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Why We Ride – Putting Feelings Into Words

In so many ways, it seems that the reasons that I love riding are almost intangible. When I try to string together words to sufficiently describe that love and the reasons ~ what I come up with seems trite and limp.

Last night I finally got a chance to see the movie Why We Ride. Have you seen it?

There were moments throughout the movie where I found myself overcome with emotion and a little choked up listening to the folks talking about their connection to the ride. Their love, the desire, the enrichment that motorcycles have brought to their lives and families.

Why We Ride is a glimpse into that… that thing you feel when the sun is on your back and your wheels are singing the song of the road.

Ride On.

 

Impressions: REV’IT Winter and Summer Tour Motorcycle Socks

In January ’11, I received 2 pairs of REV’IT motorcycle socks from Revzilla. One pair of Winter Tour and one pair of Summer Tour. Now with nearly a year invested in wearing them through all kinds of weather, I feel like I can finally give an opinion on them.

The REV’IT Winter Tour Sock

The materials and construction of the Winter Tour sock feel great on your feet and all the way up your calf. They are sold in size ranges to better suit leg and foot lengths. That helps to keep them from pulling down or getting bunchy. The elastic is never too tight and doesn’t pinch or cut off circulation. They’re wonderfully un-bulky.

I often wear these socks when I am not riding.

“Winter”
Are they warm like the word winter implies? Sadly, no – not really. I have yet to wear them and think “Wow, these socks really kept my feet warm!”

Verdict:

  • Expensive at $36 a pair.
  • Very comfortable, nice fit and feel.
  • Love the length of the sock, coming up just below the knee.
  • Not especially warm. They seem more like everyday socks as opposed to winter socks.
  • Knock $15 bucks off the price and drop the word winter and I would find them more enticing.

Would I buy another pair? Mmm… probably not, due to price point.

Would I be happy if I received a pair as a gift? Yes

The REV’IT Summer Tour Sock

Like the Winter Tour socks, the construction and materials feel very nice. There is a comfort in having a tall sock that is snug against the calf but not tight.

The Summer Tour have become my sock drawer darlings. They are my “go to” socks, the ones I look for first when it comes time to put my boots on.

“Summer”
Are they cooler than other socks? I am inclined to say yes. When it’s hot and your feet are next to a hot engine – it can be difficult to determine if the socks make any difference. But… what I can tell is that they handle moisture in a different way than a cotton sock would giving an overall impression of being cooler.

Verdict:

  • Expensive at $36 a pair.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Love the length of the sock, coming up just below the knee.
  • Handles moisture better than cotton.

Would I buy another pair? Yes

Would I be happy if I received a pair as a gift? Yes

The Long Shadows Were Calling Me Home

When the shadows start getting long, that’s when I start missing home. I continuously walk the line of having the curiosity of a person who likes to wander and one whose heartstrings reel them back home. Those two facets of a life can be hard to manage.

I’d wound my way around to the edge of Catskill park. This was where things started to get “familiar”. These were the roads where I cut my teeth riding.

I have to believe that everyone who leaves home finds themselves gripped by moments of loneliness. When you’re standing on the side of the road drinking things in with your eyes and there is no one to turn to and say, Did you see that? or to share an unspoken, knowing glance with – that divide can feel immeasurable. Those moments can feel like an eternity. Being “close” to home made it all that much harder.

Gripped by my own sentimental weakness, I began my decent from the atmosphere and started working towards home.

In many ways it felt like a failure that I wasn’t able to work past my suddenly overwhelming homesickness. But, the idea of sleeping in my own bed started to push those clouds away. There was just the pesky matter of already having 450 miles on the seat for the day and a solid 200 more if I wanted to head home the “un-fun” way.

Decisions, decisions…

Sometimes You Have To Go It Alone

I sat on the curb in a Pennsylvania gas station and looked up at Bill. The backdrop behind him was a rolling green mountain, under the brightest blue sky. We’d already put just about 100 miles in for the morning.

In that moment, I began to rattle off several reasons why I didn’t have to go home. That’s where we were heading on that Monday morning. I received no argument from Bill, probably because he too has a wandering heart. Instead, by 9:30am my trip plans were changed. Bill was going to continue on back to Long Island, and  I was going… north-ish?

With a hug and an ‘attagirl,‘ Bill’s high-viz jacket faded off down the road. There I sat on the curb looking over the map, trying to figure out just where the heck I would be going. I quickly scribbled some notes on a pad I took from the Holiday Inn Express and stuck it into the map pocket my tankbag.

Random Fact:
I am incapable of leaving the pen and pad a hotel room provides behind. I ALWAYS take them with me when I check out of a room.

Other than a string of route numbers, I had no plan. I was just going to do an homage to Forest Gump and keep riding until I didn’t feel like riding anymore.

There it was… that feeling of freedom that I relish when it comes. It’s the one where your inner self feels wide open, you feel  unfettered and it fills you completely like a swell. Hello, old friend.

As I cruised along under the cerulean sky, I was loose.  All the while smiling along to the song of the engine. I was doing my best to enjoy the riding itself and still have enough brainpower leftover to take in all that I was seeing. And damn, it felt good.

I stopped in the town of Shamokin to call Kenny and let him know that I wouldn’t be home as originally planned. I was going to stay out riding a little longer. He was happy that I was happy but he said he missed me.

I also let  him know I was flying solo now.  It was that statement that made him deliver the magic words that gripped me by the heart, “now i’ll worry.”

I hate those words. I hate those feelings; the ones that your other half feels – and your own that are laced with guilt at making them wonder if you’re okay.

But, that is the nature of our lives together. You’ve got to let the people you love most spread their wings and put your faith in the idea that they will do everything within their power to stay safe.

And so, with a few photos snapped in town I was off and rolling again.