Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mile 1,482: Let the Good Times Roll

My boots are still wet. Good thing I have more than one pair. The fork bag attached to my handlebars was still soaked this morning, but all it took was some wind and sunshine to air it out. Leave it open, fly down the road, and let the warm sunrise reshape the memories.

The lingering cough is still with me from Monday night, an uncomfortable reminder in caveman terms that says, "Don't forget your rainsuit!" Don't worry; I won't. That aside, the effects of mild hypothermia have waned; and the ride to work this morning was a comfortable reminder that this past weekend was about good times. Let Monday fade away.

Let this morning's sunrise tell the story of a great weekend of riding.

Last Friday, when I rolled into camp at Mandatory, found a place for Rocinante to rest, and settled on a place to pitch my tent, I heard the sounds from an adjacent camp inviting us all to the party. In his unmistakable voice, B.B. King summoned us all: "Let the good times roll!" Over-and-over again he sang the refrain.

"Let the good times roll!"

It is hard to believe that was almost a week ago.

Early this morning, I could still hear B.B. echoing the invitation as I left my housing complex on the way to work. I passed the house near ours where a mother and daughter rescue feral cats. They are currently feeding five kittens, all of which bear the names imagined by a three-year-old girl with curly hair and an unending smile. She names them according to what she sees the most. And since we live in the neighborhood together, it comes as no surprise what she named the black one.


The allure of exploring new lands has to be a part of the general human condition. Some people choose boats. Others airplanes. Still others attach campers to vehicles. And then there's those of us who bungee tents to our fenders and find our way through life on two wheels.

That is what I choose to remember about the past weekend. Seeing members of my chosen family who also explore the world on two wheels... That is what means the most. That and the ride.

The ride.

The zone we hit on the curvy roads of Highway 71.
The desolate beauty of FM 152 where the sheriff stopped to make sure I was okay as I sat with Rocinante on the side of the road just listening to the wind.
Waking up each morning and crawling out of my tent to see my trusty steed waiting there for me with anticipation in her eyes: "Is it time to go?"

Then all those memories meld together, and somehow become a part of this morning's routine ride to work.

Out of the garage.
The sound of the motor roaring to life.
Past a kitten named "Motorcycle."
Running the gauntlet of a busy Houston thoroughfare.
Turning on to the quiet street lined with trees where my office waits.
My parking spot.
And the memory I choose to file from this weekend where the good rides far overshadow the bad one.

And B.B.'s voice continues the refrain.

Let the good times roll.

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