Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Perfect Riding Day

What to say...

These types of days sneak up on you. This one didn't start out all that well. It started with me waking up tired, my neck was tight and the weather didn't look promising.

After getting some coffee in me and chasing it with a solid breakfast, I was ready to face some quality TV. F1 qualifying. But Jerry had already texted me and he left me a voice mail as well, so what's a guy to do?

I grabbed the leathers and suited up, packed some raingear and cold weather gloves, just in case and headed out to meet him. It was a late day for us, with a departure after 10 am. But we were on the road nonetheless. I lost Jerry even before the freeway. Again! Undeterred I rode out to 232nd, catching the gaps and getting a good run out. Jerry rode in not 2 minutes after I got to the exit.

We set off and the pace was solid right off the bat. After a quick pass we were heading down snake hill and I went in hard. The rear end locked up and I ended up backing it in on a 30 km/h downhill blind turn. Way to start the day. A quick turn onto some quieter side streets and I put the hammer down. I kept having to roll off to keep things ... well, I was going to say 'reasonable' but that would be an outright lie. We were flying.

Our goal was to take the Ninja and the 954 out to Ryder lake and loop through some back roads. It's late in the season, my insurance is up on Sept 30th and somehow that made it all come together.

The twisties in Fort Langley were covered in gravel and sand, but it didn't slow us down. As a matter of fact, today was the fastest we've ever ridden through there (average speed wise). Nothing stopped us. The pace was wicked!

The Ninja just flowed and I seemingly could do no wrong. Besides running into a hard right too quick on Elk View and having to trail the brakes all the way past the apex, things were dialed.

We took Sylvester road further north than we normally do and there is a serious set of S's. When we got to the far side and turned around Jerry said "Amazing, there was no gravel in there. There's always gravel in those corners."

I told him we were simply going to fast. He couldn't see it.

On the way back, I was going a bit slower. Jerry saw all the sand and gravel. We had a good laugh...

I made the bike dance underneath me on Stave Lake. The rough pavement, bumps and elevation changes made things more of a three dimensional ballet than a motorcycle ride. The Ninja seemed in it's element today and my timing took the bite out of the hard bums and smoothed out the rough sections.

The last bit of decent twisty via Kanaka Way was soon approaching. On the way over on Dewdney Trunk, I took some time to relive parts of the ride. It felt good to slow down and take it easy. I glanced at the speedo and it read 110. Damn. I'd felt like I was barely above the limit. But things flowed smoothly, the sun had come up and the day was warming up nicely.

As we cruised toward a gas stop and a bit of a break a conversation came back to me. A few years ago I met Mike, whom I went to university with, on Kits beach. He was kicking back, baking in the sun and enjoying the warm summer day. As we were discussing how relaxed he looked and how often I saw him there in his lawn chair in the summers Mike told me that "This is precious time."

No Mike, this is precious time. One of the last rides of the season, your buddy and the perfect flow.

Even on the highway on the way home slicing through traffic was easier than slicing through some warm butter with a hot knife. There was always a gap. Because I always saw a gap. No need to roll on and off the throttle or jam on the brakes. Just the same steady pace, faster than the traffic around, with nothing in our way. Just playing with traffic.

Maybe it was because we knew the season is coming to a close. Maybe it was just be cause we'd run these roads so many times that we didn't think we'd be thrilled by them. Maybe it's just one of those magic days, that you can't possibly decipher.

I took no pictures today. I knew that no matter what I did, no picture could capture what was happening. It would pale in comparison, no matter how perfect the lighting or how excellent the composition.

These are days you remember in your heart. And if you're lucky, you can remember that feeling for a long time. Or at least until you have another one of these magic days.

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