You never really know what is going to come along and sabotage your rational mind. For the last week, I’ve had a familiar and unwelcome tickle in my brain. It the one that whispers that it’s just about that time when we go careening out of control on a negativity bender. It started with the telltale sign of my disrupted sleep. Today the monster’s claws came out. I hate it when that happens. But – this is my reality and talking about it helps me to some degree.
My husband Kenny was away doing a weekend ride, my daughter Chloe was busy doing Chloe-things and so since I was flying solo, I figured I’d get out for a ride in the morning before the heat of the day. While I was out, I saw a group of riders I know. It’s a small island, after all. I stopped in where they were having breakfast. And against my better judgment, I tagged along with them when they left for a road ride. They – speedy sport riders and me – laid back on my KTM.
Though I spend 90% of my time riding solo these days, I wasn’t always this way. I used to ride with a pack of sportbike crazies all the time. I loved the speed, the rush, the dicing it up and feeling ALIVE! But… that part of me was put to bed years ago. I don’t have that drive or those desires anymore. Or, so I thought.
It was a strange sensation to watch the bike in front of me fade out of sight on the road. There was a peculiar twinge of something like jealousy battling my good sense. For a moment, I wished I was riding something with sticky tires instead of knobbies. But I settled into cruising along on the 690. When I rounded the last corner, I saw hunched shoulders and helmets tipped toward their bike’s mirrors watching to see if I’d finally caught up with them.
At that moment I realized that I have finally closed that chapter on my old riding life. I’m firmly in the puttering category. When I reached the stop sign, I leaned towards my friend and said, “I can’t do what you guys are doing. I’m going to peel off,” and I left. There was a sting to those words that I didn’t like. It felt like shame.
What was that all about? I don’t ride sportbikes anymore. I don’t care about being the slowest person in the group. But, this was different. It felt like I couldn’t do the things that I used to.