Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Sorry! Sorry! Sorr-eee! Geez! To start off a ride report with Dylan Thomas, dude, what are you thinking? Not nearly shiny enough for the shortattentionspan theater crowd. So, I'll throw in something just for gratuitous entertainment. These are the Sexah Monkeys from last year's Mardi Gras. Ok, so this is what I am thinking...This is the third ride I've done without reporting, and that's a shame, right? Not because it is MY ride report, but ride reports stimulate the wanderlust in us as riders. We dream of the fantasy ride, the "Man, I'd really like to go there someday" response, and these reports will get someone somewhere to get off their fattening a$$ and just do it. So, then, why the F "Dylan Thomas," especially since I have never been a fan of death and dying, or considering death and dying, or anything like that? A few reasons exist for that and, believe me, you young 'uns, you will face this. There comes a time in your life and, more specifically your motorcycle riding life, when you must consider the time when this thus far enjoyable pursuit must, of necessity, be closeted, put away, back in the toy box of toys you no longer play with for some reason or another. It is an existential thing. Put another way, you may just no longer enjoy it, it may be too much work, family pressures, but most pointedly, in my case, as one ages and the changes inevitably happen with age...you just don't want to kill yourself. That is what I was facing, I think. No fool like an old fool, and no greater fool than an old fool riding a motorbike. Two wheels and well being can be at odds with with one another, right? Ok, for the sparkle seeking crowd another picture to keep you reading, or gawking, or drooling (you know who you are). The Sirens of NOLa So, advancing age, and the damn reality of it, may have pushed Dylan Thomas to "rage, rage" and can you imagine a poet raging? That must me a snicker-inducing sight! But, I am not into rage, or "rage, rage"--is that doubled or squared? Though, I may flail my arms a bit, it's only for a short time and I usually stop when onlookers start pointing and laughing at me as seen below in my (much) earlier years. Nah, not rage rage, but more like a roach (me), hit by RAID (advancing age), skitters around, ultimately on their backs, legs a-twitter...if I were Dylan Thomas, that's where I'd go with that...and that's where I have gone. Reaching back about 24 or so months, I started what I was considering to be my Swan Song(s) of riding, some bucket list items. First up was the Circle Tour of Lake Superior...this was an awesome ride (solo). Recommend it highly. One tipover, lots of mosquitoes, and just plain beautiful. I went here and bought some pants ( that I love, btw ) and here and here and here, too Lots of waterfalls, waterfalls out the wazou met this guy, Bruce T, outside of Kakabeka falls near Thunder Bay, and talked about New Orleans music, and we just lost another one, Art Neville of The Neville Brothers (keyboards) All in all a very cool ride on my third foray into Cannuckistan. But, wait! There's more! Loving the ride around Lake Superior, and really liking Wisconsin along the way. I planned another ride, this time with my best riding partner, in the Fall to enjoy 1) the color 2) the apple harvest 3) the roads As it turned out though, of those three things...Pick NONE It was cold and rainy the whole damn time--so the roads were sloppy. Any color that may have existed, was severely muted by the leaden skies. I never saw an apple. Couple this with the low back pain my colleague was experiencing, so that at every stop, he was complaining about his back, and just miserable, plus some discussions about motel choices, and his consideration of an early exit from the ride, and what was in the cards at the outset, was nowhere to be experienced in real time. Ugh This ride was so, uh, un-pleasant, that it made me reconsider this whole motorcycleenjoymentthing. I told people afterwards that "if this is what motorcycle riding is like, I would not do it again. It was not fun...at all." Of course I knew better--it IS fun; I prefer to ride solo to avoid other's problems shading my ride, to make my own decisions about where to stay, where to eat, to accept my own mistakes, not magnified by other's second guessing, and my own aches and pains are quite enough, thank you. I only took 27 pictures the whole ride and most were after my friend decided to turn around early and head home, and I rode on. So, with a bit of trepidation I planned the next ride, a solo epic (for me) ride, from my driveway to Vancouver Island. Would it be my last, could I do it, was it prudent, misgivings right and left, but plan I did, starting in February of this year, with an estimated date of departure June 17, the day after Father's Day.