Today, following our tradition, Hal and I went to breakfast at a Denny’s and exchanged gifts. We never do anything super expensive, it’s an exchange of things we need for riding, or something otherwise motorcycle related. Imagine that!
I chose the F800ST this morning as the bike for the day, and felt wrapped in luxury as I turned up my heated jacket liner and switched on the heated grips! Good thing, the temperature was 39° F. in the neighborhood as I left it. Pearl, my bike, wasn’t happy with me, she stalled twice in the first two miles. This happens sometimes if she’s been sitting too long (she has), and it’s cold (it was). “Now now, ” I soothed her, “don’t worry, we are on the road now. And which of you was chosen to go out on a ride on Christmas Eve day?” I asked rhetorically. She seemed to warm up a bit, literally and figuratively, and the temperature went up a few degrees. We live in a pocket of cold, our neighborhood always shows the coldest temperature of the day. Out on the road, I thought, this bike makes me want to ride far and fast! The road is never long enough for me on this bike. Or any bike, come to think of it, but especially this bike.
At Denny’s, the coffee was hot and mediocre, but the breakfast was good. Hal and I sat and talked, planning other rides for this week, most notably a nice long dirt ride for Thursday. It’s going to be nearly 70° F. that day, so it shouldn’t matter to me if I can “plug in” or not. We’ll see. After exchanging gifts, we sat for a while longer, then left the waitress a nice Christmas-size tip, and went outside to gear up. Of course, we got the usual comments from people walking by, like, “Bet it was nice and warm on the motorcycles this morning!”
“Actually, it was,” I said, explaining about my heated gear.
“Oh,” said the old man, disappointed that I wasn’t suffering more, apparently. I guess non-riders don’t understand that we ride whatever the weather is. And love it.
Close to home, as I rode I came up behind a guy on bicycle in the bicycle lane, and at first I thought he was dressed up like Santa, with a big bag on his back as part of the costume. On closer inspection as I passed him, I realized, embarrassed, that he might be a homeless man with all his belongings on his back. I felt bad, and then thought if I had the money, I’d buy him a house to live in so he wouldn’t have to be cold, hot, and on the move all the time. This could be any one of us, given the current state of the country, it only takes a lost job and being unemployed for a while. And here I was – the only thing I had to worry about was if my BMW was running smoothly. I felt extremely grateful at that moment.
So, here I am on Christmas Eve day, looking forward to being with my family, and grateful for all I have. Tonight I will settle down to watch all the wonderful music shows I have recorded for that purpose, and stay up late into the night, enjoying the hush, the soft glow of the lights, and wondering if the Christmas magic will happen this year.