An Amazing Night Ride
Posted on May 11, 2006 at 11:55 AM
Let's call this Wednesday night...
A few hours ago I rolled out so as to attend the local 'Valley Bikenight'.
Earlier in the day I invited a rider to join me for an evening ride. No reply... such is life.
So I roll out, running a few minutes late and the F'n bike hits reserve as I merge onto the freeway. Faaaaaak... I hammer down a few miles, pick an exit that has a gas station with easy on-off access. Rolling down the Super Slab, full tank, great tunes? life is good. Little did I know how much better it was going to be.
Roll up to Valley Bikenight quite a few minutes late, pretend to possess social skills as I exchange hand shakes and give hugs. This might not be the biggest bike night but the people that attend have great toys and are easy to get along with.
Had the opportunity to educate a young rider to the realities of the significant repercussions of EVER doing a wheelie at bike night again. He did his best, I'm so fuckin' cool, who are you to 'dis me' in public... I put my hands into my pockets, dawned my most cordial grin and explained to him that if he ever does that again he will experience his worst nightmare. When all his buddies started to back up I assumed he had gotten the message.
A quick announcement to a large group of riders as to the parking arrangement we have with the businesses was cordially received and they seemed more than happy to comply in that my presentation was more cordial than demanding.
Goes to show ya. It's not WHAT you say, it's HOW you say it.
The crowd started to thin, I realized that James was the only rider looking forward to joining me for an evening of 'dancing the canyons in the pale moonlight'.
Wasn't that many weeks ago James joined Dominic and I on an evening putt. Seems James came to the conclusion that he was somewhat lacking in the aspect of candle power. This week he was more than prepared, he was running 2 sets of driving lights on his BMW.
We rolled out and did Old Topanga, New Topanga, Fernwood Pacific and Tuna Canyon to PCH.
Had my earlier invitation been accepted, I wouldn't have ventured over the hill and clear skies with an almost full moon would have made for a stunningly beautiful ride.
As it turns out we encountered fog in Old Topanga. Some places it was light other places it became challenging.
The focus required to navigate these roads in the fog was such that I was pretty much mentally drained when we reached the bottom of Tuna Canyon. The kind of drained that felt good, as there was nothing but the feeling of accomplishment of having safely navigated the road at a sporting pace and done so in a safe manner.
We shut off the bikes, reviewed highlights of the ride and aspects of life.
The universally accepted belief of motorcycling being the absolute best therapy for dealing with the day to day stress and mind cluttering concerns of work, money, relationships ETC. all fade away. The extra focus required to ride canyon roads at night is so intense that we settled on it not being done justice to try and put it into words.
As it turns out James had a significant need for a therapeutic ride. He shared that his life is presently stressful. His commitments and negotiations for the following day had magically come into focus.
Something tells me James has become yet another 'child of the night'.
James headed south to Marina del Rey.
I headed north, destination unknown.
So here I was riding north on PCH. Not a care in the world, the marine layer all but masking the nearly full moon, the smell of the ocean, listening to classic rock that sounded like it was made for the ride I was on.
I roll into Malibu proper, decide a stop at the Ralphs grocery was a good idea.
A few minutes pass and I'm ready to sit down and kick back for a late night picnic in Malibu. The cranberry flavored horseradish worked well with the honey roasted turkey, smoked cheese and roll. A bottle of juice and some chocolate lace cookies rounded out the late night snack. Seems I had everything except someone to share it with... again, such is life.
Thought that my evening was pretty much over except for finding my way back through the canyons to the barn.
How short my expectations were compared to the realty I was soon to experience. Everything started to fall into place. The pace just kept getting more comfortable; the corners fell into the rhythm of the music. Damned if I wasn't once again, dancin' the canyons in the pale moonlight.
Wasn't long before I realized I was this >< close to HAVING TOO MUCH FUN.
Can't remember the last time I rode the canyons at night that it felt sooo right.
I've recently shared having had the feeling of stepping through a doorway into another dimension.
This was the first time it felt like I not only stepped through the doorway but I realized it wasn't into another room but out into an environment that was beyond breathtaking in it's limitless beauty.
Never mind that I was running the engine right smack dab in the middle of it's sweet spot or that the corners seemed to seamlessly flow as I winged my way through the canyons. When I realized the front wheel was lofting as I was exiting corners. I knew I was in a place few have ever been.
Eventually the fantasy ride came to an end.
I rolled into the driveway and put my faithful Night Bandamnit to bed.
My dreams were overflowing with the ecstasy of the evening's adventure.
I am once again feeling at one with all that is around me.
Life doesn't get much better than this.