Sunday, March 15, 2015
I have a fear of dirt. That is riding in it..The way you churn like you are on a bucking bronco has never appealed to me. I have been tossed - more than once. Yet, I love two wheels and freedom and so I found myself at Triangle Road with our little Champ last week. I fear the lack of control. I like a mirror on each side to know what is behind me. I like smooth tarmac, and yet here I am bouncing up and down on rocks of varying sizes, through mud puddles, sand and tracks of quads. I met the challenge with trepidation. I didn't move from first gear as I learned the terrain. My goal was to avoid the mud - and really, if I am honest - the rough stuff. I wanted to be able to say I did it, without stretching myself too much. Yoga has brought an awareness of tension and movement. Instincts tell us to tense up when we try something and that usually forces the pose and puts our body off balance. With this in mind I found myself tossing without gripping and fear. Although I wasn't as in control as I like to be, I was working with the bike - pointing it in the right direction, a little gas here and there. Five minutes in and I was loving it. Embracing the jostling, but not grinding my teeth and flexing my biceps. I was moving with the machine and even trying to push it to the limit. It wasn't the rocks that tossed me either. It was the sand. Pushing into third gear the back wheel fishtailed and I was down. My laughter was as much from the irony of sand tossing me as it was from the fall. When you are being tossed by rocks you expect the fall, but it can be on the straight aways, when you're not paying much attention, feeling cocky - that's often where you lose your balance. Now, have no illusion that I am riding a dirt bike. I am actually riding a 50 Yamaha Champ, 3 gears, no clutch - but it is a start!!
Saturday, March 7, 2015
There is something magical in the curve of a road. I can't explain what I love about it...it is a feeling that captures me...much like floating balloons capture a child. I find myself enraptured with nature when I ride. I notice eagles aloft in a current...daffodils blooming in unlikely places..It is on the tarmac I connect with my deeper self. It is not just the wielding of the iron horse as much as caught up in the rhythm like a wave. The warmth of the sun radiates to my soul as we wind along twisty roads. They are familiar yet I haven't seen them since the fall when they were cloaked in yellow and orange. Now they are spindly with bud and brimming with life. The river brought the satisfaction that only water brings and as we took pics to capture the moment, the moment really was more idyllic. Even breakdowns can't penetrate the zen of the day. Blips are part of riding. A spark plug, a throttle cable, a helmet shield can all go awry...but, let's face it...riding with the sun in your face or on your back is glorious.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Grounding happens when we are at one with where we are - chasing a ribbon of road or Warrior 3. Doing and being purposefully, grounds us. We love to draw little boxes and have expectations of people. We seem to attribute characteristics to the box..biker, hippy, nerd, mom, rocker... At a show last week my workmates found me at the edges of the mosh pit, fully engaged in the undulating beat of the music. My beer soaked colleague screamed lyrics amidst the pyrotechnics behind him. It was a glimpse, for them, into middle age. I wonder if they think that riding a motorcycle is for transportation. I expect they have no idea of the adrenalin that courses through you as you navigate curves. Many boxes ground me.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
I have learned a few things about Norman in the more than 250,000 hours that I have known him. Calm, cool, collected he is humble, helpful and ever the optimist. This is why I found myself donning rain gear with a dreary sky and little hope it would stop. "It will be part of the adventure" he says...smiling. "Anyone can leave when it is sunny..." I am a realist. I know that within moments of leaving there will be rivers running down my back through the vents at the top of my helmet that I always seem to leave open... I know that my face shield will fog, my fingers will prune and my thighs will ache from clenching around corners for fear of sliding and skidding. With all this information, and being of sound mind, I mount willingly to snake the roads to Whistler. It is a pristine ride with little need for gearing up and down...it is mostly rhythmic ebb and flow through corners and vistas. My perspective is not always right. There is much to be said about seeing the world through another's glasses. I spent the first half hour fretting over what people would think of me getting on the bike in the first place. I could hear derision and quizzical looks. I could see frowns and questioning why I would do this...was I timid? crazy? bullied? I know this as I have been the source of pity before. In the depths of the voices chiding me I became uncomfortable, but the discomfort was my projection of what "they" thought...those nameless masses that I relinquished power to disarm, deride and diminish. The illumination was liberating....The roads were lovely and the destination spectacular...and Norman was right....the sun shone the next day and the ride home was even better.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
I can't pinpoint my favourite part of our journey. Curvy roads always do something for me as we wind our way up the Sunshine Coast. The air was fresh and cooled by the breeze off the water. From any vantage there was beauty. Eagles circling overhead with fish wriggling in their talons to islands, shores and picturesque towns that enhance my gratitude. Onto Vancouver Island and we are snaking our way through towns and groves and my bike sways in rhythm. We sojourn in Parksville with a meal of questionable nutrition and enjoy a pipe of earthy tobacco watching meteors and constellations. Early morning and we are off before the melting heat. We breakfast in Chemanius, the town of murals, that needed no decoration. It is a little cove tucked in with the water gently framing the shore....We seek roads less traveled wending to Lake Cowichan and on to the Renfrew Loop...The tarmac is not perfect...a few bumps loosened teeth and bones...but also a place where the timbre of the motor is the only sound for miles. Rarely a car is found and the one-way bridges never impeded us. It begins with wide open spaces a scrub of land and shrubs with spindly trees escort you into a thickening copse, and finally tree shaded paths that climb and twist, descend and bend, rise and fall with the topography.... Third, second, third, fourth, third, second, third, fourth...quick third and second..around a chicane...clutch, scrub the brakes...changing gears, gunning, slowing...your senses are completely in tune with all that is around. A critter pokes his head and pulls back at the disturbance...It feels like a cartoon.... By the time we arrive in Port Renfrew I can feel the work out my wrists and arms have done. We forego beer, knowing we still have to get to our destination after Jordan River. We tuck in at friends after a meal fit for a German royalty. Our friend is a personal chef to some big-wig, and our meal was the best I have had in years...The time and thought of preparation inspired my foodie to seek out heirloom tomatoes and tuna steaks...mmmmmmmmmm We are off the next day to Victoria...but again...on roads less travelled...and more bendy and narrow than many like to cruise on. To be continued...
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Underwear - check, phone - check, iPad - check, license - check, passport - check....All packed and ready to ride up Sunshine Coast, over the Vancouver Island - enjoying a sojourn at Parksville, Port Renfrew and hopefully a dip in Lizard Lake. We will lay on the grass of our provincial parliament, watch birds steal popcorn and annoy tourists and then board a boat to take us across the Strait to Port Townsend Washington. The mercury currently sits at 24 degrees at 10:00pm, so the challenge will be hydration and shade. My wrist will get a workout and I imagine that I will fall asleep within moments of reclining each night. We will see friends along the way and meet a relative. And we're off!!
Sunday, July 13, 2014
...we are off early to meet friends for kayaking Harrison Lake. This means familiar tarmac out to Mission and beyond...and yet, although I note the car strewn yards and castle styled home, there is adventure in shift of gears. The sway of trees, the slither of the road lull me into the bliss of holiday mode. The breeze is temperate enough to keep my gloves on, yet I can feel the sun heating my cheeks. Kayaking was great fun...and lots of work. For me, a little person, the last 20 minutes seemed eternal. My thumb was swollen and blue from a ring I would not remove...and I refused the tow of shame...but I made it. I recall counting rhythmically to 10 and reminding myself to dig deep. I have little upper body strength of late and the heat of the day and wind in my face made me want a motor. I won't mention decades under my belt... After a sojourn and a beer we are leaving the valley heading straight into a blow dryer. Jacket and gloves discarded it was only the music of the Ramones in the iPod that kept any spirits about me...and to arrive home and hear of Tommy's demise somehow felt poignant. Of course I also listened to Vicious Cycles...and nothing happened there..gratefully!! With no juice left in me I find a party in full swing at my house. Splashing from the pool and a garbage can inside same pool were a warning. I would be lame to be asleep by 9:00pm...I LOVE when the kids come home...I love their friends...the chaos...but I really wanted to be lame anonymously tonight. You know...eat junk food, watch movie, scratch belly maybe?? I can't do that with twenty-somethings walking through my house in board shorts.. Do you have onions for the burgers??? See if you can find some...is the response amidst the desire to roll up the cover and play dead. They actually were quiet by 11:00...or I just passed out because the last I heard was a mottled conversation about the wedding...and next I was asleep.to wake in time for The Shop's Spit & Shine...So much to do...so little energy some days... I have returned from the last event solo....nursing aching thumb. The heat of the day feels like an oven as I gulp gallons of water to rehydrate and press on...next I am off to serve food at a community dinner..and hopeful that I realize my own complaints on heat and ache are small in the grand scale of things.