Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I'm out of the office...
It's Tuesday and I'm officially 'out of the office'.
I met up with friends on Sunday morning at Cafe Medici for one last bad ass coffee and at about 11am I rode off with Kenneth, Aaron and Mark Hill into a drizzle and cloudy weather. It was a weird feeling. Mark led us on the "long route to Smithville"....pretty roads.
mile 1: COOL....I'm doing this.
mile 2: yeah....
mile 3: man I hate stop lights in Austin......open road is beckoning...
mile 8: What cool guys that they would ride me out of town so early on a Sunday morning.
mile 25: Aaron on his 'vintage' machine needs to turn back
mile 30: crap...forgot my shaving kit....get Kenneth to ship that to me in NYC
mile 50: Kenneth and Mark stop for gas in Smithville and decide to head back to the comfort of home....my ties to home leave with them. The feeling of riding off alone was SO strange.
mile 100: I just gotta get through Houston and I'll be home free.....literally.
mile 150: My battery dies.....kickstarting my bike SUCKS!
mile 300: oh my god....what have I done? I can't feel my hands or my ass. What will everyone think if I just come back home now?
That was Sunday.....today is Tuesday (yes....I had to check my phone to verify that fact).
I'm sitting in a friend's scooter shop in Birmingham, Alabama. It's a fantastic day and I'm procrastinating. I need to get back on the bike and head to Knoxville. The first two days were long and I'm only riding 4 hours today.....so it's ok to chill and finally update this blog.
Several of my plans with friends in NYC have really already fallen to pieces. I have a friend's 'going away' party in Manhattan this Friday (Michal), so I'm pressing on regardless. I'm set to fly to London on May 6th (thanks Bubba), but it seems now that will be too long in NYC. Maybe I'll move that date up and bail on the US quicker than anticipated?
Anyway....the trip. Well....so far it's been rather uneventful....which is good. This first leg to NYC is really just a shakedown for the bike and for me. If it falls apart or I do then I can easily just get back to Austin. I don't expect that to happen, but I'm being realistic that things can and do happen.
I wussed out and ended up on the interstate while heading to NOLA. Somehow I-10 was CLOSED in Houston. I was pissed and sweating already so I stopped for gas at a random station and a guy on a KTM Superduke rode up next to me and flipped out. KTMs, for those not familiar with them, are rare. Superdukes are even MORE rare. I've never even seen one on the road. So...Steve, the guy on the KTM, is a bit older than me and seems totally inspired by my quest. He's headed the way I'm going through town and escorts me through Houston. Two orange bikes......and a great way to battle the traffic of Houston until I could get back onto the freeway.
Other than that highlight, my time on the road has been just good time to think. I'm feeling strangely unattached and without direction. I mean....GPS keeps me pointed the right way, but I'm already falsely searching for reason and meaning in my time alone on the bike and I hope it soon becomes less contrived. I mean.....I feel like such a hopeless romantic on this trip. What.....do I think that some epiphany is in my destiny? What a joke....you can't produce one of those by burning up gas on a motorcycle....can you?
Anyway....the conversations with friends so far along the way have focused on direction and creativity. Yeah.....vague, but I'm suddenly hungry and think I'll find more meaningful things to say later. I will say that I'm totally surprised by the attention and reaction that I get from people. Everyone wants to talk to me.....ask me where I'm headed....why I'm going....if I'm nuts. Lots of waves and smiles like I'm in some parade.
So far things are going to plan and I'm quite proud of the KTM for holding the 80mph flogging it's received. I've enjoyed the fact that my phone didn't ring for long periods of time, but I'm definitely missing my friends and contact with family.
I'm going to go eat and hit the road....more to come. Thanks for caring enough to read.