Today is going to be near 60 degrees in Kansas City, feels closer to summer than spring today. As the weather turns warmer it gets me thinking about riding my bike again. I am not a die hard biker, a fair weather biker at best. Riding my motorcycle scares the living shit out of me. The day it doesn't scare me anymore I will sell it. I am not afraid of me wrecking the bike as much as I am somebody in their car, mini-van, or truck not paying attention and running over me while I am out just trying to enjoy myself. I hope to be riding when I am an old man. So I have rules I follow as closely as I can.
1. I Never use my bike as a primary means of transportation. I never want to be in a hurry to get anywhere while riding. When I ride my bike, I get there when I get there.
2. I try to ride on nice sunny days. This is Missouri though and the phrase, "If you don't like the weather stick around a minute it will change," was started here. I have literally seen it rain on one side of the street and dry and sunny on the other side. I seen it go from clear and sunny, to heaven unloading it's fury from the skies within an hour. It will go from snow and ice to hot and sunny within one to two days. We have all four seasons, sometimes in the same month.
3. The Cell phone gets stowed in the bag, when I take a break I will check to see if I have any messages or missed any calls.
4. I drive as careful as I can, to get from my garage to the nearest, empty, back highway, barely used and forgotten roads I can. I plan my bike trips using the old highways, the ones that people used before the Interstates were built in the fifties and sixties.
Someone may ask why own a bike if it is so dangerous, scary and I don't get to ride everyday and all the time. I'll tell you. First let me start with I don't do it every day and all the time and I will be riding when many others are dead, injured or sold their bikes.
I Live more in the time I ride than most people do their entire lives. There are times when you are hyper sensitive to everything around you, the road condition, temperature, smells, animals, other traffic, wind, the feel and sound of your bike and yet? You go to a place of total serenity and peace. There is a Chinese Proverb that states that every grain of sand is exactly where it is supposed to be. This is a place where that kind of shit makes sense on a multi-dimensional level.
It is a feeling that is so perfect, so there in the moment, so real, and yet too real, that you can hardly contain the phenomenon of the feeling. I imagine heaven as living in that state 24/7.
After experiencing this feeling, for the first time, I look for it to come over me again. It sneaks up on you, and you realize your back to it, as if you drove into an invisible fog that elevated your consciousness to a higher plane. I am positive God allowed mankind to invent motorcycles because he is a biker at heart. He wanted a means of sharing this feeling with his children. It has only happened to me at times when I have been riding my bike, totally alone on the road, on nice sunny days, on crappy old forgotten highways of America's yesterday. I feel at times as if the rest of life is just the means to get to the next ride and to return to that feeling for even a moment. This description of this feeling so fails to describe the exquisiteness of the sensation, that it reminds me of a book on Zen I read once that said that "The more you try to describe it. The farther you actually get from it." This is the same way. Needless to say I love to ride my bike; it is for me, a religious experience of the first order.
My Prayers go out to the people of Japan and everywhere else that were effected today by the Earthquake and resulting waves caused by the quake.