Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Autumn Tribute

Labor day is now past us. Every morning I see children waiting for the bus at the corner as my own kids prepare themselves for preschool. In a few short days we recieved a reminder of the autumn weather now upon us. Some of the best riding of the year.

The air gets brisk and takes on a new scent. I can't describe it very well except to guess that it might be the lower humidity combined with the cooler winds which makes it so.. vibrant. You really wake up on these Fall rides.

The roads are less travelled between now and the beginning of the snows. Although those have been fewer in the recent past, making for some interesting looks from people I know who will have put their motorcycles away while I'm still out there on that midnight blue Vespa scooter. Same thing happened last year. Guys alone in big trucks with HD stickers and wearing leather jackets have the most startled looks. If they would just ride a little longer, even another month, they would know what they've been missing. How can you fault riding a big twin in the Fall when it throws so much heat across you?

Then there are the decorations of the season. It begins with All Hallow's Eve and continues with Thanksgiving. You start seeing strange things like witches appearing to have ridden their brooms right into trees. Jackolanterns in neat rows on porches. It used to be that counting pumpkins on the front steps told you how many kids lived in the house. I've always loved baking the seeds and eating them while watching the Packers take it right to the very edge. Autumn Sunday afternoon traditions.

Thanksgiving plans and dinner with the family. A weekend which begins with a hunting rifle, has a gut busting highlight feast of the traditional birds and ends in another hunt. Usually the following day because that stuff inside turkeys causes you to fall asleep in a recliner whether you meant to or not. Thinking back I realize I always take a long ride a day or so before we go to Grandma's. I guess I have my own traditions.

Best of all is the smell of the burning leaves. The air is crisp. You're riding along looking at the trees adorned in all their color and drift into the blueish cloud of someone's toasting leaf pile. You can't help but wave to the good folks as you pass. You're smiling but they'll never see it inside that full face you're wearing. Still, you know that they know.

Six years ago this morning there were no smiles. There was fear and grief. A nation with revenge on its mind. A subculture which uses religion as its vehicle tried to take away our joy. Emotionally, it was the coldest winter most of us have have ever lived through. That day we all changed whether we wanted to or not.

But we lived on. A resolve to do so seems to be in the spirit of the people of this great nation. I count it a blessing. We remember but we also move forward. Men and women of steel courage take on the fights for us in lands far away. Just so we can hold our heads high in spite of an enemy most of us have never faced. We can lift our faces to the east and know there are those who would give their lives that our and their traditions would continue to be observed.

So I will ride today. I will ride with resolve that I support those men and women in some small way. That my freedom bought so many times over by too often unheralded acts of will and determination over these generations is not forgotten. I write these words with tears in my eyes. For the traditions of our people and this freedom. For those who earned more than enough of it for us all. The dying of autumn, the numb cold of that winter six years ago. But always, always comes the Spring and rebirth.

This nation shall not be broken.



Mark said...


American Scooterist Blog said...

Thanks Mark. Nice to see someone from "back home" come over here and check things out by the way.

Kano said...

Fall is the best! It's my favorite time of year to ride. Your words about fall come about as close as I've seen to describing the almost indescribable sensations of the season. Thanks.

irondad said...

Standing quietly with helmet over my heart; ready for a fall afternoon ride, I recount your post and say,


Biker Betty said...

Wow, you said it so well. Like a few others, fall is my favorite time of year. I love the colors and the holidays to come. I have to say that most here still have their motorcycles out. Not as many out on the roads in the morning, but lots in the afternoon. We should have about 1 1/2 months till the snow flies. There are quite a few of us that don't winterize our bikes. We get them out all during the winter as weather permits.

Great Write-up,
Biker Betty :)

Jack said...


I love your post. Thanks for the time and energy you put into it and thanks for another pair of eyes to help us see things we might miss.

Anonymous said...

Amen Roadbum...so well put.

You have me aching to get out there in the cooler temps.

Thanks for the touching and appropriate post.

Steve Williams said...

I've read this post a whole bunch of times. I suppose because it feels so much like autumn. If I didn't know you were in the upper midwest it sounds like right outside my door.

Isn't it odd how a season, how the smell in the air, the feeling of chill, how it can trigger memories and thoughts of country.

I feel fortunate to be here. And I think the things you write about are deeply ingrained in many of the people in the United States. And it is that sort of thing that keeps us going through thick and thin.

Thanks for posting this!

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

American Scooterist Blog said...

Thanks all. I've been busy and as this is a fun thing for me to do I write when I feel I have something worthwhile to write. Which, regarding riding, hasn't been that often lately lol