Blue skies, blue jeans and boots await me this weekend. It’s a perfect weekend to ride.
There will be dirt on my face.
During the last month, my 10-year-old daughter has spent only one weekend day with her dad. While I’ve recently begun riding with her on the back of my bike with more frequency (and I love that I can) it’s also true that I’ve been wishing for a childless day to be free to ride by myself. I love my babies more than life, and I enjoy and look forward to work-free/school-free time together. But, I still ache for some wind therapy.
The past few months have been some damn work. I’ve put on my game-face for life, even when I wanted to crawl inside myself. I’ve done all the things I’m “supposed to”, instead of sulking. I’ve completely behaved myself-outside of a few nasty text messages. I’ve not killed anyone. I haven’t packed up and moved away (even when it felt like that was an obvious solution), and I bought a punching bag…instead of the alternative (a throat punch to anyone who hurts my heart.) Homework is done, bedtime has been successfully met 90% of the time, the recital costume is neatly hung, tickets are purchased, I made the donation to school, attended the concert, booked seven-thousand summer camps and activities and baked the fucking cupcakes. And, in general, I suck at keeping shit organized at home. I should be able to take off for a day without feeling guilty, right? Obviously not, because I’m rationalizing the shit out of it.
There will be throttle in my fist.
I want to share my motorcycle journey with her, too. I want to take her places in a different way. I want her know no limits. I want her to create memories ON my motorcycle WITH me, and not associate the sound of pipes with someone taking off to ride for the day…without her. I want her to hear the bike warm up, and wonder “where are we going, today?”
There will be miles to cover.
I’m willing to forgo a ride on my bike, so that I can make sure we have a first-aid kit, cooler, change of clothes, and a friend to tag along when we go to the amusement park. I’m willing to leave the bike in the garage so we can take our dog Charlie to the beach. I let dust accumulate on the bike when it’s time to mow the lawn, build the new chickens a place to run, or fix the fucking steps. Again.
There will be worries to leave behind.
I’m admitting that I have been checking the weekend weather with frequency. This weekend, she’ll be spending full days with her Daddy…and Momma’s going out on the bike. I have no place to go. No place to be. No one to be accountable to. I won’t be able to answer the phone.
There will be thoughts to clear.
While I occasionally find myself pissed about his fancy-free way of life, which affords him last minute bike trips to anywhere with friends, weekends away to ride up north, jetting out at 7am to return at some after dark hour…I wouldn’t trade it for our world.
There will be wind in my ears.
I know, too well, that the days she wants to spend with me are limited, and that before I know it, I’ll have all my weekends to myself. I know that one day I won’t be needed much. I’ll eventually be an afterthought.
There will be sun on my face.
Everyone rides for different reasons. I’m not sure of my one why. There’s
solitude, independence, strength, and speed. There’s adventure, comraderie, and peace.
Riding my bike is something like therapy. Wind therapy. The difficulty with my kind of crazy is that worst-case-scenario planning is difficult on a bike. It requires fighting my own anxiety and thoughts about what could happen, and forces me to just see if it does happen. (My fear of needing help from someone else is greater than that of falling or an accident. It’s ridiculous. But, true.)
There will be heat between my legs.
Riding requires staying hyper-focused on everything around me. It requires so much concentration, that it’s difficult to give time or care to anything left back at home. There’s peace in noticing all the details…often at once. An orgasm of the senses, when sight, smell, sound and touch experience everything vividly in the sun. The details are brilliant from a saddle. The speed with which the trees pass, the sound of the gears shifting. It’s an exercise in awareness. The mind occasionally wanders from the road to the destination, and I pull it back in. Thoughts sometimes leave the tension in the clutch and the drag of the brake and wander out to notice a circling hawk. My mind can dart from the pavement and other motorists to the smell of the ocean, and back in the same second. Time on my bike is being truly present and in the moment.
And doesn’t the time go by as fast as those trees, anyway? For now, I’ll look forward to the days I ride, and cherish the ones I can’t.
This weekend, though…I’m skipping yard work, housework, and anything else that ends with or resembles “work”. I’m going to take in some sun, dirt and wind, and see where I end up.
There will be bugs in my hair.
If anyone wants to ride hot & dirty with me, let me know.
6/7/14 Update: This is what happened this morning: