wiggle it along the top of my foot to where it hangs up and won't go any further.
The foot with a sock dangling off the end will not slide easily into a boot or a shoe. But, it can be wadded up along the entry way and with judicious pushing and turning - the sock relents. It slides onto the foot and the foot is safely ensconced in the boot/shoe. Note to self: Don underware and pants first. Boot/shoe does not slide readily through garments.
Enough of this deeply personal stuff - on with the rambling, rider recollections. My M/C has a series of black bars indicating the operating temperature. Initially shows none. After a bit - one peeks out. A while longer and three bars indicate it is ready to go. This can take ten miles to occur on a frosty morning. Meanwhile, I am tuning into the sounds all the individual parts make and the duets formed by others. Tires hum, chain drive trains make a swishing sound, loose parts all have distinctive rattles and squeeks. As all the individual sounds blend into a melody that my body not only hears, but feels . . . I am changing from a lump squatting atop this orchestra and into an Androidal relationship.
Throttle movements, clutch engagements and foot shifts become a synchronous act repeated hundreds and sometimes thousands of times a day. It is like stuffing three pieces of bubble gum into your mouth simultaneously. Initially it's awkward and hard to chew. Then a transition takes place. You no longer think about this alien wad of material. You chew. You stretch the gum against the back of your teeth. You flatten it with your tongue prior to blowing those first tentative bubbles. It just all happens.
As the day progresses, I feel that I ride better. My scan from right to left, to the mirrors and back forwards, is smoother and faster. I get a feel for the road I'm on. Riding in traffic, splitting lanes on a L.A. Freeway give different vibes than a romp through the mountains around Big Bear. We get those same feelings in a car - but have to consciously seek them out.
Now. . . what has this to do with anything? ? ? I closed yesterday speaking about some Japanese . . . ah so. . ..
I had a good day of riding. I was on the Cassier - no markings - no curve signs - no speed recommendation on rounding curves. I was reading the road and really felt in harmony with it. We had a rhythem going that was - what I imagine dancing is like. (I don't dance.) I was moving swiftly, but not terribly fast. It was early evening and shadows were working their way up the mountainsides and occasionally hid portions of the roadway. I occasionally saw the headlights of two automobiles behind me. They would close the gap between us on the straights and fall behind in the twisties. The map indicated that I needed to cover another 50 to 60 miles to find a campground or a Motel. I kicked the speed up a notch.
We had a series of long straights stretches. The two cars jumped on my back door and tried to hang on. A challenge. . .. At the next curve, I downshifed and came off the apex with it all cranked on. . . flew down some straight stretches, braked hard entering the curves (None of the curves were blind), and accellerated as hard as I could coming out. This only lasted a couple of minutes. The cars were gone. I dropped back to cruise mode. When I spotted an overdue gas station, I pulled in.
I had barely gotten the kickstand down than I "Felt" a car park very close behind me. I didn't turn to look. I turned the key off, pulled off my gloves and slowly turned. A Japanese man was standing in the same relative position as State Trooper Christiansen had stood a few days ago. He startled me. He was waving his arms and almost shouting. "YOU SOME RIDER. I RIDE JAPAN. I VEDDY GOOD. YOU FAST. FASTER ME." I took my helmet off. His eyes got bigger. He turned and shouted at three other Japanese men exiting from the two Subarus. "OH! YOU SEE THIS FAST RIDER NOT KID. . .. HE OLD MAN!" They each had to have their photo taken with me. They followed me all the way to where I turned off the Highway into a Resort. They honked and waved. With their windows rolled down - I could hear them cheering.
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