“Looks like rain today” my Mother commented as we shared an after Mass lunch. “Yesterday was a mess with all that storming” I agreed. Rain it seemed was my wayward friend this weekend and totally would not ride third wheel to my motorcycle and I getting some quality time in.
Driving home from a shared meal with Mom I began to scope the clouds. There are only a few types of people who can tell the weather better than a meteorologist; farmers, fishers, and riders. I was willing to bet my street cred on the cumulus clouds perched on the horizon and made bee line straight for the house and helmet. Oscar sat by expecting our “Welcome Home” routine, but instead was left with a bad Clark Kent impression as I switched from Catholic Boy to Racer Boy.
Vroom! The engine springs to life after a week in the shed while I acted like a grown up. I stared down the black rolling in much like a kid at a red light, its on storm. With that I took off one wheel providing the power and one shot skyward. I took off for my personal race track.
My track consists of a freshly paved road cut through farm fields and cow pastures. This road and I go way back since I came to Alabama. I have given some and so has it. In December I donated some motorcycle parts and blood. Today it was going to give me warm tarmac to stick on my rear wheel.
Like a warm butter knife I cut down the trail that traced along the edge of the hollow. With every straight away I gunned the throttle back and looked in my mirrors. Riding before a storm is an eerie feeling. Your eyes bear witness to the enormous clouds approaching your six, but the little hairs on your neck can feel the cool air. The warmth of summer slowly looses its grasp as you cut down a few layers deeper into the valley. You feel it coming.
The storm follows a set of rules, God’s. It has the same playbook it was given during the big bang and knows no other way. Creep and Rain. My rulebook was less pronounced, don’t get caught. Every so often though there is a referee tossed in to make sure the rule books everyone else plays by are also followed. My referee today, a 2001 Chrysler Sebring unaware that the speed limit is 75 on this road. Little did I realize that in fact the locals rule book stipulated 25. I can only assume this is the Matlock rule book.
“Up she goes” I mutter as the straight away appears giving me relief from the old person train. Reviewing my rear view mirror shows the face (and dentures) of one very frightened senior citizen. I smile and wave with my Sato racing pipes wishing him “good day.”
Twisting and turning into the corners has not felt this good in a long time. My knee drags against the brush hidden just off the black stage I dance upon. Just as I approach the last set of S curves before my house I detect it, a drop. It seems the recon unit for Mr. Storm has just broached the horizon and has sighted me. Clicking down the shifter I yank the throttle wide open deaf from the exhaust wailing like an Apache into battle.
“Oscar do your business!” He seems confused as I rush for the shed flinging open the doors and parking inside. Just as I click the lock on the doors and rush for my residence the thunder crashes alerting me of its presence. It appears today the storm accepts defeat and affords me the opportunity to come inside before releasing its onslaught against the world.
Today, the road and country side are mine.