August 23, 2021
I have been grounded like a back-talking teenager from a stupid summer cold that has ruled my life for the past month. NJ deserves and demands clarity. Our only time together has been a few dustings and a hopeful check on her tire pressure. It was sadly down… her version of running a fever.
My son was going to ride his Tiger 900 to work… his bike is named Coyote… Coyote the Tiger. I decided to join him. His work is just 2 miles away, and I feel my best in the morning hours.
At the first turn, I was overjoyed! It is ¼ mile to the stop sign. First gear, click, clutch, second gear, click, clutch, throttle, clutch, click, break for the stop sign. All clear, turn, first gear, second, third, wind on my face… we are becoming one again. I lean left and right, giving her tires a hug.
In less than 3 minutes, we turn into his parking lot for work. I am not ready to be done.
I turn right on Adams, so I can take Placentia home. It has these curves running through Banning Ranch, just prior to Estancia High School that feel like a country road. I am talking about a stretch that might be as long as a mile, but it brings me joy. I lean with the curves. I inhale the scent of dry grass. It is cloudy this morning, a blanket of grey keeps the summer morning cool. I feel the air all around me in my mesh summer jacket.
I turn right again onto Victoria. Victoria sits high through Costa Mesa, then drops going into Huntington Beach, giving an awesome view of the Pacific as I cross the Santa Ana River towards home. The air cools and the aroma of the sea comes upon me. I don’t want to be done. I don’t want my time with NancyJean to end, I feel alive and strong when I ride.