Open Road

28 Feb

If you have never ridden an iron horse, allow me to describe what it is like. No, I’m not going to tie it into metaphor, because to do so would cheapen the experience. I will simply present you with the experience as well as my skill with words allows.

You walk outside, and it is a wonderful day. The skies have cleared from the dreariness of the week. The air is brisk and the colors are bright. It’s time to put on the leather jacket, leather gloves, grab your helmet and take a ride.

Warm up the engine, then open up the choke all the way. Roll the throttle wide open and listen as the bike screams to be put in gear. Pull in the clutch, kick down into first gear, and cruise out of the driveway and onto the street. Listen carefully as you pull up to the stop sign, yes everything is running smooth.

As you ride out into the highway, you open the bike up and roll the throttle all the way. It’s not the speed that creates the adrenaline rush, but the acceleration. Now, at highway speeds, you relax and begin to enjoy the ride. Look over at the horse grazing in the field. There is a man walking his dog along the highway. There is a motorcycle rider approaching from the other direction. You give a wave, a simple open palm under the handle, and at the same time the wave is returned. No matter what lives you lead off the bike, you are bonded when riding.

Now you are further out into the country roads. You back off on the speed, and cruise though the turns. Family at play to your left as you pass the local school. A farmer is working on a tractor, broken down in the field, while you see his wife leaving the house holding a tray of two glasses of lemonade. You lean into the turns, and keep your head level and look all the way though the turns, rolling the throttle a little towards the end to tighten up the bike. No matter how large, long, or fast a bike, you are in control by simply looking where you want to go.

As the ride goes on, you become lost in your own thoughts. From the simple choices of the day to the heavy questions of life, you ponder in a zen state. A red light approaches, and you slowly down shift, come to a stop. You put the bike in neutral so you can take your hands off the clutch and throttle. Open your helmet’s wind shield, adjust your jacket around your gloves. As you look around you realize you are close to a friend’s house. Light changes, and you change course, now set for your friend.

After you arrive, you find your friend in the driveway, already wearing his leather jacket, warming up the bike. He waves as you approach, and you briefly talk about how nice a day it is. He opens up the choke, and leads as you both pull out, onto the open road.