When the world eats at my sanity and pisses me off or I just need to stop seeing the same four walls of my home office, I walk into the garage to fire up the red 2006 Suzuki V-Strom 650. Often I need movement to flush the stagnant puddle of my mind.
When the sun is shining and it’s warm enough, I hop on the bike, pull in the clutch, lift the gear arm with my left foot and pop it into first. Like a baby needing to be soothed the movement helps me de-stress and gets me focused on the moment and simpler things.
With the engine revving under me and the handle bar grips held tight the intensity of the movement begins rocking me into a state of focus. With my mind alert and my life on the line, the bills, incompetent politics of the world, my own incompetence and bad decisions, fade away, while frustrations are kept at bay. The senses heighten with each gear and each bend as I leave the neighborhood seeking my favorite windy roads at the state park a few miles away. There are no intersections at the park, no stops signs, no lights. I carve up the mountainside leaning in and breathing deep.
I twist the throttle under my wrist increasing speeds then easing off the gas and popping the bike into another gear moving faster feeling the wind, tasting the air.
It is a meditation and therapy to be on a motorcycle. Ideas are figured out while pure focus and survival instincts lock in. Ideas that were stuck in the brain get clarified while ones that weighed upon my soul just minutes earlier get left on the roadway. Patterns and stuck feelings loosen. There is a feeling of comfort riding the earth’s welcoming bosom.
I must focus completely while riding a motorcycle for my life is on the line. Everything from gravel to sticks to squirrels to bad inattentive drivers is the enemy.
Unlike a car where small mistakes often have no results, or a possible fender bender, a mistake on a bike can be death if I am not riding with eyes wide and mind alert scanning the road surface and sides for danger.
With each rotation of my wheels the contours of the road ease my mind. The world at that point can piss off. I grab the bike tighter with my legs to form a bond as we become one leaning above the mountain stream twenty feet below. The bike responds to my touch and tight control.
I am anonymous in my jacket and helmet with tinted shield and samurai graphics as I slice through the countryside.
Movement heals my wounds with each mile and twist of the throttle as I blend deeper into the wood and rock landscape. I ride everywhere I can whenever I can. There are always bills and other headaches to keep me going. Not that I need them to get me to ride. But luckily, the bike is always ready for a country road and I think enjoys the fresh air as much as I do.