Sunday, November 27, 2011

In search of: two-lane roads and moto-bliss amidst the madness.

As the inescapable flaky and icy days approach us, warm and sunny days are as scarce as petrol for under $3 a gallon, at least in the U.S. So when such day does arrive you got to…. Well ride it out. By now you may be aware that I enjoy living in a metropolis as much as going to dentist after visiting the local department of motor vehicles to register my moto, but I digress. The day started out unlike most others it was sunny, it was warm and the weather called for 69F! I know, hard to believe in late November but I won’t argue with the weather. It’s time to warm up the 250 and head for a stroll, but where to? The warm weather will only peak for a couple of hours so a cross-state line jaunt is off the schedule; ah I’m brain fucking the idea just get out and ride!

I’m out the door, the 250 feels smooth, the shifting is right on the throttle is responsive, it leans, it stops it cruises along nicely. I’m having a good day in The Matrix but I still have not found what I crave. And then I remember that there is a place near by where the mental fog evaporates, where the antidote to stagnation and boredom exists, albeit in a minute dose. I found this place unintentionally; actually the fellow who sold me my old ride recommended it. This place is inconspicuous to the non-moto enthusiast but to me it is a refuge and a playground. It’s really nothing special when you look at it, it could be anywhere in the U.S. In another realm this road would lead you to a small town, except here it’s within 15 miles of Washington D.C!

It’s probably about 5 miles/ 8km long, but within those miles you can be transported to another place, another state of mind. Where the weather is great the tarmac is decent, cages are scarce and most importantly your mind is free, if only briefly. It reminds me of the beauty of riding, one may ride cross-country, across the state or around the neighborhood for that one elusive moment [insert own thought] and when you find it it’s moto-bliss. It was a great short ride, it made my day, I got home safe pet my boxer pup and was happy I get to ride another day.

There is “Hope” (Jack J.) and so the search for new two-lane roads and moto-bliss whether near or afar goes on, ‘till then Enjoy the Ride.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thank you 250R, a “seasonal” random thought.

I’m what some may call the antithesis of a celebrant, so when fall/winter approach and most begin to plan for stuffed bird day, excess and mythical fat man season, I’d much rather find a secular serene realm where to retreat. Ah ha, you say, there is a name for that Mr. "Green". I think it’s great that many will participate in the festivities but for those of us who’d rather be exempt, let us be free of such rituals. Some of us moto enthusiast will follow our own two-lane path.

I suppose it may be that the joy and or experience many seek during these designated times I tend to experience most times I ride my moto, albeit through an inverse approach, allow me to elaborate. I enjoy being in open plains and forested mountainous terrain surrounded by unfamiliar sights instead of familiar disgruntled travel weary individuals. Every time, I return home from a moto-run whether it was a circuit in the neighborhood or cross State lines jaunts I’m grateful that I made it back home and will ride another day.

One can argue my seasonal aversion is based on perspective of either being overtly grateful and generous once year or simply year round? I prefer the latter. So here is to the stuffed bird day, excess and mythical fat man season! Enjoy the Ride.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A straight line is the shortest distance between point A & B, but it does not always lead to the most scenic destination.

Mileage: 220miles/ 352 km
Ambient temperature: 40F/ 7C

I live in a monolithic Metropolis, and the unrelenting pace of inhabiting it sometimes makes one feel like a wound-up toy that must be set free to run; enter the 250R. The other day I woke up and decided it was a good day to ride out to the Atlantic Ocean via the most direct route I can find, and so I did. I’m from Southern California and while living there I enjoyed the luxury of being able to go to the beach on a whim, whether it was via bus, car, Moto, on my road bike, even running along the shoreline by El Segundo, CA. When I lived in Northern California I was afforded an even better luxury, the beautiful Redwood forested foggy north coast, but I digress, let’s get back to Sport-touring on the 250R.

With the temperature hovering around 45F/7C, I set out due East early morning, I have three layers on, and my heated gloves stashed in my tank bag just in case. The ride starts out slow, riding through the city onto highway 50 Eastbound across the Bay Bridge in Annapolis, MD. until I finally reached the other side where the two-lane road begins…. sweeping turns and smooth tarmac, Ah relief.

It’s amazing how tranquil the ride was and how much the area reminded me of the Midwest U.S., with lots of farms, barns, John Deer tractors and small main streets. I have a Maryland map but not a Delaware map, I’m winging it, I have enough fuel, water and a snack in my bag, it’s time to just “ Let it roll”. I know I’m close to the water I can sense it now, I’ve just got to find the back road that will lead me to the water. For a moment I became distracted by this road sign, there is a sweeping left turn on the road, oh, wait, stop reading it! It was not a close call but I did have to perform a dirt track like maneuver dropping my left foot, leaned hard left to get back on track and avoid the ditch, no problem I got this.

Finally, after meandering through Delaware I reached my destination The Atlantic Coast near Slaughter Beach, via a non-tourist outlet (see pictures). By the time I arrived the fog was ubiquitous, it was low tide and eerily silent. I could not see or hear the waves. By now you are thinking bummer, you rode all the way out there and there is not much to see! I know, but I went there simply for the salty ocean smell and the engulfing fog that I find to be serene. And you may ask why ride to a point less destination? It was a beautiful day and because on occasion when I ride for the simple joy of riding it feels like the “time of your life” (GD).

My first State crossing sign.

My view to the South.

My view to the North.

My view inland.

Side note: one of the best ways to end a moto-ride, pizza, tea, baked goods.