Just What The Doctor Ordered: Two-Wheeled Therapy

After three days of being cooped up in the house, trying to get it back into a pre-‘Busa state of cleanliness and getting progressively more miserable, I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I am to get my lethargic, half-depressed butt out of bed, gear up and go for a ride. I mumbled something along the lines of: “I don’t have anywhere to go.” Like that ever stopped me before, as if I ever needed a Point B. Hubby just replies: “You’re going to Calhoun Falls, SC.” More apathetic mumbling from under the covers. “Get up, get dressed, I’m not leaving until you’re in your leathers. And I’m running late for work.” With that I dragged my unwilling bum out of bed and into my gear. I punched the destination into my GPSr. I watched hubby leave in the car (he wrecked his bike, so it’s the cage for him) and I briefly thought about going back inside in a display of you’re-not-the-boss-of-me defiance. However, it doesn’t take much for me to succumb to the Power of ‘Busa. I looked at The Fat Lady sitting there, alone and neglected for the past three days, and I almost felt ashamed. Then I heard it. Her call. It was but a whisper. As I threw my leg over, I wondered if I still knew how to ride… all doubts were erased as I rolled down the drive, put her in gear and eased out the clutch. It took me a few miles, but I found my usual rhythm. The Fat Lady and I, we were BFFs again. As the miles rolled past, my self-imposed misery slowly faded into nothingness and I began to feel my usual happy self again. I was in the zone. The place my mind goes when I’m riding. There is no room for thoughts unrelated. When I ride, I can’t think of anything else. I tried. My mind goes wonderfully blank. When I’m in the zone, nothing (else) matters. Just me, the bike, and the application of skill and situational judgment. The reverie of woman and machine was rudely interrupted by a pickup truck faking right then dodging left. We’re out in the middle of nowhere, road is boringly straight, devoid of traffic, except for the rust bucket in front of me. He turns on his right turn-signal, appropriately slowing. All the signals are there, I think nothing of it. The road is clear. The yellow is dashed, so I signal left and get over into the other lane to pass him. The next thing I know I see his tailgate right in front of me. WTF? I brake, hard. I feel the front wanting to wash out. I release the brake and give the Fat Lady’s right grip a desperate push, she immediately obeys and starts swerving right, hard. I clear the truck just in time, since I am now dangerously close to running out of my lane and off the edge of the road. I push hard leftt. Again, she doesn’t disappoint and does what she’s told. We finally straighten up and I turn around to look at my ‘assailant’ and he’s sitting at the beginning of the dirt road he had turned so shamefully into, staring at me, in what I can only interpret as disbelief, with his CELL PHONE STILL GLUED TO HIS LEFT EAR, with his mouth hanging open.

I don’t even take the time to show him the middle-digit salute. I’m angry. I grip it and rip it and am outta there. I have to force myself to slow back down into double digits and to finally settle into doing the speed limit (more or less). I’m surprised that I’m not even scared. Last time I had this close of a call, I had to eventually pull over and process, so I could get myself back together. And that took a few hours until my brain finally let go of its preoccupation of analyzing and replaying the mess over and over and wanting to find meaning where there is none. Nothing now. Just anger. And that scares me. Never mind that I came very close to high-siding my ass over a truck (if I’m lucky) or into it (if I’m not). Never mind that I could have sustained serious injury (if I’m lucky) or died (if I’m not). I’m supposed to be scared. Nothing I can do about it. It is what it is, no sense trying to figure out why. It takes me a few miles and the incident is all but forgotten, filed into the ‘Shit Happens (Too Close For Comfort)’ folder under the ‘Cell Phone-toting Inattentive-Driving-Is-Not-Against-The-Law Would-Be Killers’ directory, no doubt. I finally get to Calhoun Falls, SC, turn off the routing on the GPSr and keep on going, enjoying the ride. By the time I get home I have 175 miles on the clock and a recharged spirit. I think I left the funk somewhere between Greensboro and Saluda.

It was so windy on that bridge I was afraid to get off the bike. I did want a piccie of us, so I had to settle for this or risk picking The Fat Lady up off the ground. I wonder if a gust of wind could push over a 573-pound ‘Busa… wasn’t gonna risk it. Getting back up to speed was a slalom race. It’s times like these I’m glad I don’t ride something lighter.


Somewhere between Saluda and North Augusta something totally awesome happens. Squidly. Irresponsible. And totally awesome:

God bless lead-foots in pickups. I’m rolling toward North Augusta, getting kind of annoyed with the slightly sub-speed limit pace the two cagers in front of me are setting and am extremely tempted to bust over that double-yellow and find a nice airy spot for myself in front of these rolling speed bumps. C’mon people, the two extra miles per hour will not kill you! Then there’s that annoying harmonica effect that happens when those bums use their cruise controls in the hilly parts. I get bored pretty easily, so I amuse myself with a little counter-steering practice and weave back and forth in my lane. Dude behind me backs off, apparently he’s afraid I’m going to fall over. This, by the way, is a very good tactic to shake tailgaters. Most people do get the point and get off your pipes. This goes on for a few miles and I finally lose my patience. I really do try to keep the squiddy stuff to a minimum, especially when there are witnesses with cell phones around, but I get testy when my moving average drops below 50. Screw it, I’m going to pass these ‘tards. There are three of them now. I check my mirrors, signal left, do a head check and what do I find in my blind spot? Two dudes in a pickup truck, the younger of which is glued to the glass on the passenger side, and they both are checking me out. Heh. Girl on a bike! Girl on a bike! This is a pretty regular occurrence. I’ve had people hanging out of windows with their camera phones taking pictures; yelling kudos at me; making phantom wheelie motions with their hands; asking for my phone number; trying to get me to race them in their muscle cars; asking me to give them rides or LET THEM ride it (ROFL). All in a day’s ride when you’re a chica on a Hayabusa. ☺ They look to be a father-son team, but that, of course is just an assumption on my part. Slightly bemused, I wonder how long they’ve been next to me. Guess, I’ve been slacking off on my mirror checks. They pace me for a few seconds longer and then Daddy punches it. I’m right behind them. We pass all three cars and get back into our own lane. I can’t help myself. I try to fight the impulse, but I can’t. I have a feeling about this… It takes one to know one: A couple of squids on two axels. I signal and get back over. I pass them, hesitating slightly when I’m even with the driver side mirror, give them both a broad smile and an appreciative nod and rip it. The Fat Lady, as usual doesn’t disappoint. I know the girl just loves it when I let her off her leash a little. The road ahead is devoid of cars so I blast on down the road, tiger ears laid back and tail flapping violently against the back of my helmet, somewhere in the lower triplets. I slow down briefly to crest a hill and long enough to check out if the coast is clear and then roll it back on to about 110 or so. I’ll be damned if those two aren’t still behind me and are gaining. In a rusty-ass beat up POS pickup. God Bless America! What do these boys have under the hood? I’m not well versed in the way of pickups, but I find this feat impressive. I giggle to myself and slow down more to give them a chance to catch up faster. They blow right past me, and it looks like both of them are having a blast. Bring it on, dudes! I’m all for some friendly little redneck racing, but it isn’t me the coppers are going to pull over for exceeding the posted speed limit. I’m not known in these parts. ☺ Funny, how speeding in a group makes it all better. *dies laughing* I let them get ahead a little ways and then catch up, expediently. I pass them again, including the car in front of them. They keep up this time and also pass the car. This high-speed backwoods pursuit is finally cut short when traffic gets heavier as we near some nameless town. It’s back to speed limit or something close to it. Party’s over. After a few miles they finally turn off as our paths again separate. Weeeeeee! That was fun. I’m glad I could entertain. Any time, dudes, any time. ☺ I wonder if Sonny now wants a motorcycle…


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