Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Back on the horse...

As mentioned elsewhere in this blog I got knocked off my GSXR nearly 6 months back. I haven't been on a bike since.

Years ago I suffered a major wallop which got me a couple of hundred stitches, several surgeries, one big metal rod, a collection of scars (including one over my eye that makes me look a lot tougher than I am) and a slight list (and limp) to port. Had this latest hit come from starboard my gait might have evened out. Alas, this was a port side assault as well, and though it wasn't as bad as it could have been, it was worse than it felt at first. Somewhere deep in my left ankle something is squished or bruised or barely hanging. Have you heard the, "How bad is the pain on a 1 to 10 scale" thing? Once a day or so I get a stab that is at least a 7, maybe a 7.5, so the limp is a bit more pronounced. A severed tendon in my left hand has immobilized half my little finger. It hangs out there just so; proper etiquette the next time I have tea with the Queen.

None of this matters really, life is what life is. Even if winter had not intervened there would have been no riding for yours hand to clutch with, no foot to shift with. Now Spring has sprung, hand and foot are at least manageable, and each bike that passed had me a little jealous. As a hint to how hard I fell for this sailing thing, replacement bike funds were gladly spent on The Tartan. Still, self-image is often slow to change. I have always been "a biker," and it stings a little to be without a ride. The good news is Deb is also a biker, her ZX-14 lives in the garage, and she allowed as I could take it out to play. (The woman clearly loves me, lending me her bike...)

Gearing up I was a mildly curious as to how this would go. Before the Mercedes I would have sworn that, if I saw you coming, there was no way you could get me. A bike can out-turn, out-brake and out run any car likely to be on public roads, and after 30 years and a quarter million miles I felt pretty confident I would see you coming. A left finger and foot now remind me this is not so. There are people out there who are better at crashing than I am at riding. A sobering thought...

...that preoccupied me for oh, about a block. The fact is it really isn't safe out there. Somewhere, sometime, no matter what we do, something is going to get us. Mercedes, tsunami, falling mast, whale attack, too many visits to Burger one gets out alive. Makes your choice, takes your risk, lives your life.

It was good.

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