Wednesday, November 18, 2015
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!
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 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.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
There is such a fine line between pushing it and pushing too far. Leaning into a corner and being dangerously close to a slide...we cat and moused our way through farmlands, potholed roads and tractors with delta signs to slow down. The risk is missing signs - like no unauthorized vehicles and going over 28th Avenue overpass that is apparently a private road. As I lag behind the the CB the slight esses in the road are a welcome shimmy. I see him pause at the yield time - just long enough to gun it again. I keep my head about me...knowing I need to ride my own ride... Thanks to the semi - noticing our impatience and letting us pass...and to the relatively car free roads for a Tuesday night ride for ice cream.. mmmm
Saturday, July 4, 2015
i don't call 32C glorious. Nor bearable. But it was fun to ride to the water to enjoy the sites of Vancouver and be a tourist in our town. We rode the little ferry between Science World and Granville Island. We bought ambrosia apples and marvelled at the early harvest. We walked the seawall, amidst the sauna like conditions and then enjoyed the company of good friends for a drink and then dinner at the Black Lodge, a quaint and quirky Twin Peaks' themed vegetarian restaurant resplendent with campy memorabilia. That night Jason played some good and some bad Canadian music...some of which should have been burned..and some heralded. When we finally got home, exhausted from the heat, stuffed from food and drink the pool awaited...and true to Norman style we floated until sunset enjoying the last moments of the day. I tried not to think too much of yesteryear when standard was at Saturna Island with all my little chicks gathered around a lamb roast, enjoying the throng of people, games, dunk tanks and always music and dancing. Those were great years... We have moved on now....but I am so grateful for the memories.
Sunday, June 7, 2015
Rolling hills and sweeping corners on the Sea to Sky Highway from Horseshoe Bay to Whistler lull me with the undulating rhythm. Hugging craggy, rock face skirted in metal mesh we move stealthily, tipping side to side with the hum of the motor. The sites are breathtaking - thickets of copse, purple trillium, eagles soaring and waterfalls provide the escape key from the frenetic and routine pace of everyday. My helmet encapsulates deep musing. Perhaps I have to listen to the thoughts bouncing to and fro that this orb is where I ruminate on big things. Life things. Adult things. Where am I going? Who am I becoming? Am I on the right road? And...it is in the protective bubble that metaphors abound to life and riding. Not following the pack, riding your ride, enjoying the journey as much as the destination. I have learned I love corners - even if I can't see around them at what is coming next. I have had to learn to relax through the glide. It makes it much more fun. You will get through if you are clenching your jaw and tightening your shoulders...but it isn't necessary riding, nor in life. I have also learned we are more stable than we sometimes feel. The laws of the universe have conspired to keep us moving forward - providing gravity and thermodynamics. Wisdom tells me to trust more and not let fear rule. I don't always like the road less traveled, because that might mean it isn't paved. I love wide open spaces with nothing in front of me. Signs that we are approaching Whistler snap thoughts to the present. My therapy over for the day.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
And...I find myself on the bumpy ride again, willing myself to relax instead of gripping with white knuckles. My mind can agree with the recommendation to let the bike take me, but my reflexes want to stay in control and will the bike to move in the direction I want it to go. I graduated from the Champ, but I haven't yet moved to the 125. I do things in stages...mastering as much as I can before I start something new..I am mostly comfortable with this. Dirt has taught me much. I need stronger wrists to hold me up..I need to trust more and think less...I need more water than I think I do. I need to follow my own path up - and down a hill...and not necessarily in the ruts of others. Sand is fun, scary and unpredictable - but it looks like an ideal ride. The parallel to life this is.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
I have a fear of dirt. That is riding in it..The way you churn like you are on a bucking bronco has never appealed to me. I have been tossed - more than once. Yet, I love two wheels and freedom and so I found myself at Triangle Road with our little Champ last week. I fear the lack of control. I like a mirror on each side to know what is behind me. I like smooth tarmac, and yet here I am bouncing up and down on rocks of varying sizes, through mud puddles, sand and tracks of quads. I met the challenge with trepidation. I didn't move from first gear as I learned the terrain. My goal was to avoid the mud - and really, if I am honest - the rough stuff. I wanted to be able to say I did it, without stretching myself too much. Yoga has brought an awareness of tension and movement. Instincts tell us to tense up when we try something and that usually forces the pose and puts our body off balance. With this in mind I found myself tossing without gripping and fear. Although I wasn't as in control as I like to be, I was working with the bike - pointing it in the right direction, a little gas here and there. Five minutes in and I was loving it. Embracing the jostling, but not grinding my teeth and flexing my biceps. I was moving with the machine and even trying to push it to the limit. It wasn't the rocks that tossed me either. It was the sand. Pushing into third gear the back wheel fishtailed and I was down. My laughter was as much from the irony of sand tossing me as it was from the fall. When you are being tossed by rocks you expect the fall, but it can be on the straight aways, when you're not paying much attention, feeling cocky - that's often where you lose your balance. Now, have no illusion that I am riding a dirt bike. I am actually riding a 50 Yamaha Champ, 3 gears, no clutch - but it is a start!!
Saturday, March 7, 2015
There is something magical in the curve of a road. I can't explain what I love about it...it is a feeling that captures me...much like floating balloons capture a child. I find myself enraptured with nature when I ride. I notice eagles aloft in a current...daffodils blooming in unlikely places..It is on the tarmac I connect with my deeper self. It is not just the wielding of the iron horse as much as caught up in the rhythm like a wave. The warmth of the sun radiates to my soul as we wind along twisty roads. They are familiar yet I haven't seen them since the fall when they were cloaked in yellow and orange. Now they are spindly with bud and brimming with life. The river brought the satisfaction that only water brings and as we took pics to capture the moment, the moment really was more idyllic. Even breakdowns can't penetrate the zen of the day. Blips are part of riding. A spark plug, a throttle cable, a helmet shield can all go awry...but, let's face it...riding with the sun in your face or on your back is glorious.