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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Labor day weekend 2014 - Rob's lost.

Practice makes perfect, perfect is a fault and in fault lies change. - REM

I could not let a three day weekend pass without a bit of a ride.

August 2014 was a long month for me, one full of change and surprise and fear and yea, more than my fair share of wonder.  

Without going into to much detail this path month has seen a lot of changes.  Those changes are still happening, still occurring.  Generally speaking I think I don't handle change well.  You can blame that on my father and his "stuck in my ways" approach to life.  But I also thrive on and need change, to do something the same way day in and out bores me to tears.

It's been a month of phone calls and talking to lawyers.  It's been a month of uncertainty and balance.  It's been an odd time of year for me.  Concerning the lawsuits I will say this.  One lawsuit is coming to an end, another may or may not go forward.  I'm told I have a case but it's going to be balancing on a fine line.  I am not a litigious person, but having been even semi self-employed for as long as I have, you learn to keep a lawyer on retention.  

Another job awaits (with better pay and daylight hours), but only if I manage to test well on the Florida licensing exam.  Sadly this is a one shot deal.  I feel confident that I will pass it.  

Still though sometimes you just need to put down the books, the phones, and step away from the computer.  There are times when you need to go for a ride just to clear your head.  So I did.

I forgot to bring my camera.  I forgot to bring my phone (all photo's have been on this blog before then).   I just rode, taking whatever road seemed best.  If I made a left or right hand turn didn't matter.  I wanted to be lost, I wanted to just ride somewhere, anywhere for a bit.  

Florida is largely flat, but we do have some hills.  Quite by accident I found myself on Leheup Hill, and it's sister hill - Nursery hill.  

A left turn because I've never been down that road leads me off onto a single lane road with some pretty neat twisties, and then up over a bend with a view over a lake that made me long for my camera.  Their was a school or college or some educational looking building that was was reflected in the calm water sitting on a knoll above the lake.  I had to stop and drink in the view for a moment.  

A moment or two later some sandhill cranes walk out into the path requiring some quick, but not difficult braking on my part.  These are large birds and even though they only weigh about 10 pounds (4.57 Kg), I've no desire to hit a bird that is 3 or 4 foot tall ( or roughly 91 cm).  They squawk at me, taking their time to cross the road only about a meter from me, annoyed that I am making them move.  

I move on, passing a twin to the Muffler man in Zephyrhills and cursing the fact that I was unable to find him during my adventures with the Equinox to Equinox rally.  I start down another road that I don't ride very often, heading Southwest and debating if I want to head towards the coast.  Past lazy cows and horses that look at me with a smirk.  "We have the real horsepower" they seem to say.

It occurs to me that I've not been on horseback in years, and how I enjoyed that so much as a younger man.

I wave absentmindedly to other riders, I pass an old church and think about stopping just to take a look inside but I keep moving.  Leaning right, left, right, left....I'm lost and joyful and the miles tick off the odometer.  I stop for water at a convenience store and strike up a short but funny conversation with the elderly clerk.  Then I'm off again.  It's hot and my ass is uncomfortable on the seat but I keep riding.  50 miles tick off...60...70.  I stop now and again for water, it's to hot not to.  I thank God for investing in a mesh jacket.

It's afternoon now and I am really lost.  I stop, cursing myself for leaving the phone at home.  In taking the path not traveled I've somehow managed to turn myself around one to many times.  I see a sign for Brooksville, it's a town I know can lead me home but I have no clue how the hell I got here.  I'm north one county and heading away from home...I thought I was heading towards it.  I am turned around.

Brooksville actually one of those towns I've been wanting to explore.  There is history here, not all of it good as the "City of Tangerines" was once known for it's lynchings and racism.  I'm about 45 miles from home.  I turn the bike in that direction.  Susan, I know, would worry about me.  It's not like me to forget my phone.  I vow to return and soon, camera in hand.
The "Muffler man" in Z-hills
The ride home is straight, boring and at a higher speed than I like.  The scenery is mostly southern pine and knobby trees.  I know there must be a shorter way home (and there was, I looked after I got home) but I know this route.

I finally make it home, tired, hot and sweat drenched.   Kimmie and I did the longest ride we ever have, something like 130 miles and 3 to 5 hours.  I had filled the tank and reset the odometer but never bothered to look at my leave time.

My ass aches and so does my back.  Susan is chewing me out.  I'm smiling.  I'm happy to have gotten lost.  I stand in the shower and let the hot water relax my back and just think about doing that again sometime.

I've fallen in love again.


Dar said...

I felt as though I was riding beside you from reading your post! I love it when you have those joyous moments of bike bliss. I was on a few of those this summer and rode quite a bit in a three day span and was happy, but exhausted. I found the joy when I was riding home and meandering along solo.

I knew you would fall in love again, just don't forget your phone next time. Motorcycling is sometimes a love/hate kind of thing ,some rides it's gels and is the best thing to forget worries and other times not so much, but I'm glad you had a good joyful ride!

Trobairitz said...

Hooray for getting lost out on the scoot. It sounds like it was just what you needed.

Deb said...

What a great adventure!

You've inspired me to just go out and ride, with no particular destination in mind...just to wander!

Glad you had a great time!