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May 23, 2011

Tractor-Bike...very low key Moto Rally

I wrote this after recently attending a low key Moto rally and swap meet. Within hours of reaching home, I felt the need to take stock of such a mellow yet great trip. I mean, aren’t they all great when rolling on two wheels…to us nerds anyway?

Agreed, but haven’t you taken a ride during which nothing really stood out yet you are left with a feeling akin to you and your riding buddies curing Cancer over the weekend?

“Took an epic ride this weekend. It was amazing!” you say enthusiastically and a tad too loudly to a co-worker on Monday.

“Cool, what was so special about it?”

“Oh man, it was great! We camped, took country roads…” you pause searching for the defining moment, but the words don’t come.

“….roads, country roads,” the co-worker prods.

Right then you realize that:

1) You might not have had as good a time as you think you had.

2) Your Co Worker probably wonders if you were really pressing wild flowers into the pages of a Bible.

3) You have just sounded like the geeked out moto-nerd that you truly are.

So, being that smooth political player, you whip up your wristwatch and blurt, “Oh shit! I’m late for that conference call!” You Exit.

This is a problem. Words that will not come, like the riding partner who never shows. The Words have escaped, flown the coop…poof! I suffer from this more times than not.

The Words for last weekend’s trip escape me perhaps because they are not here: in my home. They are strewn along 600 miles of verdant country roads, which I experienced solely by rotating my right hand to pour fuel into my carbs. The Words were carried aloft by the countless birds that passed over my head, or darted suddenly from a hedge, narrowly missing my riding partner. When I saw that transpire, I smiled into my helmet…Words were stolen by that squirrel I braked hard for, and the tractor I passed on the sweeping uphill. The Words slipped out of my tent when rain delivered a fresh breeze to dry me sweating in my bag.

Maybe The Words are not permanent because they were written on the sky I rode thru, and I rode thru an atmospheric variety show. Sunny humid air with cloud-hiding haze that makes me think I should also be smelling the salt from a day at the beach. Dark cumulous skies that signal impending rain by dropping the temperature rapidly. Or fog drenched cool air that gives way to sunny dry air, with visibility so clean and a blue so deep that it hurts my smiling eyes.

The Words have been distilled and blended into the olfactory elegance of Wild Rose, Honeysuckle and freshly mown fields seasoned with a dash of my partners exhaust, a few feet distant. My nose can further senses The Words in my moist helmet liner and my gloves as I pull them on after heating in the sun…or by remembering the smell of pork rinds and funnel cakes, bologna and scrapple: rally food.

Reward for a trip well Ridden?

The Words are sprinkled into the taste thesaurus: the hard earned beer, the superb burger, the wretched cold chicken tenders, libations with new friends…part of that ginormous bug that just morted itself on the lower rim of my helmet, spilling into my mouth…sun block from my tank bag…that morning camping-taste in my beard…water in my Camelbak, sucked in while riding…perhaps the memory of all these tastes has the power to conjure The Words.

The sound of The Words is in my exhaust note filtered by foam rubber under my helmet…by wind buffeting in the wake of a truck. They are spoken by the metal voiced Cicada, toned down by distant thunder and finally sated by the patter of night rain on my tent.

Do The Words reside in the fatigue I feel now; my hangover from a trip well ridden? I must plan another trip soon, before The Words get further ahead of me. I plan on catching up to them.

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