Tag: Triumph

Last Night I Dreamt of Ravens

Last Night I Dreamt of Ravens

Raven sculpture and Triumph Bonneville

Last night I dreamt of ravens; ravens hiding amongst a murder of crows. Try as they might to unassumingly blend with the other corvids, I saw them as clear as day. True greatness cannot remain hidden. Like water against rock, it fights it’s way free.

Raven, did you come to warn me of misfortune or perhaps betrayal? Was your prophecy that of wisdom? I want to take heed but as in so many matters, I simply do not understand. In the off chance you are taking requests, a message from the god of truth and healing would be nice. Living with the knowledge that I know so little is a new paper cut each day.

You’ve come to me many times in the last year, Raven. More times than in the sum of my whole life. You have been calling out on well-worn paths. But, until recently, I never saw you, never heard your voice. Were you always there while I was busy sleepwalking?

One autumn afternoon, I heard you before I could see you. You were invisible, or my eyes were blind. I know not which. There was only your call carried on the wind. Though we’d not met, I knew your voice, I knew it was you on the far side of my sight. The omniscient voice told me that there was something more beyond my reach. But, the first step was to believe.

Do you remember when you called to me from the leafless tree over the river? It was just you and me. I stood listening as the sun reflected on your blue-black wings; you told me a secret. The knowledge was only for me. When the strangers came to see you, you said nothing more and I knew it was time for me to go. Were you there to guide my soul towards a new life?

That morning in the rain, you perched exposed, silently watching the fog. There were many places nearby in which to seek shelter, to shield yourself from the harshness of the elements. But you sought them not. Head down, you did not turn away from discomfort. You met it head on, diminishing its power over you. My wish for you was a laurel wreath.

Was that you, Apollo? 

My Bonneville – The Great Equalizer

My Bonneville – The Great Equalizer

Some people take it as a personal affront when their motorcycle wave isn’t returned by another rider. I’m not one of them. I wave because I want to. Or sometimes, I don’t because I simply don’t feel like it. Overall though, you could say I’m more of a waver than not. It’s almost like an automatic behavior.

Something as innocuous as what amounts to a “Hello! We share the same interest!” has some underlying barrier that dares not be crossed for some riders. That barrier seems to be bike-genre. When a pack of 20 riders won’t return a wave? It’s more than just one person not paying attention or not feeling like it.

For cryin’ out loud, it’s a wave, a friendly hey, man. We’re not getting married because of it. And I know and agree – who fucking cares if someone doesn’t wave back? But, I am curious about people and what makes us tick. So, I find myself questioning why we size each other up and deem the worthiness of such a greeting. As people do we always come back to us versus them?

Because I own different styles of motorcycles, I experience firsthand different levels of interaction. My experiences have demonstrated that far and away, the Bonneville is the most equalizing thing I ride. My KTM? Not quite the same reception.

I dunno. I don’t really have a point to any of this. This was all the result of reflecting on some interactions over the last few weeks.

Keep on wavin’. Or not.

The Blossoming Romance with the Bonnie

The Blossoming Romance with the Bonnie

In the fall of 2015, the Bonneville came home as something of an impulse buy. I hadn’t been lusting over one for months or years. And the truth is, I didn’t need it. I just wanted it. As a result, up until recently, it hadn’t been ridden with the same enthusiasm you might approach something you’d been longing for. Instead, the Bonnie has been a slow burn – the flame getting brighter and brighter over time.

For some time, I’ve considered moving away from my Tiger. Not because there is anything wrong with it. Quite the opposite, really. It is me that is different. My comfort level and wants have changed. The Tiger is an excellent sport-tourer; a great workhorse for the fast-paced, mile-munching trips that I am inclined to knock out. But, now? I don’t want that.

What do I want? I want easy.

I’ve tried to explain the feeling of dealing with a top-heavy bike while on tiptoes to Kenny. As a tall drink o’ water, he can listen and try to be sympathetic but will never know the experience firsthand. Though in my mind we see eye to eye, he’s a bit taller than me.

I am the luckiest girl in the world <3

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Over the years you learn to compensate for all the things that might be less than ideal about your too tall, too heavy bike. And there may be long periods of time in which you are perfectly fine happy, with the situation. You love the bike, you’re more than willing to do what you need to to ride it. But sometimes, you change. I think that’s where I am now.

Enter the Bonneville

The Bonneville, while peppy doesn’t offer any punch when you crack the throttle. I often refer to it as gentlemanly.  It’s front brake is… okay. It’s rear suspension, a little jarring. Yet in spite of those things, it is a pleasure to ride. Perhaps because of those things? I don’t know.

Performance or lack thereof aside, I hadn’t really considered what a relief it would be to ride a small bike all the time. What a great feeling it is to be able to pull over and put both of your feet flat down on the ground anywhere; to be able to park wherever the hell you want to without worrying if you can swing the sidestand around; without worrying if you and the bike will topple over as you try to dismount while one-footing on uneven ground. These may sound like nothing things, but I’ve come to realize that worrying about them makes you have to consider what you’re doing. That’s the opposite of easy.

The ability to effortlessly handle your motorcycle at low or no speed with surefootedness is something I didn’t know I needed or wanted. Now that I have it, I love it. As someone who likes to pull over on the side of the road to look at stuff and take pictures? This carefree hop-on-hop-off ability is a joy.

Cheers to a blossoming romance. Let’s go somewhere!

Low and Slow, The Way to Go

Low and Slow, The Way to Go

Thanks to my inseam, for the most part, I can ride any bike. Some with more comfort than others but the possibility is usually there. Though it’s not really the riding but rather the stopping where things can get weird. It is true that I do often tippy-toe. Over time I’ve developed varying degrees of comfort with that depending on the bike. Weight, the center of gravity, width of the tank – all of that stuff plays in.

I’ve tried to convey to my tall drink o’ water husband what a relief it is to be able to wheel around something low-slung like the Bonneville. Things like:

  • Being able to pull over on any roadside without fear of toppling over because you don’t have good footing is a joy.
  • Being able to get on or off of it without calculation.
  • NOT having to think about where to park.
  • Putting both feet completely on the ground… at the same time!

Though compensating for your lack of stature becomes second nature, when you don’t have to do it you become acutely aware of how wonderful that is.

Low and slow is the way to go! (for now 😉 )

My Motorcycle is a Daydreaming Machine

My Motorcycle is a Daydreaming Machine

Riding my motorcycle is where I work stuff out. The ride provides the space in which my mind is as free to roam as my wheels. Probably further. It’s where I get to dust off the secrets obscured by what I think I should think. Thoughts are gently coaxed out by the thrum that passes from the heart of my engine in to my own.

The daydreaming machine.