Friday, January 13, 2012

Chug a lug!

SINCE leaving Glendale several hours ago, I had been chugging along on the Castle Hot Springs, Cow Creek, and Buckhorn roads.

For the most part, my shoulder pain had been slight.  It wasn't until that 4 mile stretch of dry, sandy energy sapping riverbed of Buckhorn that I really began to suffer.


ONCE I got into that bottomless sand pit, my enthusiasm (What is a Dr. N. without Nthusiasm) began to wane, I questioned my sanity.

NOW that I was back on hard packed gravel and I had climbed onto a fairly level plateau, and I could actually see a half mile ahead of the front fender, as often happens when I am out here, I got bored.

WHEN I get bored, I quickly change gears in my noggin'

In this case that meant a downshift to 2nd gear, two fingers slipping the clutch to bring engine revs to about 6000, and still with fingers on the lever... spinning the rear 18 incher thru a series of fast upshifts to third, fourth, and fifth.
By this time the next corner was rapidly approaching and my speed had shot from 20 mph to 55!

Momentarily  I thought of another shift to high... but that  lasted about a microsecond, the stutter bump filled corner tempering my new found enthusiasm.
I backed off the throttle, popped the lever under my left foot back to 3rd... then 2nd, as we slithered around the rocky surface.  That lasted about 10 seconds.

RIDING up on the hard pack, was so much easier then paddling sand traps and frankly... I needed the thrill.

AFTER all... the XT is really a dirt bike that has some lights and a heavy muffler bolted on.  In fact many years ago, while living in Fort Mac the last stint, I had an almost identical TT 350 to bang around the bush on.  Apart from a plastic fuel tank, minimal off road lighting, and knobby tires, they where pretty much the same bike.

CAN'T help but yell and whoop rather loudly into my lid at times like this. 

Hey... whose gonna hear me, right?
DROPPING down into a gulley, now amongst scattered ranches, I stopped at a tiny little dribble of stream water crossing in the shade of some Joshau trees.

I'D spent the last 10 minutes with the throttle wires stretching, and exercising my left foot, laughing all the way.

NOW I was lolly gagging about for a few minutes, snacking on a granola bar (yeah but it had chocolate in it!) and pondering why I do this.  Besides the obvious, you're outdoors in a beautiful place, there is still the thrill involved.

MOTORCYCLING, whatever else it may be, is still thrilling!

DEEP in my thoughts, I didn't notice the mare coming from the underbrush.  She looked a little sparse, kind like an  anorexic former supermodel, but she shyly approached my outstretched fingers to within 5-6 feet.  At that point unsure, she paused, swung her head in either direction and came no farther.

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