Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Riding Season

It’s fast approaching. I’m looking forward to breaking the bike out of the garage and heading out towards the mountains. I’ve had a hundred different excuses the past year for not riding. Some have been legitimate, some not. Back when I was single I had the money and time to pretty much ride as I wanted. I bought the best gear and bought whatever accessories tickled my fancy (with no thought to cost). Then in 2006 I got married and a lot of that changed. There was a time in 2004 when I was at the peak of my riding skills. I was probably riding more than 200 miles a weekend without a thought. Some weekends I would ride all day, find a hotel somewhere within walking distance of a good steak house and bar and leave for home the next day. Of course all of that changed with marriage. The last few years have found me looking for a new job and making a permanent move to two different states (from Ohio to Missouri to Colorado all in seven months). Needless to say I could probably make the excuse for sitting a few weekend rides out. Only thing wrong with that is I’ve felt guilty and untruthful with myself. There has never really been a riding season for me. Riding season is whenever there’s not ice on the road. I’ll ride in just about any weather, although I kind of balk when it’s 40 degrees or so.

Shortly before we moved from Missouri I went out on a warm weekend for a ride. I was excited, so much so that like a kid at Christmas I got up before the sun had come up. I grabbed the map and camera and took off. About half a block from the house I noticed the bike was handling hard. I got off and did another walk around and the tire was completely flat. I guess I should have used a tire gauge instead of the old eyeball gauge. With the cost of moving and some other expenses we’ve been incurring I haven’t been able to pay for a new tire yet but I’m determined to get one this weekend and prepare for my first trip of 2009. I’ve already got my route picked out.

I’ve made a pledge that I will get back to doing what I love. Riding has always meant more than just going for a ride. If you know me you know I don’t talk in new age hippy lingo but riding is relaxing in a way nothing else I do or know of is. It’s spiritual. During that time in ‘03 and ’04 when I was riding everyday and everywhere, I had a breakthrough and my riding skills probably doubled (this after close to seven years of riding at that time). I need to get back to that place, I feel like I don’t age on a motorcycle.

No comments: