A nice long ride

Hal and the bikes. His bike is in front of mine.


On Sunday morning, I pulled my 2006 BMW F650GS out of the garage and readied her for a day’s ride. I am still not sure how this bike became my go-to bike again, but lately it is the one I want to ride when I am going to be on the road. It started with last winter. The F800ST apparently is “done” with me, and I have decided to sell it.

It was a heartbreaking decision, as it is the only motorcycle (or vehicle, for that matter) that I have ever bought new. I wanted it so badly for almost a year before I bought it, and to have it end like this is disappointing. Pearl and I haven’t been getting along for some time, since the Taos trip last year.

So, Sunday morning I found myself on Jewel again, heading up the Beeline Hwy. behind Hal on his BMW R1100RS, Zahra. Our day was going to include riding the Camp Verde loop, a stringing together of roads that would be a sinuous carnival of turns, a delight for motorcycle riders. Of course I’ve done this road many times before, but not for a while. It would be fun to re-discover it.

It was a perfect day, not too hot, not too cold. Jewel felt great beneath me. I am so comfortable on her, maybe because it is almost the same exact position I am in when I am riding a horse. I am happy there, and as a bonus, I can go a whole lot faster on the motorbike! I kept looking at the sky and feeling the cool spring air on my face. It was an absolutely wonderful feeling, a feeling of freedom that I hadn’t experienced for a while. Our nice long road rides have been almost non-existent this winter, and I was so glad to get out and do a nice “juicy” full riding day.

We climbed up to the Rim at Strawberry, and the air grew even cooler. I had dressed appropriately in my jeans, two thin but effective shirts, and my textile riding jacket, the one that fits me closely and seems to do the best job regulating my body temperature. I felt happy and content, rolling along, feeling the comforting vibration of the bike beneath me.

It grew colder as we climbed in elevation, and off to the north I watched clouds darken and thicken. Would we get rain? Figures I’d left the rain jacket at home, thinking “why do I keep dragging all this stuff along with me every time I ride?” The answer was apparent as I looked at the sky. I tend to forget how unpredictable the weather can be up here on the Mogollon Rim.

We came to the most fun part of the road, the part with the most turns. We rode with abandon and enjoyment without going insanely fast. As we dropped in elevation going toward Camp Verde, it was sun and clouds and perfect temperatures again. I didn’t think of anything except enjoying my bike on that road at that moment. I was in the present, a rare state of being for me. For once, I was at peace with everything, loving my bike as I always have.

On the way back home, we stopped for a short time for me to shoot some trees with my camera. The clouds provided perfect lighting, and I was able to get some nice images.

The day ended with me returning home at dusk, with 340 miles under my wheels for the day. It felt so good to have a long riding day again, and it’s been far too long since the last one. I hope to change that soon.


One thought on “A nice long ride

  1. that idea of being “present” is so much of what riding does for me. all my senses are busy with mostly non-threatening activity. they keep my “monkey mind” busy, allowing all manner of deeper thoughts and emotions to bubble up into my awareness. this greater awareness of deeply buried memories is where growth happens for me. where I come to understand my default patterns, healthy or not and deal with them using current information. I’m a healthier soul for the experience. I may no longer be a “beemer” guy but I’m still, definitely a motorcyclist.

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