RoadRUNNER Zen Motorcyclist

Hand In Glove

Sep 12, 2012 View Comments by

Cori and I recently returned from a vacation to Asheville, NC with my sister and her husband. It was a great trip, Asheville is a beautiful, vibrant, eclectic city. Unfortunately it was not a riding vacation so it turned out to be the first time I had been on the Blue Ridge Parkway without a motorcycle. Driving the parkway in a car was nice but Cori and I have ridden it together on a bike and going from a car to a motorcycle is like watching Everest on a laptop vs. seeing it in an IMAX theater; you can appreciate it but can’t get immersed in it, can’t become part of it.

Nearly everywhere you go in Asheville, there are terrific views of the surrounding mountains. The drive to see Chimney Rock and Lake Lure had me daydreaming about riding when we returned home. Once we got home, however, we were pelted with vicious and frequent thunderstorms for the better part of a week. So I hadn’t been able to ride for nearly two straight weeks, which in August is rare for me, I usually ride every day.

Today the sky is clear (for now), there’s still a threat of rain but it’s been long enough so I decided to ride the 80 mile round trip to work anyway. It’s remarkable to me how the brain and body remembers those old familiar sensations and instincts. The moment you mount up the alertness comes back, the mind immediately switches gears to ready mode and it feels as though a part of you that had been missing has come back. It’s the same way you feel around certain people, uplifted, relaxed, at home, hand in glove or “like peas and carrots” as Forrest Gump would say.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said “It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them”.  While you can’t be stupid on a motorcycle you can be blissfully carefree, relaxed and completely yourself—the way you only can around friends who truly know and accept you. When I ride again after being away from it for a time, the feeling is similar to reconnecting with a cherished friend. The thrill of reconnecting is something that is hard to duplicate and one of the true joys of riding.

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About the author

I have been motorcycle commuting since 1998. I created Zen Motorcyclist (formerly Commuting Motorcyclist) in 2011 and work as a motojournalist, software developer, CAD designer and IT/CAD manager in the Surveying and Civil Engineering field.