Where Thought and Riding Meet

There's a weird, strange thrill riding in the sticks that's hard to describe. Part visual, part physical, part spiritual. The ride is important, an anthem to living, a meditation on feeling blood and breath course through the body. Problems, opportunities, secrets and answers unfold on the road. Those discoveries fuel my ride.

Into the Night

Getting fuel for the Vespa at Sheetz

Saturday night and at home cooking dinner utilizing my limited culinary skills when I realize I need a can of mushroom soup.  For non-riders I imagine a nighttime trip to the grocery store a nuisance at best and more likely a major frustration.  For a rider like me a trip into the night is a welcome chance to ride.

I feel comfortable riding the Vespa for 125 miles before worrying about fuel.  At each fill-up I reset the trip odometer and refuel when the counter shows 70 miles.  The added trip to the gas station provided a little more riding.

Vespa scooter at Weis Market grocery store at night

Riding to pick up mushroom soup is about as mundane a ride as you can get in the United States.  I’ve spoken to three riders in the past week — one rode across country again, another had just returned from a trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway and the third from Colorado.  I rode to the grocery store for a can of mushroom soup.  But it was at night…

Vespa scooter and Mt. Nittany at night

On the way home I stopped for a picture of Mt. Nittany.  It was black and I could barely see so I decided to try a high ISO setting on my little Canon G15 — ISO 12800.  I was able to make a hand held exposure at 1/4 sec. at F2.8 of the Vespa idling in a field with the mountain in the distance. Definitely a lot of luminance noise in the picture but it does a decent job of depicting the night time world of a Vespa ride.

Home now, dinner finished, dishes done and ready to move on towards dreamland.  Glad I had an opportunity for a little ride, if only to fetch a can of soup.

Insane Motorcycle Ride

I watched this video again and just shake my head as what people do on the road.  Guts, skill or insanity?

What do you think of a superbike riding through and against traffic like Trinity did in the second Matrix movie?  Whatever it is it’s one insane motorcycle ride.

Life on the Vespa just seems pretty boring in comparison…

Routine Rides

Vespa scooter in motorcycle parking space

Ordinary moments on ordinary days in ordinary places.  My riding of late is devoid of real or imagined adventure, flights of freedom, or provocations of the mind.  Just little routine rides through town and country to meet goals and objectives.  The Vespa sits alone along Allen Street in State College, Pennsylvania early in the morning before the world awakens and goes about it’s business.

Vespa scooter in autumn forest

Autumn is racing through the central Pennsylvania forests.  I can’t keep track of the passage of time any longer as weeks have become moments.  Each ride on the Vespa through the countryside is a small gift as time slows and I can drink in a bit of the world.
Vespa at night in State College, PAThis evening I had business in town which required some level of synchronized dancing with the many pedestrians and vehicles still on the road before the witching hour.  After some days confined to the four-wheeled cage it feels nearly sublime to ride through the dark and let the night air consume me.

Someone who saw my riding jacket in hard asked me if I was riding this evening and upon confirming their suspicions just nodded their head in conspiratorial agreement to the wisdom of the act.

Riding home in the dark I knew they were already plotting their own escape into their own routine ride.

Seduced by the Morning

farm field at sunrise

I’m a morning person.  Or at least I used to be.  Eyes still spring open automatically at 6:05am regardless of when they closed.  The mind is ready but the body has begun to resist the transition from horizontal to vertical, from the dream world to the real world.  Riding one morning last week I was reminded how I’m seduced by the morning as I watched the light sweep across the fields as the sun breached the horizon.  Fog and mist glows as the day begins and I am grateful to be a witness.  I know so many people who can’t remember seeing the sunrise, don’t care actually because the bed offers a greater allure.

A road at sunriseNot every Vespa ride unwinds as a quiet, zen-like experience.  Some mornings are unwelcome packages of rush, stress and chaotic thinking allowing mere glimpses of the world.  A quick stop to drink in the day first and forget about placing the scooter in the picture.  A few seconds of freedom before moving on into the noise of the day.

On through the day with a taste of the morning lingering on the lips.  Oh, the joy of riding…