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Sometimes I get on the Grinner and nothing really happens. I just don't get the thrill of riding. Yes, I feel the wind in my face, the power of Milwaukee Iron, even the flow of the road beneath my tires bringing me to nirvana…kinda. Yet the thrill, the energy just does not envelop me. I’ll feel refreshed, a little, yet not rejuvenated.

Yesterday was an example of this syndrome. I hopped on the bike and went to the places I wanted. However, I felt nothing extraordinary. It was more like a chore instead of a pleasure. The bike handled well, the roads were open enough for me to have a little fun, but I asked myself, “Why am I out here, what's the purpose of this ride?” I got home feeling better than when I had left, yet kinda unfulfilled. I felt like I had wasted a couple hours even though I had spent them riding. It was all good though—I got a really good night's sleep.

Today though, it was all paid up in full. The Runtyun was not feeling so well, but I asked her if she wanted to ride—to go anyhow. The couch was more important to her than riding on the back of the Grinner. I guess I can understand, she was sick with a sore throat and recovering from a night at the State Fair.

I went anyhow.

I had a plan too. There is a road I have been wondering about. I wanted to see where it was going to take me. Like so many avenues in life it went around and about taking me on a circuitous route back to the main road, yet going no place further than I started. I began to wonder if this ride was going to end the same was as yesterdays...satisfied yet unsatiated. 

I decided to stop at Dugan's Pub in Brevard and put some food in my gullet. Sometimes food will help to elevate my mood (something about low blood sugar levels). I left that place feeling the adventure ahead, and the road was my vehicle to an adrenaline rush.

To get home, I could go the straight forward  way which would take about 45 minutes, or I could go up the Blueridge Parkway and see what the foliage was like, not to mention I would take rt. 276 up there.

Now this access road to the Parkway, which is a dream for any one who has ever ridden a bike was in front of me, and waiting. It is about 5 or 6 miles long and when there are few cars on it the riding is FUN! 

It has been awhile since I have ridden my Sportster the way it was designed to go, but the waiting was over. on this ride she rode like a 14 years' midnight dream...fast and uncontrolled. It slipped into and out of curves and twits with the thrill of long awaited kisses.

The few four wheeled cages ahead of us slipped behind us like a hand caressing a discarded lovers behind. Cast away while looking for the next conquest.

I have ridden this road numerous times and have always enjoyed it…every single time. This time though may have been the best ever. Maybe it was the combination of the first time out, few cars and something I just cannot define...a feeling of unity with the bike…the road and maybe a feeling of satisfaction knowing I had finally gotten the bike going and roaring her satisfaction.

The bike slid into turns, and flew out. It pushed me back off the saddle leaving switchback turns, and pulled from the handle bars all the while breaking into the next. I was able to look around, a little, and enjoy the river and some waterfalls. Mostly though, I felt the wind in my face and saw the clouds and blue sky above…my destination.

As all things in life though, this part of the journey had to end. The entrance to the Parkway came alone a little sooner than I wanted. I knew it was inevitable though and accepted the end of this part of the journey. 

The Parkway is always beautiful even though I knew that the colors were not at peak. I really wanted to feel the flow of the nature and the road while enjoying whatever she had to offer. The open sky above and landscape below filled my eyes with beauty and grandeur only Mother Nature can create. The greens of the trees speckled with orange, yellow and the bright reds of maples filled part of my vision. While the deep blue sky and pure white cumulus clouds distracted me from the road ahead.

I quickly found it again though, the road that is, but cars began to slow me down. They were a mere flick of the throttle—away and gone. I began to let the excitement of the ride up here slip away. Above me was an eagle, or hawk, soaring. Another car slowed my progress, I pulled in the clutch and felt the momentum slide away. A tunnel ahead and the car and I flowed through it. 

A dropped gear and a flick of the wrist and the car was in my mirror…where it belonged. The Grinner knew where to go and I began to soar with the bird above.

Miles later, I came back to the Grinner, a grin on my face the likes of which rivaled the flaming sun. My friend, the hawk, had drifted away and I had to pay attention to the cars in front.

Bikes were going up up toward…Mount Pisgah I guess, and I wondered if they were going to the same magical place I had just been through.



olc

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