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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Stress and Destinations

Last Sunday I did something I've not done in some time.  I went out for Indian food.  I also rode Kimmie about with no destination in mind, and I absolutely loved it.

Why add undo stress?
So much so that in the week that followed I rode Kimmie to work on three different occasions (the other two days were rained filled) and the joy was just not there.  Which got me thinking about traffic and how it affects my mindset.

I thought about this a bit last night as I slogged through traffic in the dark, on the very same roads that I actually used to enjoy riding last year at this time.  Of course, back then it was 1 or 2 in the morning; traffic was light or non existent and I was more concerned about a rogue deer more than anything.   Now I'm coming home at 6:30 or 7 PM and although the traffic is not stop and go, it is heavier than I would like.   I have to think about passing someone safely, about keeping in the headlights of one car (to stay as visible as possible to as many people I can) yet out of the blindspot of another.  I'm worried if that car coming up behind me is looking at his phone or fiddling about with the radio and not paying attention, I'm just adding stress to an already stressful situation.

Working a stressful, but lucrative job doesn't help.

Last Sunday I had no stress, no destination.  I was riding to ride.  To be free and I know my fellow bikers will understand what I mean.  I'm beginning to understand why some bikers only take their rides out on the weekends.

An old photo but one of my favorites
Plus, in all honestly, I have nowhere to stow my gear at work, it's easier for me to wear dress shoes rather than riding boots, or not have to put on my jacket; with its bright yellow colors, on the back of my chair.   I've been teased about directing traffic at work...all in the name of ATGATT.

I do love riding though and have found motorcycling to be a unique "in" when working with clients.  I've spent hours talking to a company located in Sturgis, South Dakota about the insanity that is Sturgis.  And how after the rally it's just a dull, quiet little town.  It's given my company and theirs a connection we would not otherwise have, and a nice bonus check for me when they signed up for our services.

I've found that I'm happiest when I'm with a group riding to a destination I don't know or may have never otherwise been.  As I look back I've found I'm been happy when I'm alone, taking a road going somewhere....anywhere really.   Maybe that's the secret for getting back on the bike and riding more.

Don't have a plan.

I look at the plans for this weekend.  A Christmas bazaar that somehow I got recruited to work, and I don't remember anyone asking me to actually work it.  How Sue and I want to go visit a nearby RV dealership for a half formed nebulous idea that is in the back of our heads.   Research I'll call it.

It's supposedly going to rain this weekend and even though I've ridden in the rain, ever since my accident I've been weary of "less than ideal" riding conditions.    I used to enjoy that too, and I hate being wet.  I liked the challenge of it.  The cool air, the fresh smell...I supposed that will come in time too.

For now...I'll try to put the stress aside.  Susan's condition is improving, my job (while stressful) is secure and the company really came to my aid in October when all this shit started with Susan's health.  We're going to beat it.

She encourages me to ride, to get out and see the world.  How can you not love a woman who thinks of  her long time boyfriend first?


SonjaM said...

Not having plans (or better: dreams) doesn't work for me much but it sure seems to work for you, so go for it. I'll keep my fingers crossed that Susan's condition continue to improve. Best wishes to you guys.

Octoberstudios said...

Today was the coldest day of the ever changing Fall season here in South Jersey/South East Pennsylvania. I made the conscious decision to wear my heavy winter leather jacker instead of my Corazzo riding jacket, heavy winter gloves instead of my Airmesh riding pair, and a balaclava under my full-face helmet. Normally I love riding on cold days when I’m dressed for it. There’s something about feeling the wind break against you like Gibraltar against the waves, but somehow the cold seeped through, chilling my legs even through my thermals, and causing my hands to feel colder despite the heavier layers.

Maybe I’m feeling my age having just turned 49 a little over a month ago, or I’m not ready for Winter’s hold. Odd as it sounds it just make me want to prepare more so I can get back that riding-in-a-shell feeling only a cold day can make. There’s a need you only get from certain rides, under certain conditions where you come out feeling like you conquered an obstacle. A hardship. A dare.

There’s something about a ride. Maybe it’s about completing the journey. Or maybe the journey completes you.

The City Mouse in the Country said...

Octoberstudios, I agree with you. While I've not ridden in anything below freezing (although it's has been close here in Florida) there is something to be said for riding in cold weather. I purchased a Freeze out jacket and gloves last year for that very reason (only to change jobs and not work till 1 or 2 AM anymore). I've found throwing a pair of sweat pants over my jeans works very well on those days.