Bachin’ It

Oct 12, 2013 View Comments by

Bachin’ ItMy usual riding companion, my wife Sharon, is away occasionally for out of town work, and as my grandmother used to say, I’m “bachin’ it” while she’s gone. Our usual Sunday breakfast ride is something we both look forward to, and without her here, I’m tempted to eat at home and tackle the perpetual list of chores that comes with home ownership.

Staring out the window at the morning mist highlighted in the rising sun, I changed my mind and decided to take a solo breakfast outing and de-stress on the Ducati for a few hours. It turned out to be “one of those rides,” and I mean that in the best sense of the phrase. After finishing a good book on my Kindle along with the usual full breakfast special with coffee at Aladdin’s in Granville, I head outside to blue skies and the solo seat of the awaiting red Ducati.

I head north a few miles to top off the tank with ethanol-free gas, and then begin a three-hour meandering path that eventually leads me back home. I’m familiar enough with the roads to navigate without maps or my GPS, but I choose the route turn-by-turn and take some new roads in the hope that they’ll pop me out somewhere I recognize, which they do. Riding the same area for several decades does have its benefits.

I’m barely into the ride when I realize that I’m possibly experiencing the most intense form of relaxation that a conscious person can have. I’ve just had a perfect breakfast, and I’m on the perfect bike, on perfect roads, in perfect weather. There is no agenda other than getting home whenever I choose, and I’ve somehow managed to clear my mind of the myriad of nagging details that continually enter my thoughts.

The muted rumble of the big Italian twin is barely audible over the rushing wind as the bike flows effortlessly over the nearly empty roads, weathered fence posts flash with strobe-like timing in my peripheral vision. The roads twist through emerald fields of knee-high corn and freshly cut hay, and newly rolled bales dot the hillsides. I find myself along small, fast-flowing scenic rivers several times. Century-old farmhouses, freshly whitewashed barns with tin roofs glinting in the sun, and cattle grazing while lazily swatting flies with their tails cap off the calendar-perfect visual experience.

Anything this good can’t last forever, and I reluctantly head for home before the morning’s mileage dictates another gas stop. I make one final concession to sheer indulgence, stopping for a root beer shake at a small town near home. As luck would have it, they’re out of root beer syrup, and I’ve got to settle for chocolate instead. Somehow, I think I’ll manage to deal with the disappointment.

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