Sunday, September 9, 2007

Beware of Maine Polar Bears

Why are there thirty motorcycles in this resort parking lot? We are here for the New England Riders Birthday Bash. Seven years ago a small group banded together to promote the enjoyment of motorcycle riding. No one ever imagined it would grow to what it has become today. So we are here to celebrate. The weather is sunny and warm, perfect for motorcycle riding. We decide where we will go and connect with like-minded souls. The roads are fabulous with long sweeping turns, lakes and rivers, and the scent of evergreens strong in the air. Those in my group are rewarded with a moose sighting. However, I am distracted by the polar bear on skis in front of a chalet. You think it would be hard to miss a moose! I’m teased about this the rest of the day. Back at the resort, some others are being teased for missing a moose lying on the side of the road. An unfortunate road kill victim. I’m feeling better at having missed one that was actually on the move. So goes the weekend and all too soon it is Sunday morning and time to go home. The sky has turned slate gray. We head out.

We have been on the road for a while and stop to refuel. I’m wearing the rain gear over the riding gear which makes everything feel too bulky. However, the layers add warmth. Soon we are off again picking our way along the back roads of Maine, inching our way home to Southwestern New Hampshire. The rain has been steady and at times heavy, which makes visibility poor. My concern is not so much for seeing where I am going, but for those behind me. One small tail light can be overlooked in a downpour.

We stop again for lunch. I have an ache that begins at one shoulder, radiates across the back just below the neck, and ends at the shoulder on the opposite side. My gloves are clinging to my flesh and it is an effort to pull them off. As I twist to wring them out, I notice the wet leather has turned my hands black. I take a step back and I not only hear, but feel the squish of my soggy boots. Those looking on may have pity on me. Am I uncomfortable? A bit, but I am hardly miserable. A few hours in wet boots can’t overshadow a memorable weekend with friends riding the glorious roads in Maine.

No comments: