Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sometimes It's Hard

Strapping on my knee braces I notice the stiffness in my legs.  Shoulders are sore as well and if I think about it, there is an overall tired feeling.  Bed would be easier than this on a Sunday morning.  A wave of dread ripples through my gut followed by speculation as to how long this will take to pass, before the enjoyment begins.  It almost always does, otherwise I would not keep coming back.

I've got to take things easy for the first fifteen or so minutes to get warmed up.  Many an outing has been dampened or ended by an early morning crash that breaks motorcycle parts and bruises body ones.  A quick reminder this is not a race and that I am alone out here.  Priority one is to return with rider and machine intact.

Anticipation for the ride has been building all week, preparations have been made and now that the moment is finally here the simpering voice of doubt and indecision begins mewling about bed and rest again.  I stomp it down like a nest of cockroaches, squashing most, with the only quickest escaping through the cracks in the wall.  Soon they will be forgotten.  Mostly.

Other times it's just plain hard.  The days that feel as if you've never ridden a motorcycle, all the practice and techniques and hours logged seem as if they were done by another you.  A younger you.  A better you.  Paths and obstacles once thought vanquished seem to have grown new teeth with which to rend a hapless wanderer.  A motorcycle no longer feels like an extension of the body but rather an awkward prosthetic designed to toss you unceremoniously to the hard earth.  It sucks, and it can drain the fun right out of riding faster than Craigslist motorcycles eat up my tax refund.

What's to be done then?  Take your ball and bat and go home?  Pack it in only to regret on Monday, knowing there is a week's wait before any sort of redemption?  Under certain extremities discretion is the better part of valor and we get warnings.  I've thumped myself hard enough off-road that I wasn't sure if I would be able to ride out, when suddenly the real test of yourself is just to get home without any further damage.  But what about when for no good reason your body and brain are saying quit and the thing counted on to bring some joy and stress relief is causing pain and pissing you off to no end?

It's nice when there is someone to help you get back up again.
 But that's not always the case.  Shannonville, 2000

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