Some Reflections and Projections
Sometimes, a motorcycle ride is not only enjoyable but therapeutic, even deeply soul satisfying. Such was the ride I took by myself on January 1, 2023, New Years Day. The perfect way to bid farewell to 2022, and welcome 2023. I needed it.
A perfect New Years Day.
2022 was a year of adjustment and growth for my family and me. It was both beautiful and sad. After my father’s passing near the end of 2021, this past year was a season of reorienting to life without him and resettling my mother in her new home, back in the community our parents had raised my brothers and me in. Our younger daughter got married, so the year was filled with wedding plans, and now she and my son-in-law are expecting a son in 2023. My dad would have loved the wedding, and the news of becoming a great grandfather would have thrilled him.
Two variations on horsepower.
I spent much of the Christmas holiday week resting, reflecting, and recharging after a hectic year. The Christmas weekend saw a deadly blizzard across the much of the country, and a deep freeze across the South, single digits and teen temps. But then in typical “Deep South” fashion, within days the weather shifted back to mild, and daily temps rose to the low 60s. A ride on or around New Years was looking promising. I needed a day on the bike to ring in 2023.
My new bovine friend.
The house by early afternoon, January 1 was quiet, as Lisa had left to spend part of the day with our older daughter. So with the sun peeking through the clouds, and temps a pleasant 64 degrees, I geared up and throttled out for an afternoon on the Bonneville. Passing a nearby horse ranch, I noticed several grazing near the fence, so I pulled over to visit. As the beautiful creatures observed me stepping off the bike and fishing for my iPhone to snap a shot or two, one of the horses ambled up to the fence and extended his nose to give me a sniff. I walked over and gave his forehead a rub, snapping a selfie or two with him. It was a pleasant way to begin my afternoon New Year ride.
I love this overlook. My local happy place. And the curvy road up-down is quite entertaining too.
Our region of Northeast Georgia is not quite in the Appalachian foothills, but still rural enough that I enjoyed ample curves and hills on largely deserted roads. I made my way to a favorite strip of pavement, Double Springs Church Road, that twists and turns up above a small lake, then back down to the outskirts of Monroe. Diving the Bonney through the curvy tarmac to the top of the ridge, I pulled over to enjoy the view out across the lake. I love the view here, out over the water, cattle often in the sloping field before me, the opposite ridge line and open sky beyond. Serene.
This lanky rascal howled at me to run the fence with him. I obliged him of course, on the Bonney.
Suddenly, a large grey dog began barking and howling at me from within a nearby fenced front yard, jumping then running the fence a few paces before returning to the front corner to yelp at me again. “Oh, you want to run, do you? I’ll roll with you,” I spoke to the energetic canine. I hopped back on Bonney, revved the engine a bit just to get the pup even more riled, then throttled forward. The lanky rascal gave chase along the fence, head down and legs extended at full sprint, like a greyhound at the racetrack. A fun moment with him.
I love old Southern churches. They hearken back to a simpler time, a slower life pace. A never-paved lot to boot.
I stopped over in the unpaved parking lot of a small country church near the base of the hilly, curvy road, a picturesque building like Norman Rockwell or Thomas Kinkade might have painted. As the sun began its early descent toward the tree line, I pointed the Triumph toward home, and meandered a different route back. I still had the roads largely to myself, and spent quiet moments riding, reflecting on the year completed, and anticipating what lay ahead in this new trip around the sun. Being a Christ-follower, I gave thanks for the experiences and memories of 2022, asked for wisdom and blessing in walking and riding the next twelve months, and just savored the moments out on the road on this sunny, unusually warm day, enjoying the gift that it was.
The road ahead looks bright.
This year, I will become a grandfather for the first time, will turn 60 years old, and Road Dirt enters its fifth year as a motorcycle media. I am enthused about the first and last, cautiously optimistic about the age milestone, and in general looking forward to what the next 365 days hold. We’ll ride more, meet new people, share many stories, and put lots of miles on a variety of motorcycles. And somewhere out on the road, I hope we’ll meet up with each other, have a cup of coffee together, and continue to grow the Road Dirt community. See you out on the highways and byways.
Blessings on your New Year,