Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Healing hands, paint and tires

Yield. Watch out for cross traffic. Seems these words have had a greater affect on me than I thought. That intersection meeting has been in my dreams for Pete's sake. Its the incident which actually made me beg away from that weeklong ride. For the time being anyway.

I'm not done yet. I'll make that trek this summer, I just don't know how or when. I can't let go of the images of the state I grew up in, the way they build the roads there. Its like some kind of drug the way they snake you through forests and the distinctly European homesteads. Hypnotic.

The hands are much much better. The paint, well, that's another story. This bike earned its first scratch without me being on it when it happened. I picked up some matching touch-up from Vespa Kansas city (Thank you guys!) and proceeded to do a gum up job on an otherwise pristine scooter. In nearly twenty years this is the first observable mark on one of my bikes. Long scratches down the left cowl below the seat. My "temporary" fix didn't help the appearance other than to keep it from rusting. I bought a small can of clear coat. Honestly, I don't know if that will make it look better or worse.

Kythera's new front tire showed up yesterday. I had a hard time finding another Pirelli so I went with a brand recommended by a poster on Modern Vespa who goes by the name Dongoose. He spoke highly of them more than once. I had to give them a shot. Although the scooter won't need a new skin up front for a bit yet, this Heidenau K58 looks like a very aggressive rain tire. I'm looking forward to seeing how this one handles and wears.

So this is where I'm at. Itching to put miles of smiles between me and this suburban home life again. To pour myself into the concentration of the road ahead of me while basking under a late summer midwestern sky. For days at a time. It crawls up your spine, you know what I mean? It pulls at your stoic family man discriminations, making you think of ways to inject a different kind of life into your veins. One you used to know so well. One I used to know so well.

Hot rubber compound on a road far from home. A body which needs more stretch breaks at the end of each day than at the beginning. You stopped but you feel like you're still moving. Biker butt.

Summer doesn't last forever.