It’s 7:00 a.m. and we’re heading down Route 9 in eastern Kentucky. There’s a morning chill in the air, fifty-something degrees, tempered by the raised windshield and heated grips of the Kawasaki Concours 14 and the closed vents of the Aerostich. Sandy’s on my six with his FJR.
Directly ahead of us is a scene that we are not likely to forget; an empty road carving across a rolling landscape, an October sun rising slowly above the morning mist, and a smattering of clouds, breaking through the night with a light show like no other. It starts as a sky filled with a dim palette of magentas, reds, and oranges, the colors shifting and brightening with each passing mile. The road drops into a fog filled valley and the colors scatter and soften. The road rises and the colors intensify. The road dips again into fog and the now-risen sun is a glowing orange orb. The big Kawasaki and Yamaha are running smoothly the whole time, leaning into long sweepers, charging up hills, headlights and motors punching a hole in this magical morning landscape. This goes on for the better part of an hour, each mile memorable, each mile indescribably beautiful.
Sandy’s seeing the same spectacular light show that I’m witnessing. We’ve got bike-to-bike communicators, but we’re not talking. We’re reveling in the moment. Once or twice I think to myself, “Stop! Take a picture!” But this scene, this moment, seems too big for a photograph, too ethereal for a video.
In this Facebook and Instagram age we often feel compelled to share what we see with others. And when we ride for RoadRUNNER, it’s our job. For me, it’s an obsession, to capture an image that tells a story and transports the viewer to another place and time. But sometimes, when the story’s photos are all captured and the route run, I think to myself, “Just ride, darn it, ride.”