asked me today if "I took a motorcycle ride" so
I replied: "Sure I rode, I rode my ass off!"
I rode through half a dozen towns bigger than Dallas and 200 backwater shit-hole cities I can't even pronounce. This was matched by the weather perfect days of seemingly endless hours flowing through wooded mountain passes next to rivers and streams on roads so smooth it definitely made it all worthwhile.
We drew a crowd wherever we went. The people letting out an oooh as they ran their finger down the lines of the bike. You could see in their eyes they were thinking "man this guy has got it made" and they were right. You just can't know or understand it until you climb on something other than your cousin's mini-bike.
For damn sure 2200 miles for 100 hours over 10 days in the saddle isn't necessarily a land speed record to brag about, but ask anyone who throws on that brain bucket and they might explain to you that it's about the ride, not the destination. Or they might just smile and sadly shake their head and walk away.
I "took" a bird the size of my fist in the chest and a bee up the sleeve. Another one snuck in my helmet and crawled around on my eyelid while I clawed at my facemask trying to slow down from 60. He was merciful but the one up my sleeve wasn't.
We rode days upon days on roads so bad they placed large rocks to protect us from potholes so dangerous I'd rather hit an open manhole. I wore out a head bearing, two fork seals and two pairs of sunglasses. We took two detours and two ferries and I took two aspirin every night.
I rode in the fog the smog the wind and the rain . . . and in the dark on semi-dirt roads choked with smoke spewing tractor trucks rocketing around bicyclists in the thick dusty haze. I'd have to take off my shoes and socks to count the near misses I had on this trip.
I shot the finger at ten dozen drivers who placed my life in jeopardy. I so often wanted to rip a rear view mirror off my bike to throw at some asshole's windshield. I dodged five dogs, 4 cats, 3 old coots, two open manholes and a water buffalo - all in the middle of the road like an open parking lot. And that hunk of tire rubber the size of a tattered softball flung at my head by a passing car, I dodged it too . . . or it would've been all for the kid.
I rode till my throttle fingers and butt were so numb I couldn't tell whose ass I was wiping each morning and my toothbrush usually had bug parts remaining in the bristles from the night before.
I "wide-eyed" toddlers with my black full-face helmet and when I took it off, that's when they cried. The local country folks who may have never seen a white boy couldn't get over my beard and hairy arms and often couldn't help but touch. I honked at the kids, howled at the chicks and growled at the women. It's all fun.
We had three flats, two breakdowns and a fender bender . . . my only trouble of all that was the last flat. But you have to understand that what happens to you happens to your "brother" so you're not only tied to the ride, but to one another - until everyone is home.
Many often say it doesn't sound like "fun" but when you make a "run" it's not about anything other than the ride. Anyone that hasn't done it will never know - and I won't hide the only reason I can think of why I do it . . . is just because "it's what I do."
May, 09, 2008 Denyin` Slyly