Learning on Two Wheels

This is what my baby looks like.I’m sitting at my favorite coffee shop near the Lake of the Ozarks (Omega Coffee) sipping on macchiato right now after a roughly 2-hour motorcycle ride down here.  Along the way I discovered that I really like taking a roadtrip on my Shadow 750.

First, I have no idea how long I’ve been riding.  My sense of time estimates is roughly equivalent of a 3 year-old; I might have been writing this particular post for 4 minutes or 3 hours – I just don’t know.  (ok, it’s not quite that bad, but it’s pretty bad)  When I’m driving my car down here I get a good feel for how long it’s been simply because I have a clock in the dash I can and often do look at.  Then it becomes almost a subliminal race to get there faster (within the speed limit, of course, officer…).  On my bike I have an odometer…and that’s it.  So if I want to venture a glance down I can see how far I’ve traveled and if I care to do math I could probably figure out how long it’s been…but that’s an awful lot of work that I’d just as soon not do.  So instead of glancing at the clock every so often I just enjoy the scenery and appreciate the ride – I’m priming myself for a relaxing weekend and “getting there faster” isn’t part of that.

Second, you get to experience a lot more.  Sometimes that’s the smell of a freshly cut field, other times it’s the unmistakable scent of cows nearby.  You get to feel the temperature drops as you dip down into a slight valley, then the warm-up as you crest the hill.  You get to hear the wind rushing against you, see pretty much everything with no distractions and feel bugs hitting your helmet (although I will say it’s a mite bit disconcerting when a big one makes a “THUNK” against your facemask when you’re going 80 the speed limit down a two-lane highway).

Those are also why I don’t ever anticipate owning a Goldwing (or the like).  I’m not riding a bike for creature comforts like radio, bluetooth connectivity to my phone or air conditioning.  Sure, it’s still a bike but I really really really enjoy the feeling of being on two wheels with no windshield, and my Shadow is perfect for that (and, honestly, is the best looking bike around, I might add).

Thus far the only thing I have discovered that I don’t appreciate quite as much is the fact that my seat sucks.  I knew this going in – that was the biggest beef I’d heard about the Honda Shadow 750 when I was researching – but I clearly did not expect that I would need to stop at least twice on the way down just to let the blood return to my butt.  I mastered the holding-the-throttle-too-tightly issue and got my legs & feet (mostly) comfortable on the pegs, but the whole can’t-feel-my-backside is really something that’s rough.  Thank heavens for the comfy chairs at Omega.

Now it’s time to disconnect and appreciate my weekend – hope you have a great one, too!

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What do you think?