It’s a wet Saturday morning in Maggie Valley. It’s July but it feels like early May. The clouds are low, shrouding the surrounding hills and dumping thick, fat raindrops on the grass, gravel, road, and helmets and hats and umbrellas of all assembled. As the drops land, they make a percussive sound that seems to be saying, “I will sting you at high speed. I will find my way into your underwear and make your day miserable.”
Most normal and sane human beings would wake up, look outside and sensibly roll over for another thirty minutes of shut-eye. After all, what’s the rush to start the day when it’s so dreary outside? I too might have hit the snooze, but I am leading a dozen riders into this muck, and so I go. We must look like hi-vis goslings as we paddle down the street, buttoned and zippered and velcroed to within an inch of our lives in gear that promises to breathe but more often than not just gasps. Why do we put ourselves through this?
Let’s face it – motorcycles don’t make sense at all. They are anachronisms in this modern age. They are dangerous, inconvenient, and unsheltered. Economy cars often get better mileage, and that’s with the air conditioning turned on. Spock (the Vulcan, not the pop parenting doctor) would find them illogical.
But some riders are as illogical and nonsensical as their mounts. Yes, I’m talking about you. You travel great distances exposed to the elements for the chance to ride in big zig-zag loops with other lunatics. You stay off the efficient and convenient interstates every chance you get and choosing routes that literally take all day to get nowhere. You complain about the heat. And then don your gear and continue on. You complain about the rain. And then don your gear and ride on. You stop and gather around the lunch table and all you talk about is getting on your bikes and riding. Until after the cows come home. For as long as your credit cards and bank accounts and employers can bear. Ride. Rinse. Repeat. Ad infinitum. E pluribus horsepower.
Within 45 minutes, the rain relents, and we are treated to turn after turn of pitch perfect pavement. We are like a conga line at a wedding, a mobile Macarena. We are dancing on our footpegs, tapping on our floorboards, giggling inside of our helmets. By most standards of the day, we are not well, but we are together and we are happy. We are alive. We are RoadRUNNERs.
Ride on RoadRUNNERs. Ride on.