Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sport Touring: Is it about the journey or the destination? It all depends on perspective.

It is mid December in the North Eastern region of the U.S., temperatures are hovering around 40F/ 4C and that can only signify that good old winter is upon us as well as the end of moto-season, or is it? A significant event indeed in moto world, although not quite as dramatic as REM’s “It’s the End of the World as we know it…” but I do “feel fine” about it. I do feel fine about it only because I don’t view this as the end of the moto season, I think of it as a “rest stop” in this journey called sport touring, punctuated by breaks and scenic detours along the way.

This season has been an exciting beginning for me, I found my way back into motorsports after being absent for a decade and was able to check off an item from my bucket list, I finally went on a Sport touring trip! No, I did not go as far and as long as had envisioned, nor did I ride an overly expensive steed with excess horsepower. I only managed to ride as far as Indiana (from Maryland), on what most would consider a glorified scooter. However, along the way I rediscovered the joy of riding the open tarmac at highway speeds or just chugging along back roads. I also encountered the challenges and dangers of the sport, bad roads and bad weather tested my stamina and determination, and close calls induced self-doubt. Ultimately, for reasons only my fellow moto-enthusiasts can understand, I'm still riding!

Tomorrow Scully will go into hibernation; I will miss her. She has been my “Road tripping” ally (RHCP), and during our short interaction it has never let me down. We have traversed across a few states, through varied terrain and bad weather, and through it all I was never let down. One man, one machine, 3400 miles/ 5440 km and many more to follow, my 250R has delivered, like a loyal friend always ready for the next adventure, no complaints no hesitations.

During these upcoming times of frigid, gloomy weather while Scully sleeps, I will begin to plot our next moto adventures on the U.S. map that hangs on my wall. The destinations are less relevant then the journey, but the list is ambitious. Maryland to California via Route 50, Yellowstone, Glacier National park, Bear tooth Highway, Canada and most importantly my “Mecca”: Northern California Redwood Coast, all in due time.

So you see my fellow moto enthusiast, indeed, it’s all dependent on perspective, at least for me winter is a “rest area”, a time in which to re-asses, plan, plot routes and confirm progress. I will refrain from dwelling in the fact that I’m unable to ride, rather, I will rejoice in the fact that I was able to fulfilled my moto ambitions, visited old friends, saw new places and enjoyed my existence on two wheels! I will go through this winter solo, without my road “ally” Scully, but in the end I know that “…it’s always better when we are together…” (J. Johnson). For this reason I will look forward to the spring, when the sun will shine and the tarmac will entice me to follow its endless path, because for me it’s not always about the destination, or about the journey, it's about The Ride. Until then I will dream of “Californication” (RHCP). Enjoy the Ride.

Ready for Hibernation at a remote, climate controlled subterranean den.

Back to basics, walking home after dropping it off.

To the journey on two wheels.

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