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 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.