I have now completed the long road trip home (10 hours and 600 miles) from Tennessee. All in all, the car added about 1600 miles to the speedometer in 5 days. It was an enchanting escapade to the South that gave me time to both relax and engage in vigorous activities which also enhanced the feeling of being relaxed. I will go back to work tomorrow with renewed vigor. The only thing I would do different regarding the trip would be to rent a motorcycle for at least one day.
I saw hundreds of motorcyclists on this trip riding cruisers, sport bikes, touring bikes, and dual purpose bikes. Though the bikes were of many different variety and design and color scheme, all the riders had one thing in common, they all wore smiles that stretched as long as the roads themselves. The Smokey’s and Blue Ridge Parkway are a motorcyclists heaven with twisty, turny roads where multiple, consecutive bends are as common place as the unparalleled scenery at the apex of every curve. Watching the riders flying on the snaky roads invoked in me a visceral desire to dump my car and join my flock of like-minded brethren and soar on the mountain roads from the green depths of the canyons to the crystal blue skies.
Riding two wheels is an aspect of my life that, in part, defines who I am. I love the freedom of being on two wheels, the wind blowing in my face, the smells constantly changing, the temperature changes with elevation or sun and shadow, the skill required to navigate roads where straight seems to be a glitch between turns, and, I must admit, I enjoy the feelings that are invoked by the inherent risk of riding on two wheels in a four wheeled world. It’s much the same feeling as one gets walking in Grizzly Bear country. The senses become more attuned, the reflexes tight like a spring when there is the very real possibility of danger (death?) lurking around every corner.