Carpe Diem

… we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really.

How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more? Perhaps not even that.

How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty?

And yet it all seems limitless.

 

– Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky

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It’s all about the swish

Meandering Miscellanea

Once one learns how, there is no greater joy for a motorcyclist than a well-executed line on a wiggly road. That’s why wiggly roads are so highly prized among the two-wheel crowd.

Photo1A well-executed line is fast, smooth and safe. A celebration of skill. Turns start wide and finish narrow. The line rocks from apex to apex without abrupt or awkward steering, braking, or gear changes. The bike leans without scraping and stays where it belongs, not too close to either the right edge (there be monsters) or the center line (there be bigger monsters). There’s a thrill. There is swish.

From my house, it takes about two hours each way to get to and from the twisties in the mountains. Going and coming, we pay the price in the interstate free-for-all or urban traffic. In hot weather or rush traffic, the last hour home is horrible, no matter how…

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Some folks like to getaway… #backroads #motorcycles

April 2011 was the last time we’d taken off for “them thar hills”. We conquered The Dragon last time we went.

Great Roads of Western NC

This year Dad suggested we head up to the same area to the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge in Stecoah, NC with a bunch of folks from the BMW club (none of us have a BMW, but they tolerated us).

We rode up Thursday under beautiful Carolina skies. At night we sat around the campfire with the rest of the Iron Butt riders (from as far away as Seattle, Ohio, and Jacksonville), and swapped stories and lies.

Friday it rained all day. Even lost power for a few hours. Just as well since four guys in a cabin tend to keep each other awake snoring despite ear plugs. All but a few of us stayed in, ate, took naps, followed the pursuit of the Boston bombing suspects on CNN, told more lies, shot some pool, and discovered how good bourbon can taste out of a styrofoam cup.

Saturday, we took off to run the Cherohala Skyway . It was a very cold run for the first couple of hours until the sun bathed us. We hit the Hiwassee Dam so Dad could get his contest points, and then stumbled upon the Tellicafe in Tellico Plains, TN. for some lunch. I had the soup of the day: Green Tomato & Ham. Let’s just say it was… interesting.

Sunday we headed back to Charlotte by way of the sexy curvy 28 onto Highlands, and then through Chesnee and home.

Hate we lost Friday to rain, but we still logged some mileage and good times.

Total miles 835
Total hours moving: 17; 05
Moving average: 48.9
Max speed 80.8

I sold my 2000 VStar 1100 Classic last summer. Having recently lost his Father, my martial brother – Instructor Jay Jarrell from King Tiger Tae Kwon Do offered his ’99 Special Edition Harley Low Rider for the weekend excursion. How’s that for friendship? Can’t thank him enough for allowing me another great memory bonding with my Brother and Dad. Thanks Jay!

Inspiration Called.

Dain

Dain

My big Brother Dain was enroute to his client meeting in South Carolina. We hadn’t talked in about a week. For 29 minutes we measured and weighed our latest business successes and challenges.

He told me to check out Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech on YouTube for some inspiration.

Good call. I needed it.

“…it ain’t about how hard ya hit.” ~ Rocky Balboa inspirational speech.

Rocky Balboa

Still one of my favorites. 

“…it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

“You ain’t gonna believe this, but you used to fit right here.

I’d hold you up to say to your mother, “This kid’s gonna be the best kid in the world. This kid’s gonna be somebody better than anybody I ever knew.” And you grew up good and wonderful. It was great just watching you, every day was like a privilege. Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow.

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that! I’m always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens.

You’re my son and you’re my blood. You’re the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, ya ain’t gonna have a life. Don’t forget to visit your mother.”

#BackRoads Musings: Easter Sunday

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Outstanding day enjoying the Easter Sunday weather. Nothing but sun, and some cloud streaks across the Carolina skies.

My “bad boy” biker attire must’ve been convincing this morning. Some elderly man and his wife in a minivan caught me at the red light just up the road from my neighborhood; “Take a right at the next light-we’ll see you in Church”.

Guess my appearance implied I was “lost”. I had a few replies in mind, but time didn’t permit. I just smiled and rode on. Bet I could open their minds a bit on the backroads soaking in some nature vs. a sermon.

Father, brother Dain and I did one of our “short” runs to Morrow Mtn. We were craving pavement so Dain took us the long way in through Hwy 742 to 52. Loved it. Did some “Biker Fellowship” and socializing on top of Morrow, then headed back. About 130 miles total.

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As an “Ad Man” myself, Church Marketing on kiosks along the backroads always make me chuckle on these rides. They try to keep up with Madison Avenue with catchy phrases and cute references.

Two I saw today:

“1 Cross, 2 Nails, 4 Given”

(I think those numbers are a lttle off but hey…)

And the other:

“You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down. Happy Easter”

So creative.

As my brother says…“I’d rather be on a bike thinking about the universe and discovering it than sitting in a pew thinking about riding my bike”.  Or something like that.