Years ago while on our way back to college in Western Maryland, my friend Rick and I stopped at a wide spot by the road next to the Potomac River. We simultaneously picked up rocks and hurled them into the current. Rick opined that it's impossible to stand on the banks of a river and not throw a rock. I understood then and I understand today. I guess like rocks to water, some things are so deeply instinctual that they just happen. I've been swearing I wouldn't, but I simply can't resist breaking into a Schuberth-muffled rendition of "Sweet Home Alabama" as I cross the state line.
I know, Lynyrd Skynyrd is from Florida, but, hey, a rock anthem is a rock anthem, the rain hasn't started yet, and the mood is good. I'm barreling down Route 72 on the laugh-a-minute Aprilia Tuono headed toward Huntsville, Alabama, and the beginning of a new tour. Keeping the speed at a level the Alabama State Troopers consider acceptable is proving to be somewhat difficult. I don't know whether to blame the overly spirited Tuono or the spirit of speed that seems to hang in the hills like today's low, heavy clouds. Whatever the sensation, it has a palpability that's undeniable. I'm sure it's the same feeling that keeps the pedal pinned to the firewall at Talladega and the knee sliders on the asphalt at Barber Motorsports Park. Anyway, I'm getting the distinct feeling that I may not make it out of Alabama without a court date.