Over the last six years I had become accustomed to riding almost every day, but with this winter’s riding layoff I knew that my skills would be rusty. Consequently, since spring arrived I’ve been going on short, 200 mile runs to get back up to speed. It doesn’t take long to clean up the rusty reflexes, balance and friction-zone control, but breaking in a sore butt and a tired back certainly takes a while.
There’s no doubt that daily riding keeps one conditioned for the rigors of the road. Scanning ahead, using the mirrors regularly, checking intersections, vehicle separation, watching for left-turners or people talking on cell phones or eating or opening a car door in your path — all becomes second nature for a rider’s safety. When you’re invisible, it pays to treat everything as a hazard. Daydreaming — especially when riding in cities and towns — isn’t allowed.
City riding on a regular basis is boring, as far as I’m concerned. There’s nothing I dislike more than stop-and-go impeding the enjoyment of my chosen lifestyle. Plenty of others will ride up and down those same streets like it was Friday night, going nowhere or hitting the peeler bar and nightclub circuit with friends. Not me. My preference is for the open road where the ride is the enjoyment. Getting there is more than half the fun, and when the destination arrives, the gypsy in me is anxious to be just a little farther down the road.
So, once again I’m happy to know that I am going to be saddlesore again after the winter. Fortunately, it was a mild winter with the ground mostly barren of snow, and that allowed many others to get in their share of winter riding.
No matter how long the wait, I’ll take the open highway over that every time.