Just a moment’s reprieve…it was all I should need. A pause to catch my breath…the large, stinging, cold raindrops having taken it away…nearly continuously…for the last 40 miles.
It’s been a tough ride. Severe winds, rain, and light hail rallying to the attack on me and the big cruiser.
Breathing hard I briefly wonder if I’m terrified or elated. I shrug when I decide it doesn’t matter. I’m not sure I know how to tell the difference anymore.
Some momentary cover…a bubble of friendly light in the dark and endless storm.
Still…I probably wouldn’t have stopped…the challenge the storm presented…the dance required…and the steady flow of adrenaline had held my attention to almost a rapt level. I’d lost count of the times I’d screamed, “Is that all you’ve got!!?”
Shaking, but ready for the next challenge, I’d have pressed on…but my machine needed fuel to continue the dance.
A quick ‘splash and go’ was the ticket…except, as often happens at these stops…it changed into something else.
Straddling the machine, feet planted wide to keep the winds from pushing us over, my hand cupped over the nozzle and fuel door to keep as much of the flying water out as possible, and rapidly feeding her gulps of fuel…I raise an eyebrow as a young man exits the building and sprints across the open space. He seems intent to reach the canopy that’s barely sheltering us.
There is no reason for him to come. There are no other cars out here…nobody else hunting the storm…or being hunted by it…seems to stir this night.
But still he came. I expected a warning…perhaps of the severeness of the storm…you’d be surprised how many people will go out of their way to tell me, the soaked and shaking rider, that it’s raining. Or perhaps a warning about the canopy rocking in the fierce winds…or the flickering power…I was just hoping the pumps would run long enough to fill the thirsty machine.
Fuel in the bike solves MOST of my world’s problems…
It wasn’t dire warnings he came to deliver though. Gasping, he makes it across the lot…only slightly the worse for the wear…huddles beside me…and asks, “What the HELL is that?” while pointing at my machine.
Battered by wind…shaken and soaked by the rain blowing nearly sideways, sentences punctuated by strokes of lightning and claps of thunder…all the while keeping a wary eye on the severely shaking canopy, two kindred spirits (or unrepentant nut-jobs) have a leisurely conversation about motorcycles, and Valkyries in particular.
Gotta love it.
I’ll see you on the road.