The temperature is hovering around 45 degrees this morning with a projected high of 50 and the roads are wet from an all-night rain. Conventional wisdom would say this is not a motorcycle day despite the fact that I really need one. I have to write and submit a newspaper article by 5:00 this afternoon and all of my ideas seem to have gone to sleep or disappeared entirely. One of the beauties of freelancing is having the freedom to do whatever you need to do to jumpstart your brain and get things flowing again. For me, a motorcycle ride usually does the trick.

So low temperatures, wet roads and conventional wisdom be damned. I put on an extra layer of clothes, gather up some basic writing materials, towel off the bike, and head out. It is cold though, and the roads are just slippery enough to make the bike feel unsteady. I need to get in sync with motorcycle, relax into the ride.


I focus on the thrumming of the engine and the interplay between what I am doing physically and how the bike responds. In any conditions, the physics involved in riding a motorcycle is fascinating. At least as far as I as I can follow, which is only enough to appreciate it and ignite my imagination. I start to envision myself at one with the bike. The wind goes from icy to invigorating. I can feel the twists and turns in my gut, the tires gripping the road.


About an hour into the ride, I am in the midst of the motorcycle high I was looking for, and as if on cue, the sun overpowers the clouds and the temperature taps up a few degrees higher than expected.


It doesn’t always work like this, but it works today. The ideas I had for the article reappear in my mind and are wide awake now, ready to party. I start looking for the right place to stop, set up my computer, and take another crack at the article. I know the spot the minute I see it.


Oh yeah, this will work just fine.

By the way, I’d like to give a shout out to those of you who wrote me at telling me that you missed the motorcycle trip posts this year. A flexible schedule and excellent weather made 2016 the best motorcycle-riding year of my life and I had every intention of posting some of my trips but somehow never got around to it.

I will go back through my journals and my pictures and see if I can put a couple together for you over the next week or two. So thanks for reaching out … and stay tuned!

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