Thursday, September 13

Alive and well

This must be the longest period in which I haven't posted. I wish I could say it was due to some great trip I've been on. Alas, it is nothing that interesting. With juggling multiple jobs, working late, shorter daylight, cold 42 degrees F mornings, and a bout of insomnia to boot, I've been suffering from lackoflongriding-itis. One day I came home so afflicted from my disease that I geared up and rode to a grocery store. I took an unnecessarily long route, passing up several perfectly good stores nearby. I squiggled through heavy downtown traffic, dodged the Pac-man cabbies, and pedestrians who obviously believe they have bumpers on their butts the way they absentmindedly step into traffic. The going was slow, bumper-to-bumper traffic and perhaps frustrating to others. But not to me. I enjoyed the total concentration such crazy traffic forces me to wage. I know that motorcycle guru David Hough would frown at my decision to ride in such insane rush hour conditions. Yet I know he'd understand the need to ride; and, he would give high marks for reaching my destination safely.

So, I'm posting a short note to say, "I'm alive and well" and come hell or high water, I will ride this weekend. And, in the future I will select from among the many backup posts that I keep a list of for those lean riding times 'cause I too miss my public moto journal.

Change of topic:

I came across two things recently that I'll mention here. One good, one horrible.
The good: A conference in San Francisco in 2008 has announced a "Call for papers" on motorcycling culture and myth! The possibilities are endless. I am definitely submitting a proposal. And, since DD (darling daughter) goes to school near SF, I can hang out with her as well. Take a look at the conference offerings. I'm open to suggestions on topics to write about.

The horrible: I do understand family and friends who used to go to great lengths to talk me out of riding alone. Like them, I know the dangers and like them, I have a keen sense of the racial history in American society. I am not naive; I have normal fears and more than my share of nightmares the night before a long solo journey. I could let my normal fears get the best of me and stay home. But since I have no evidence that I'll get another chance to live my life, I'm trying to make the best of the one I have. Still, here is what my extended family fear and in the dark lonely hours the night before a trip, such thoughts have visited me too. It is a hateful tale right out of some perverted novel but its true, brought to reality by some truly twisted, evil souls.

Please don't write me to tell me that there is bad on all sides--I've lived long enough to know that to be true. I'm posting this to say this is EXACTLY the kind of thing I hear as evidence against riding alone. I don't get it much anymore--they know I'm going to ride. What I get now is "Don't ride in the south (United States) alone. Although more has come out about this story that will probably preclude it from being considered a "hate crime," that won't matter in the long run. This creates additional fodder for the sick racial history that in overt and covert ways victimizes us all.

I will ride. And, pray that ancestors who have gone before me protect me as they ride at my shoulders and that the roads I travel are littered with the good.

Ride well...

3 comments:

Claire said...

That story is one of the most appalling things I have ever heard. It's hard, because you don't want fear to run your life and you don't want people like that feeling powerful, but you also need to be safe. It's a scary world we live in.

Chris said...

You have been missed. I enjoy your travels and look forward to reading about them.
Happy Trails
Chris

Anonymous said...

When I rode, I always rode alone. Something about the loneliness that attracted me. The bike and I would become one. Anyway, I know the feelings you speak of,just don't let them run your life.