Sunday, July 17, 2016

essentials only

I have one pannier to hold all I need to visit 7 major cities and hundreds of towns for more than 3 weeks. We are east-bound across the Rockies with a destination as far east as we dare before we head back. Montreal and Quebec city are the highlights, but part of the journey will take us through the big prairie skies of my birthplace. Our oldest has scouted Quebec for us, highlighting the cool scenes we are inclined to miss after days of riding. I have one pannier and this means preparing for summer storms, blazing heat and cold mornings. I will rule out attire for fancy eateries and dance spots. Next time. My pre-trip prep requires building muscle of trust. It is hard to relinquish all control of life and safety to another. My friend echoed the struggle I have, not with trust, but in control and yet as we chatted the flurry of thought and emotion solidified. Love gave control and power. I have already built that muscle..it might require a little stretching now - as will my hips after long rides... I expect this land of mine to show me wonders and sites from my 180 view with a 20 or so degree obstruction in front. Canada...here we come!!

Friday, March 25, 2016

March

You know those Saturdays when you have mounting chores - powerwashing, laundry, taxes, accounting...but the sun bursts through the clouds reminding me there are bikes to ride. It has been a while since I embraced reckless abandon and did what I needed to instead of what should be done. So when a friend came for a visit, we ditched duty and were off. As always we looked for twists and turns in the road as we made our way to Fort Langley. There was no dull at the thrill of anticipation through familiar grooves and ruts. Three of us zipping and coiling through the countryside, at times in unison and next splayed seconds apart and riding our own ride. In unison I am mesmerized by the timing of three disparate machines and responses that synchronize as though one. When the spell of the wave is broken I find myself enthralled with the wide-open, eagles catching wind, nests high up in the bare trees exposed by winter and the daffodils that have bloomed in the early heat of March. We break for coffee amidst the tourist area, little kids pointing at us and having their parents bend to whisper. I wonder what they say. A little boy gives me the thumbs up surreptitiously and when I smile he looks shyly looks to his shoes. We set off for home, with a detour to Telegraph Trail. I never tire of this little road without lines that seems set back in time. It is a few minutes of gentle sway with old farmhouses and I conjure tales of yesteryear and am set back in time. Within minutes we are in the din of the city, though the peace from the morning has settled in me. Namaste.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

shifting

My goal this weekend was to keep off the brakes...and that does not mean riding like a bat out of hell. It was to approach the corner shifting down and riding through. How lucky am I that we happened to be on some of the greatest, snakey roads with views of surf and trees, vistas and cliffs. A great place for a challenge. Nanaimo to Lake Cowichan and then on to Port Renfrew. With the quiet road, except for the bear, to Port Renfrew. Wide open places...amazing!

Fall

Lest you think my enthusiasm for snaking curves has waned, it hasn't..but every now and then life and weather get in the way of riding in the Pacific Northwest. October was still like summer, and so great for a new daughter to join our brood....and we were busy...and as November neared and mercury dipped and clouds swelled with drops of rain, my bike has been tucked away for a bit. But just as a parched mouth is relieved by a slake of water, I long for the movement of the tarmac and paralleling the yellow line. I miss the rev of the motor, timing the gears and the grin on my face....sounds like I need a ride shortly...rubber down!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Heading east from Randle, Washington we set out in search of breakfast and twisty roads. The day before, our quest complete with a six-mile left and right dance snaking up to Mount St. Helens. The grin on his face after told the whole story. Hugging craggy cliffs and sometimes negotiating uneven tarmac, we felt the eery yet sacredness of the area. The volcano eruption in May of 1980 decimated more than 160 miles of roads, hundreds of homes, countless wildlife and 57 lives. Winding up to the viewpoint was somber after our encounter with a local who had been fishing on Spirit Lake when the mountain gave way. He described the quiet as surreal and later learned that people heard the thunderous roar over 100 miles away. Yet he was on a lake that reflected the mountain, heard nothing. What he saw was incredulous and apocalyptic. Day became as night with ash clouding everything. Reading the accounts and seeing the mountain brought a new sense of gratitude for nature and its power. We need that levelling sometimes. Something to remind us that we are not always in control. It is humbling yet refreshing to recognize our vulnerability. So leaving Randle the cool of the morning is refreshing riding through mere mist.
I pack light for a girl. I don't need too much to preen - especially for a trip on motorcycles. I am used to layers that can be added or peeled quickly. That alone should be appreciated...as much as the fact that I love what we do....not much impedes me...
I drove my car up Cypress today. Gearing down through the corners wasn't nearly as exciting in a Mazda3. I kept envisioning the wind and the adrenalin of the lean. And then hiking which is a lot like riding. You pick a trail and you conquer the wide open space. I have not ridden nearly enough this year. I have enjoyed the roads of Mount St. Helen's...I have seen the desert of the now scorched Lake Chela area...I have loved Leavenworth with the river that beckons for visitors not only to stroll by, but stroll in..I have been up the Sea to Sky and onward to the Duffy Lake road and the breakfast in Lilloet that always surpasses my expectations....I have wandered through my neighbourhood to River Road both east and west and found the peace that only water can bring. My iPod and phone have amazed me with bluetooth technology a gift from my son...I have almost conquered dirt, sand and tar...but there feels like so much more in store...Not sure I want to race...though I have that personality..but I do know that the fears I conquer are worthy of the mountains I climb.