Monday, July 16, 2007

life is a highway

...and I'm gonna ride it until - well - about 4:45 AM.

I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it. I'd spent the night before in wakefulness, wringing my hands, thinking about what stuff can happen when one's body is hurtling along at freeway speeds on a machine you're not *quite* used to manipulating - and which still feels as though it has a malicious mind of its own, sometimes. It wasn't fear of other traffic on the road - hell, we left before dawn. It was more about my on-again-off-again friendship with Mr. Throttle, and his general air of disrespect for Ms. Clutch (we're all three in counseling - with Bear moderating - right now.)

They say everybody goes through this period, but I felt silly and conspicuous anyway - especially when I was so worked up as to be trying to shift with the rear brake lever to leave the parking lot. This two-wheels is not, my friends, as easy as it looks.

To make a long story short, I made it out there, though in a talking-to-self-in-helmet, lip-biting, maybe-half-a-yellowbellied-tear sort of way. And I did okay. And it was exciting, and I beat the fear pretty soundly.

Later in the day, we scooted up to Newcomb's Ranch to watch MotoGP with the rest of the folks, and my noob experience in the morning made the beautiful mysteries of top-tier ridership even more beautiful. When it goes wrong, it goes very, very wrong - but when everyone's keeping the shiny side up and the rubber side down, it's watching synchronized swimming through the soup of air that feeds us one and all. And I finally cheered for the silly Oakie as he brilliantly salmon-swam through the ranks to take a heap of places by sheer force. You're alright, kid. You done good.

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