Saturday, May 24, 2008

Riding in the Rain

It was an epiphany of sorts. Most people tend to agree; the weather this year is a bit odd. Vegas' weather is no different.

Last week I remember riding home from work and seeing a thermometer along the way that read 110F. I was prepared; I was hydrated and wore my mesh. Perhaps a bit of my background is necessary here.

There is no hiding it. My boss knows. My co-workers know. My friends and family know. I HATE Las Vegas and dislike the desert. It has always seemed to be a combination of public attitude and culture (or lack thereof) in combination with the weather that provided the catalyst for these feelings.

But in that 110 degree sun, in my mesh, on my motorcycle, my road of life turned 90 degrees. 'This is actually fun,' I thought. This heat, this thing that I had disliked for years was now a challenge. A challenge that had not been felt for years to this intensity.

For more than thirty years of my life I reveled in the challenge of withstanding wind and rain and storms and tornadoes and snow and sleet and hail. It made my adrenalin flow, life being lived, not survived or tolerated. Now, on my motorcycle, the heat is a challenge that I gladly confront. I do not shy away from it as before, searching out an air conditioned enclosure or facade. The hot wind of motion blows through my mesh and it feels good.

Today, with the seeming oddity of recent weather, it was cold. 56 degrees when hopped on my bike to run a few errands. It felt good. The weather did not disappoint. The low hanging clouds did as most clouds do; rain. It felt good.

Being the first time I have ever ridden in the rain, all movements and changes of throttle and brake and lean were incredibly measured and monitored. The flood of stimulus fed a starving brain. Rain came down, hitting my visor, running off in streams. Rain drops, then little pellets of sleet happily stung my legs through saturated denim.

My motorcycle seemed to love it as much as I did. She ran smooth and gentle through puddles on saturated pavement. Tires efficiently gripping the road, she carefully and safely carried my soul.

On my motorcycle, perhaps Las Vegas and the desert isn't so bad.

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