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GOING THE DISTANCE
PHOTO BY GENGHIS
SHE CALLS TO ME.
True bikers know what I'm rappin' about. You hardcores out there can relate to my words because you live it and you love it. The thing is, try expressing it in words to straights. It's well nigh impossible.
You know about The Urge. Ya start feelin' it the night before. A slight unease, as if you should be doing something but you aren't. You can't even put yer finger on it. Eventually though, the thought solidifies in your mind as images of your Harley flash through your mind, first fleeting then increasingly coherent and contiguous. Soon, it's all you can think about: The sights, sounds and smells that surround and emanate from your motorcycle. The sensations of the vibrations transferring from her handlebars to your fingers, heading up your hands and arms like a sexual advance on your old lady, hot, steamy and urgent---until the full impact of the road is felt by your compliant shoulders. Your shoulders shake with pleasurable shrugs as your back and neck join the party. Your traps, lats and rhomboids tingle from each and imperfection found by your front tire, like a lover receiving subtle release. It's like the euphoria when the acid starts to hit, but not as intense. The feeling is more of an A-Constant, more permanent and real. It is what we live for, baby. Some of ya out there are sayin' to yerselves...."How does Genghis know what I feel...?
I know, man. It's what I've been feeling for four decaades, and I feel it now as strongly as I did forty years ago. The Urge. I began feeling it last night. It got so strong by the time I laid my head down to rest, that sleep took a long time coming. It was the anticipation, man. I couldn't wait to get to sleep so I could wake up and satisfy my urge. The Urge. In the morning, the TV expelled a weather report..."Cold and blustery with winds reaching fifty miles per hour...a wind advisory is on for those traveling the highways today...." Perfect. I'll be in the wind. I got dressed quickly at 3:58 A.M., even though I wouldn't be leaving the house for a couple of hours. I wanted to gas up before riding and the gas station on Houston Street won't open until six o'clock. But I was so anxious, that I got dressed early, with sounds of my Harley 74, Mabel---filling my head. Patty said, "You goin' out Hon? I said, "Yeah, gonna take Mabel out." Sharing this information with Patty made The Urge reach a crescendo in my brain. Can ya hear strains of Steppenwolf singing those immortal lyrics?
Six o'clock. Gotta book, man! Out in the street the wind is tearing the trees new assholes. Leaves and twigs litter the sidewalks, and mini-tornadoes make leaves do a circular mambo. When I get to Mabel's outdoor parking lot, there are cardboard boxes crashing around, motorvated by the aforementioned 50 MPH winds. I took off the new bike cover that I bought just this week from J & P Cycles. The old cover was thoroughly shredded by the torrents of wind, rain and snow endured the last two years. These covers don't last forever in NYC. Patty's F-150 "Amy" is in the same lot, so Amy doubles as a storage area for helmets, 60 weight oil, chain lube and whatever else is in Mabel's makeup kit. I lock Mabel's cover in Amy for safekeeping when we ride.
Can ya feel it now? By this time, The Urge in me has hit a fever peak. Ya must know this, because you feel the same thing just before you start your bikes up. Nothing can scratch this itch except gettin' it on with your bike. I've gotta say, I've never had a bike battery that's lasted as long as the Harley AGM battery that's in the Mabes. This is it's fourth year, and it's still strong. That's a good record for a bike that kept outside, without trickle charging. There's no "winterizing" with Mabel like shelving the battery in the house, etc. The only winterizing my Harley 74 gets, is riding her to keep the fluids viable and the battery charged. My Harley's rugged and she knows it. She kicks ass, man.
This morning, Mabel's stroker motor responded with gusto as it she fired up right away. As I warm up my 74 with fast idle, I can feel the tug of the gusting wind as it wants to pull me and Mabel in a lateral direction against our wills. Forget it. We go where we want, when we want. Just my Harley and me. No socializing, man. Other bikers need not apply for this here party. This is a two entity affair. We head out into the darkness. I love riding while it's still dark. It means less traffic, and more solitude and road for the Mabes and me. We hit the FDR Drive and the winds are trying to pull us into lanes where we don't want to be. This is nothing compared to the winds of Qklahoma when I drove there on the way to San Diego, but these NYC winds still require two hands on the 'ole drag bars. We exit on Houston Street and gas up. I'm starting to calm down now, The Urge having been somewhat assuaged by riding. Ah, riding.....is there anything finer? It's almost as if the feeling of control I have over my Harley and her circumstances, extends to a feeling of control over the world. You hardcores out there, you know what I'm rappin' about. Because you feel the same way as The Urge passes, supplanted by a sensation of well-being and in being control of your---and the world's destiny. A feeling that lasts as long as you're on your motorcycle. As Mabel and I blast down the chilly highway, the sun's coming up. Man, wotta beautiful day it's been. Now, on to the rest of the day. Later.