Tuesday, April 19, 2011

23 Years Later

I enjoy a reputation here in Victoria as a bit of a maverick. Some would even say that I'm reckless, that I have no respect and when it comes to gel-coat they are absolutely correct.

My kayaks are British built by Nigel Dennis and I abuse them.  They accumulate lots of scratches and frequent gel-coat cracks.  Come spring I undertake repairs.  This spring has been  has required a little more work then normal, so much so that I turned to an old passion to fill in the time while the boats dried.

After an absence of 23 years I returned to motorcycling.  Yesterday I rented a 650 Suzuki V-Strom and rode all over my home town and turf.  Mostly I rode the country roads around Victoria.  Mind, pulling out of the rental shop I was a tad nervous.  Over reved the engine and squared the first dozen corners. But I did not stall.

After a while I even got the bike to lean over as I swept through the turns.  Well not to far.  I carefully picked my way through town and finially as I broke out of the burbs I was awash in the sensations of travelling in an environment and not just through it. 

No the wind did not sweep through my hair, I have too little for that, besides I keep my head wrapped up in a good helmet.  I bought the helmet last years and precipitated a major marriage spat. However, yesterday the wind on my face brought me sensations I'd long forgotten.  The smell of fresh mowed lawns, the slightly acid smell of burning leaves and cedar logs burning in the fireplace of that cabin by the road.  Family responsibilities have kept me from this for far too long.

I rode the bike out along East Sooke Road, turned around and rode back considerably quicker. Stopping  at an overlook with a great view of Becher Bay the wind carried the smell of the sea up to the road.  I drank deep and filled my lungs with the clean fresh smell of the sea.

From here I swung up over Kangaroo Road, down onto the Sooke Highway then up over Humpback Road over to the main island highway.  I skipped the highway and headed up to Prospect Lake Road and made my way up to the town of Sidney. No two lane highways just lots of back country byways.  It was a great four hours.  Nex tmonth I'm going to repeat the trip but on a lighter BMW.  Eventually I'll find a nice mid size bike to squeeze into the garage next to the kayaks.

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