Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mile 1,679: Nothing Happened

Happy trees and fluffy white clouds. I remember boring Saturday afternoons from my childhood summers. Everyone in my house worked, so most of my memories are of a gentle confinement to the house where I was not allowed to go outside. The happy trees and fluffy white clouds that the painting lessons guy on TV talked about with such enthusiasm were my window to a world of possibilities. Remember him? Big hair, beard, and happy trees? Probably not.

But the joy of my adulthood is due in part to my ability to roam free, to experience things firsthand that in my childhood were limited to other people's experiences I only read about in books or watched on a little black-and-white 13" screen in the 1970s and 80s.

A recent ride out in the country where the trees seemed a little greener and the sky looked a little bluer was a ride where nothing really happened. No rain. No hypothermia. No kindness of strangers needed on that day.

Nothing happened.

My wife and I rode out of Houston, travelled the planned roads up to Brenham where they make Blue Bell Ice Cream, and came back as the sun went down on an evening with no wind and a comfortable eighty degrees.

These are the rides that you hope for, that you dream about. Rides where you get into an easy zone, kick back, and take it all in.

We go through our lives meeting occasions of great stress and disorientation. The rides with the flat tires and rain storms are the ones you remember. Kind of like life itself. You do not tend to hold the days where nothing happens in your memory banks. But we long for the smooth days. Rainstorms and flat tires every day would be too much.

And while I may not remember this particular ride for long, a ride with happy trees and fluffy white clouds, it is the one we live for. Everything goes smoothly and according to plan. We may think that would be boring, too. But after having gone through so many storms, I would be willing to try boring for a while.

That's not just true of motorcycling.

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