While I am still very much in love with Blaze, it is becoming harder for me to shirk responsibility. My conscience nags at me when I selfishly hoard precious weekend hours just for us. There is so much that needs my attention, especially after so much neglect. So here I am, another riding season with what I consider way too few miles for my satisfaction, with Blaze in the stable more that she deserves. My options feel limited, and here is the kicker. Our options are only as limited as we believe they are.
For the past several weekends, it has been Andy, without his own knowledge of it, showing me just how many options there are for me and Blaze to spend time together. “Do you see how glorious it is out!” he’ll exclaim. This will follow a lament of wanting to get on the road and “just keep going forever.” Yet Andy finds the options where I have failed. With his coaxing, we are finding time, getting things done, and riding the roads to where we can go with the time we have.
If you listen to Andy he is preparing me for the long ride to Sturgis. Not so much in miles, but in the way two people can ride together and read each other even from bike to bike. Sure, we have headsets, but there is so much to understand that is not verbal. A twist of the head, the tandem lane change, understanding the body language of the person ahead, are all nonverbal queues we learn about each other in time spent riding.
He is also helping me balance work, home and play so that I’m getting equal doses of each, and not shortchanging any one part of our life. So it is in this way the weekends are unfolding as we investigate every nook and cranny a day’s ride will offer us. Is there really this much wonder so close to home that we haven’t investigated? Yet it’s true. And in addition to visiting these places we are preparing ourselves for the journey ahead. One country lane, one busy interstate, and a few gravel roads named Sugar Hill and Quaker Road tossed in for unexpected surprises.
Where have we been these past few weekends? We’ve found ourselves at Saugus Iron Works National Historic Park, in Saugus MA, learning more about our early beginnings than is found in my childhood textbook. Hopping over a series of highways, we find the coastal lanes that lead to Hammond Castle in Gloucester MA, then on to enjoy seafood in Manchester by the Sea. We loop around New Hampshire back roads to stop and read the historic signs where a village has been sacrificed for the Everett Flood Control Project. Yes, we even found our good friend Dave one weekend and discovered Nashoba Valley Winery, where the trees that line the lane here, appear to have been planted when King George ruled.
I see a basic truth revealed; that as all relationships must morph, mature and evolve. So too does one riding season to the next. It does not mean that Blaze means less to me than she once did, or that we should pine for the days of infatuation. It means simply, that we’ve arrived to the end of one journey and are now moving forward to the next, and it’s all good.