Another lovely foggy morning — one that challenges the senses as it shrouds the landscape in mystery. Fog, perhaps my favorite riding environment as it allows the imagination to run along into fabrication and fantasy. Perhaps merely a personal quirk laid bare while riding.
As I’ve continued stretching my return to riding I’ve rediscovered the joy of slow travel on a Vespa — that sense of heightened attention and awareness of detail as you move slowly along the road. If you ride or drive, you’re probably aware that you see much more at 30mph that you do at 60mph. If there is one huge drawback to motorcycles, in my opinion it’s they’re resistance to going slow. Their soul wants to run and race and transform the road into a blur. The Vespa on the other hand is content to ramble along at slow speeds and feel great doing it.
This trait above all others is why I love the Vespa. It supports my desire to make photographs; it informs my understanding of the world. And it will go plenty fast when required.
After looping across the valley to experiment with the limits of my recovering lower back I made my way into State College to have breakfast and share new photographs with my friend Paul.
During my month away from riding I restored my darkroom to operational status and have begun to shoot, process and print film negatives again. The experience has been unexpectedly rewarding. More about that in some future post.
Along with the empty streets was a near empty cafe. With only a half dozen patrons drinking coffee and reading newspapers I had no trouble finding a place for helmet, gloves and riding jacket — bulkier items than the layout comfortably accommodates.
My approaching retirement will present time to develop a few more rituals like the one that brings me to Saint’s Cafe to discuss photography (and life). Not sure what they’ll be but the prospect of exploring the options is exciting.
Paul has been sharing prints consistently for many months — digital interpretations of recent travels to Newfoundland and the American West. I’ve been sluggish in production until the recent re-firing of the darkroom.
For anyone following Scooter in the Sticks very long you’ll sense that the amount of traffic I deal with is often light. Sometimes almost non-existent — a fact that tempers risk when riding in less than ideal elements for visibility and traction. Still, I have to stress the importance of never being a complacent rider regardless of the amount of perceived traffic. It only takes one vehicle to wreck your day.
Or your life.
Hyper vigilance, practiced skills, and an ego left at home has allowed me with a broad flexibility to manage situations, or surrender the roadway when required, so I can continue to meander around and across Pennsylvania.
So to all those reading — ride well, be safe, and best wishes for clear roads ahead…