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Tue Feb 19, 2019, 07:48 PM

I posted my thoughts on riding to a post elsewhere on the board

But figure they belong here.

The riding togs-I had to hang them up too
and here's the thing,while it fills me with regret I will never forget...

A two lane blacktop and the feeling of carving a curve just right. How life was perfect when the sun was hot and I rode into the shadow of tall pines and the temperature drop cooled me. Turning the throttle up until the road stripes blurred. The sorrow the first time a rider friend was killed. How cold and miserable a hard rain can be. The smell and pinging of a cooling engine in the silence of a rest stop. How I loved those I rode with. The pain and joy a simple machine gave to me over 40 years.

A morning comes dark with the air chill and dewy as the sun rises over the lake. I'm riding a Kawasaki and Dave has a 4 cylinder Yamaha. They call these "pocket rockets" for their performance and speed. We mount, I choke the cow down as we fire up and listen as they warm and I glove up. Dave signals OK? and I chop the choke as the motor steadies and signal to go. It's a half mile, mostly uphill to the two lane black top, we turn right. Now down the road we dance as the sunlight dapples and jazzes and jumps between the stands of pine. Beethoven wrote an Ode to Joy and that our motors snarled and spit, even sweeter to our ears. And still the morning rose.

Here is where I'm supposed to tell you something that ties this together, but I can't. It doesn't make sense and never will. It cost and it hurts and it cripples and it kills. It costs and it inconveniences and drives your loved ones crazy. There's a thousand reasons that less than 4 wheels is a loser idea. And there isn't a single sane reason motorcycles exist. Except this-for over 40 years they gave me joy at times. Seldom in the rain and almost never in the snow and only now and then when cloudy or cold. But when it was right, it was the best joy and when wrong was just still joy and I seldom got that on more wheels.

I'm now old and no bike will ever again be mine, I'll miss the older days of stiff-legging a start while tickling primers and chokes but also the dead reliable plug n play of later rides. I'll denigrate today's cappuccino riders just because the modern stuff is so easy and so good. But I know even in midst of pediatricians in chaps and lawyers in faux cuts breathe the souls of two or three kindred souls. The legacy was passed to me by guys who rode harder than me on cruder gear and with less companions, I now pass it on to others it is only fit. Take what it gives you.

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Reply I posted my thoughts on riding to a post elsewhere on the board (Original post)
flotsam Feb 2019 OP
pangaia Feb 2019 #1
flotsam Feb 2019 #2
pangaia Feb 2019 #4
Ferrets are Cool Feb 2019 #3
3Hotdogs Feb 2019 #5
marked50 Feb 2019 #6
yonder Feb 2019 #7
littlemissmartypants Feb 2019 #8
Lucid Dreamer Feb 2019 #9

Response to flotsam (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2019, 07:58 PM

1. Wonderful !!

Been there,

Although, after a Ducati and Jawa CZ, mine were all Bimmers.. The first a 1965 R-50.


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Response to pangaia (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 19, 2019, 08:13 PM

2. Thanks a lot

With that history you know about tickling.

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Response to flotsam (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 19, 2019, 08:33 PM

4. yup. :)))))

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Response to flotsam (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2019, 08:20 PM

3. What a lovely post. I can relate so most every word.

Yes, they have given me a million times more joy than sorrow. Even when I was so cold that I had to sit 3 minutes before I could lift a leg to remove myself from it, I never once regretting being a rider.
I first rode 43 years ago. I wish I could ride for that many more.

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Response to flotsam (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2019, 08:38 PM

5. I am 76. My friends ride and I follow with my car -- been doing that for 25 years.

We've gone to Prince Edward Island, Carolina, West Virginia and of course, South Dakota.

With G.P.S., its easier. "Go as fast as you want and when you stop for gas or food, if I'm not with you, text where you are." This is usually not a problem. They are stopped 15 or 20 minutes up the road.

Gregory was probably a lot like you. He started riding in 1949 and was on his bike every chance he got, no matter what the weather. He died when Bob plowed his bike into him. That sucked. Especially for Bob. But still, he died doing exactly what he liked best.

There are times when we are out of cell phone range so I bought a satellite emergency beacon in case anything happens to one of the guys (or me when i am hiking - or someone else). I got that because one time, we were riding at New Hampshire bike week. We were in the mountains and a woman tossed her bike, going around a curve. It was over an hour before rescue could get to her.

Its the times around the motel or campfire at night that I like best. Crack open a couple, light up a couple and the world can't be any better. (That ain't entirely true, but Joyce died a few years ago)>

When I first started driving with the guys, at least one Harley would break down on a trip --- like every time. Sometimes it could be fixed. Other times, we would leave the bike at the Harley dealer and my friend would ride with me. We would pick up the bike on the return a week or so later. Hell. One time, a tail light fell off of a three weeks new bike. That was some shit. But it was easy to get a new one and be on the road.

Harleys don't seem to break down as much these days.

Me? I drive 50 - 60 k miles per year. I like to drive. I never got a bike because one of my friends told me, if I got a bike, the way I drive, it would be the last vehicle I ever bought. I don't know exactly what he meant by that but I took him seriously.



Anyway, this summer, we are going to Savannah and Lake Erie. I'm looking forward to it.

H

P.S.
By the way, your writing is really good.

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Response to flotsam (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2019, 09:27 PM

6. Beautifully written.

Thanks.
Took me back to my own bikes in the past. Way back to before the time that practicality won out in the transportation equation, both in real terms and in safety terms. Yes, many a stiff leg starts, where they nearly broke the entire body.
But one of the most fun experiences was when I came home with a '72 Sporty- original in all aspects -and my wife had no idea that I even liked bikes. Her first response was one of total chaos. All I could say was - "Let's go for a ride". Surprisingly, she said "okay". Had a hard time telling her in future that " Nah, I don't feel up to it today". She was hooked.
One piece of advice to future bikers is "Beware of Dirt roads" unless you are a Dirt Biker.

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Response to flotsam (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2019, 09:47 PM

7. I'm in the same boat, flotsam, only you say it so much better.

Cutting my teeth while tickling semi-reliable British bikes, racing on mostly European bikes and rounding it all out on Japanese dual sports, those indescribable days are over for me too. I could say 4-wheel drivers with cell phones have left me running scared but it is largely the once quick eyes and even slower reflexes calling the last tune for me.

As a sopping wet, seventeen year old outside of Kingman, Arizona listening to his Royal Enfield snap, crackle and pop from a passing afternoon rain storm - to a strong, fit young man chasing points at any number of nameless tracks in Colorado, Kansas and Idaho - to a shambling senior wondering just what to do with the last motorcycle he will own, I only have regrets that another 50 years to do it all over again aren't available.

Your first few words capture the essence, flotsam: "A two lane blacktop and the feeling of carving a curve just right. How life was perfect when the sun was hot and I rode into the shadow of tall pines and the temperature drop cooled me."

Whether by oneself, with a friend or two, or a group, it's been a great ride while "carving a curve just right". I'll share your farewell and thanks for the poignant post.

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Response to flotsam (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2019, 02:02 AM

8. ❤

Thanks for sharing this.

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Response to flotsam (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2019, 02:44 AM

9. Beautiful

I, too, have been riding for a long time. The memories of feelings on 2-wheelers are more vivid than others in my fading recollections. Sometime I'll share some with you just as sort of an archive so I'll have some reference when my recall isn't so sharp.

I see more and more of my friends dropping out. I probably should. Every month on my ToDo list I have "Sell Kaw" but I just put an X in the box and move it to the next page. I'm not looking forward to a check mark there.

But I am exercising more discipline now. I limit my times of day, days of week, surfaces, weather, speeds, togs, and take my gut feelings more to mind. I'll chicken out on the safe side and that makes me feel comfortable to add a month at a time.

I've seen Heaven and I'm reluctant to leave.

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