Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Knowing and the Doing

I roll Blaze up the ramp for the last time this season. It is always a bittersweet moment. Images swirl like a vortex, complete with flashes of light as the neurons fire across the memories of the season’s travels. I look at Blaze affectionately and see each inch of her as I inspect how she fared this year. For me, Blaze has a personality all her own, and so unlike Jade. Like each of us, she is an individual unto herself. Strong, steady, sure. She’s calm amidst crazy traffic, sure “footed” on rain slick hardtop and pebble strewn gravel. She’s powerful, yet has no need for public antics. Responsive, gentle, steady and kind to her rider’s backside; qualities that at first sound understated, but upon reflection hold a value like none other. She’s been good to me, and I return the favor. Sta-Bil for the gas tank, removal of the battery to keep protected indoors on trickle charge, cleaned, lubed, and covered. It’s the best available under our circumstances. Yet, though it doesn’t seem enough, I know she will fire on the first try come spring. It’s who she is.

Last year at this time, I was intent of crafting a route for our Maine Lighthouse Tour; scanning the internet, generating GPS coordinates and mapping out possible routes. The planning was almost as fun as the trip itself. My mind is now on to next season. Where shall we go? Andy has always wanted to do Sturgis; while I’m not opposed, I have to consider our time-off restrictions. Then there is the copy of RoadRunner’s Riding America’s Backroads. There are several possibilities here, all need examination and consideration. The book has an abundance of great destinations, and attractive photography to lure the wanderer in anyone. It will be my companion through the long cold winter months ahead.

For now, I’m content to scroll through the photos of this past season. I’m amazed at the places we’ve been, and the miles we’ve logged. My other love tugs at me too. I know there is a book here. A book unlike any I’ve read. A book not just of destinations, photos and routes, but what is inside each of us when we travel by motorcycle; the physical and philosophical. What touches our hearts, awakens our senses, gives up pause, and all wrapped up is the gratitude that we go, experience, arrive and return; with returning unscathed at the top of the list. For while we motorcyclists know full well there are dangers always close at hand, and we do what we can to minimize them, always we should give consideration to our motorcycle safety training. We all know for example what is good for us; eating healthy, alcohol in moderation, exercise. However, as is human nature, the knowing is not always the doing. With motorcycle safety, we must always be doing as the knowing is never enough. As this season closes, and especially at this time of year, join me in being thankful for not only the knowing, but the doing.


SonjaM said...

Bittersweet indeed. I hate stowing away the motorcycle for the season. When living in Alberta, I had to put it into storage early October because of snowfalls. Now that I am at Canada's We(s)t coast I will continue riding through the winter, or at least I will try...

Anonymous said...

Hi Pat,

It was a pleasure to meet you today, and thanks so much for this URL. I will take more time, but just the first few tales were a delight.


Charlie (the refugee from Framingham)

Baron's Life said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
All the best for 2011