Where riding is part of living.

There's a thrill riding a Vespa scooter (or a motorcycle) that's hard to describe.

Part visual, part physical, part spiritual. It's an anthem to living, a meditation on feeling blood and breath course through the body. The road proclaims problems, secrets and opportunities as riding transforms from recreation to something more.

Share your experiences -- why do you ride a scooter or motorcycle?

Beneath the Infinite

Vespa GTS scooter beneath a full moon
The moon was rising over the the house, a bright glow forming through the spruce trees. A candelabra burns orange to my left like of something from the set of Dark Shadows. A string of tea lights glows along the fence while Kim prowls the darkness with her camera and a flashlight making images that would never occur to me.

Between the branches of a weeping willow I can see stars. Or maybe they’re planets or galaxies, their light generated long ago, perhaps millions of years ago and just now arriving.

It’s noisy. Tires drone on the freeway a few hundred yards away. The sound of crickets and katydids swell the night air, punctuated by the occasional yells of kids playing in the dark, a plane passing overhead, a dog barking in the distance.

I had to go for a ride, if only for a little while, just to live under the full moon and stand beneath the infinite. It seemed important to acknowledge the short time I have here. To look at the moon.

And howl.

When was the last time I howled?

When was the last time you howled?

A Good Ride

abstract art paintingSometimes life chaotic, hard to read, wildly colored.  Just the sort of situation that begs a person to step out from under the wheel.  At least that’s what I was thinking while looking at this painting in the cafe I stopped for tea this afternoon.  The past week was on that canvas.

Vespa GTS scooter and Mt. NittanyWith a half-day vacation and no where to be and nothing pressing needing done I just wandered a bit.  It’s easy for me to know when I’m not enslaved to a schedule — the speedometer seldom passes 25mph.  Often slower.

Puffy clouds and a blue sky drifted over Mt. Nittany as I meandered along.  A fine day for a good ride.

manequin at Cafe LemontCafe Lemont was quiet with the other patrons lost in whatever they were doing.  This young woman wouldn’t give me the time of day so I opened my journal and began outlining a few writing projects, explored a couple thoughts and sketched and image I had been thinking about.  My cup of tea grew cold before I finished, a signal it was time to ride on.

Vespa GTS scooter along rural roadI’ve been down this road dozens if not hundreds of times and still I’ve not seen it all.  The shadows along the double yellow line — what’s making those patterns?  Something to explore next time I ride through.  If I remember.

Vespa GTS scooter parked alongside a Harley Davidson motorcycle at Duffy's tavern in Boalsburg, PALast stop before heading home — Duffy’s Tavern in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania.  Parked my dirty Vespa next to a shiny Harley Davidson motorcycle while I sat on the patio, again with my journal but this time with a cheeseburger.  The first one since my heart attack.

I know how important riding is to calming a day.  I had forgotten the seductive power of writing in a journal.  Somehow I’ve gotten out of the habit.  At times I think writing in this blog has been a replacement but journal writing is an entirely different animal.  One I am going to engage again.

Didn’t go far or overcome any challenges save those between my ears.

Maybe it was a good ride.

Heart of the Sunrise

Sunrise over central PennsylvaniaI made this photograph a few days ago with my iPhone while walking with the dogs at sunrise.  For the past week, work and other activities have kept the Vespa mostly at home save for a handful of errands and a single ride to work.

Like riding the scooter, I find myself choosing walks that allow me to move toward the heart of the sunrise.  On the road the dazzling light impairs vision often requiring a hand up in front of the rising sun.  While walking eyes are down or look off to the left or right.  But I don’t turn away.

There’s a magical energy at sunrise — at least that’s what I tell myself.  A slow heating and rise in energy, a stronger stride, a taller stance, and the dogs run wildly around me in what I can only believe is a common celebration of a new day.

So I haven’t been riding as much lately.

Life is still sweet.

Waking to Motorcycle Desires

I am a committed, Kool-Aid drinking Vespa scooter rider.  But on some mornings my mind strays.

Steve Williams in First Gear Kilimanjaro jacketA view from some moment in the past during a ride to work.  The Vespa and I are fast friends.  But this morning I was consumed with schemes for a motorcycle and I was reminded of another obsessive event a couple years ago when I was considering a 1988 BMW R100 GS.  If you’ve ever dreamed or conspired to bring a motorcycle into an otherwise serene home click the above link.  My wife Kim makes a rare contribution at the end the post with her observations on my machinations of desire.

It’s disconcerting to be waking to motorcycle desires.