Sunday, October 28

The Queen has returned!

I've not had a ride--good or bad--in close to three weeks. Being off the saddle that length of time can feel strange. Perhaps it's just in my head but I felt a bit rusty for those first few minutes. A thread on the Motorcycle.About.com forum addresses how long people have stayed off the bike and what experiences they have when they ride again. It's not as automatic a reunion as one might think. While those early Spring rides may be awkward, it only lasts a short time.

In this part of the country, the riding season is determined solely by weather. Last season, I rode until December 2nd, getting Queenie in storage one day before the predicted December 3rd blizzard dumped its first significant snow. Because I rode so late into the season, I didn't fret too much about retiring the bike--although some my differ on the amount of my bellyaching.


Saturday, while waiting for the Queen to appear, I roamed the showroom. I had brought with me my "new" 30 year old + medium format TLR (twin lens reflex) camera. I thought it might be cool to take a couple of pics of some of the many vintage bikes at the shop, some with odd names like Dragonfly. I saw an old Beemer sitting in tight quarters with bikes on each side. Something about the way the light was hitting it that made me stare. The room was not the brightest for taking an easy indoor picture but there was light seeping in from the ancient glass windows that looks like it could have been butcher block 100 years ago. Today, it's old and opaque and discolored in spots; yet, I've seen spectacular light streaming into the showroom many times before. Saturday's light lacked the dramatic highlights and shadows but the old glass beamed bright on the Beemers. So, while Queenie was being "detailed," I took the two black and white pictures. Mind you, I just received the camera and I'm still learning to use it, particularly hold it properly. I'm enjoying this camera so much, it has me developing my own b&w a couple of times a week just to see what this camera reveals. In spite of the new lens hood I bought for it, it still seems to suffer from flare--but I don't care. It has enough charm to make up for this shortcoming.
Back to riding...when I fired up my gal pal and pulled off, I noticed right away the feel of the throttle. Queenie in flesh and blood form easily would be a bucking bronco--she is frisky! Apply a thoughtless touch and you're off! Too much of a flick of the wrist and whiplash can ensue. Fortunately, my memory found that sweet spot of friction zone and we took off. As I road, the familiar became automatic. I love this motorcycle. It fits me, it has personality, and in spite of her recent electrical issue, she remains a most reliable companion. I never understood people who anthropomorphized the cars they owned and spoke of them as if talking about lovers. I understand that now.

We are heading out today to places unknown. Had I gone to bed like a normal person rather than staying up until 4 a.m. reading, I would have left hours ago and watched the sun rise while on the road. It's okay that I didn't. Today, there is no rush. I will go where I want, when I want. Me and my bike and my new "old" camera.







8 comments:

D. Brent Miller said...

Well, that was quick with the B&W! I can't wait to see more of your work. By the way, what equipment did you use to scan the film?

Brent

bill said...

Sometime after you have been riding over 6 or more years, you will have to ride down south of Knoxville to the Tail of the Dragon. 318 curves in 11 miles. It will get your attention and give you a great rush. Take care and keep warm.

Sojourner rides said...

Excitement about the Yashica=developing the film ASAP! I have an inexpensive CanonScan 8600F. It had good reviews and it does 35mm slides, 35mm and 120mm film.

Sojourner rides said...

Bill, Thanks. But why the need to wait over 6 or more years? I'm familiar with the Tail...admittedly I haven't done it yet. I have friends in Knoxville that I hope to visit way before six years of riding and plan to ride the tail. Best times, I hear are week days.

bill said...

I just feel a rider needs all the time on a bike that he or she can get.
Weekdays are by far the best. Took the Vette thru in June and was passed by a lime green off road bike like I was standing still. Make sure you smile for the fotogs. Take care.

Crusty's Advise.... said...

I smiled as I read about your separation anxiety while Queenie was in the shop. After 30+ yearsof riding, I still feel the same way about my bikes. Almost guilty when I don’t pay attention to them. I think because a motorcycle is more then just a means of transportation, we do become “involved” more then we do with many or the objects in our lives. Anything that becomes a passion is like that. I’m sure both you and your old friend are feeling better now. -Crusty

Art said...

Great pics S!. The b&w evoke a mood. I can almost smell the oil. I too felt that akwardness in the saddle recently.. Dropped the 650 off for new tires on Monday (3rd rear tire in 25k mi.!), Back in the saddle on Wednesday ... and was shocked to feel it after such a short respite from riding.. maybe it was the additional layers for warmth. Took about 50 miles before i felt i was back in the groove

Sojourner rides said...
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