Saturday, February 11, 2006
Born To Be Wild
The weather in the Sacramento area has been unseasonably warm. For the past week, the temperature has been in the low to mid 70s. Not bad for the beginning of February. It is not uncommon or even all that unusual to have these winter “heat waves” in California, but it is not something that can be predicted. Therefore, it is important to take advantage of this weather when it presents itself – it won’t last.
I recently acquired the use of a 2001 Harley Davidson motorcycle. It’s not mine – yet, but I do have use of it. I have had a few motorcycles over the years, but from day one, I wanted a Harley. Ever since I knew what a motorcycle was, the one I wanted was a Harley. There’s something about their sound, their attitude… their aura that is different from every other motorcycle. Now that I can ride one at will, I know these weren’t just idle impressions; the substance of the experience more than exceeds the abstractions of the dream.
Grass Valley is a small town in the Sierra foothills, elevation about 2500 feet. Although it is fastest to get there by taking Interstate 80 most of the way, today’s trip was not about efficiency. I met a few friends (and friends of friends) in Sacramento at 9:00 this morning and we headed for the hills. Every one of us, 30+ total, were riding Harleys. It was indeed a thunderous procession. We rode at a leisurely pace, winding our way through the gently rolling hills, passing though shadows and sunlight feeling the alternating chill followed by the sun’s warmth. It was pure and unadulterated heaven.
There’s something about riding a motorcycle that is unlike any other form of travel. There is a solitude, a oneness that is with me even when surrounded by other bikes or traffic in general. It is the manifestation of the destination in the journey. When riding in a pack though, it’s sort of like a group singularity. We are alone with our machines and our thoughts en masse´. We all know the experience as an individual, personal one yet we are all experiencing it together. There’s really nothing else quite like it.
We had breakfast in Auburn (CA) and continued on the back roads into Grass Valley. Upon arrival, we dismounted and congregated with some other friends we arranged to meet there. After about an hour, we stoked our machines back to life and rode back to where we came from. There was no other purpose; it could have taken place anywhere. All we needed was some sunshine, a machine and each other – the rest took care of itself.
Today was a good day!