It’s mid-October. Halloween is right around the corner. I just read some “two sentence horror stories” that were legitimately scary! I love this time of year. There’s a nice crispness in the air, the leave are changing colors and everything sorta just feels “right”.
Except this year… it’s been so nice for so long! It doesn’t feel like autumn. It still feels like summertime. But that doesn’t change the fact that riding season is coming to an end for us up in the snow-belt.
I haven’t blogged in a while. Mostly because I’m lazy, but also because nothing has happened lately that’s been blog worthy. Nevertheless, I want to keep this blog up and running and (mostly) current.
Your own bike
I went to meet a friend at a bar recently. I got there early and decided to wait around outside instead of waiting inside. It was a beautiful sunny day. It was warm with just enough breeze to make it comfortable. As I was standing there I noticed how filthy my bike was. Fortunately, I had a can of polish and a variety of micro-fiber rags in the saddlebag. With just a little time and effort, I was able to get it mostly presentable. I stared at it from every angle. I took in the deep, rich paint. I took in the world as it was reflected through the chrome.
As I was standing there evaluating my work, a couple other people walked by and admired my bike. I love it when that happens. Then it occurred to me, I was admiring my own bike. Is that acceptable? I sorta felt weird doing it, but maybe it’s okay. It was thoroughly enjoyable.
Another reason I love autumn so much is because this is when my close friends from high school and I all head up to the “north woods” of Wisconsin for our annual cabin weekend. The cabin is owned by my college roommate and friend. Years ago, we used to head up there to help him pull the pier in off the lake. Sadly, the township there changed the lake rules and he’s not allowed to have a pier anymore. But, we still keep going.
It’s great to get away up there. It’s in the middle of the Nicole National Forest. He has a cabin that’s been in his family for generations. It’s a little two bedroom place with a single bathroom. Being men though, we rarely make use of it.
It’s about a four hour drive from Madison to get up there. We always bring too much food, too much alcohol, too many guns and too many stories. We laugh and reminice about the old times. We catch up and talk about life changes. A few years ago, as the reality of mid-life set in, I recall having a lot of discussions about the various aches and pains we all suffer. It sucks getting old, but it’s tolerable when you get old with your friends.
Naturally, there were a lot more pictures taken, but out of consideration to my fellow cabin weekend boys… “what happens in the Northwoods stays in the Northwoods.”
Riding season is running out
Which brings me to the point of this post. Here we are in mid-October. There aren’t many more weeks where I’ll be able to get out an enjoy the road; to get out and clear my head with wind therapy.
For the past few years, I’ve made it a point to ride at least once a month, year around. January, February, etc… those are seriously cold weather rides. I told myself I did it to keep things moving in the bike…. to keep the parts moving and to keep the tires rotating. Where there might be some legitimacy in that, the reality is that I did it as a point of pride. I love it when people would look at me all bundled up on a 20 degree day and think to themselves “that dude is crazy”.
But not this year. This year, when I stow the bike for the long winter slumber, I’ll just let it be. I’ll miss her and I’ll go sit on her from time to time. Much to my wife’s chagrin, I’ll probably hug it a few times too. But I won’t fire it up until next spring.
I say that now. Check in with me on the first 40 degree day in January.