Sunday, October 19, 2008

Anniversary Ride

Today I celebrated one full year of BV250 ownership by taking an anniversary ride to uncharted territory in the boonies. Well, okay, technically it's charted, but I've never been the kind to take off on roads that I don't know or haven't studied and today I did, ending up in a familiar place with a huge grin on my face when I realized where I'd come out from the unknown zone.

I headed north from home, along a road that runs through one municipality after another as "Main Street" through the length of each of them. I was headed nowhere in particular, as usual, but after a bit of riding and thinking I knew that I wanted to make a left turn past a familiar railroad yard. It would put me on a road that I'd explored many years ago, in the car, on the kind of ride where by sheer luck you land in a place that you recognize. I wasn't counting on such luck today and figured I'd just run the road to the first curious turn and then head back.

When I got to that turn, however, there stood a sign that I know wasn't there those years back when I ventured out that far. It promised that a turn to the right would put me in Scranton in eight miles. I had to take it if only to satisfy my curiosity because I couldn't imagine how it would take me there or where it would drop me off.

It was a winding road and after a short while I realized that I wasn't on a hill but that I was slowly climbing up one side of a mountain. With colored leaves falling all about me I felt almost giddy with a childlike glee I hadn't felt in ages. I wished that my daughter who's away at school was along, or the friend who visited last summer and rode around with me because I knew that each of them would have enjoyed this ride. Eventually I made it to the crest and started down the other side. It was exhilarating as I descended the opposite side of the mountain with just as many twists and turns as the ascent had featured.

At times I could see the valley into which I was descending, though I still couldn't tell where I was going to end up in it. There was nothing I could do but keep going and wondering while enjoying myself like I did when I was a little boy driving the fire engine that rolled along just as fast as my little legs could pedal it. The aforementioned grin lit up my face when all of a sudden I came around a turn to find myself at the entrance to a park to which I'd ridden this past summer, and even before then with the Fly 50. The park features the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour and the Anthracite Heritage Museum, and stands high above Scranton proper. I headed into the park and discovered an area near the museum to which I'd not ventured before. There's an old colliery locomotive on display there - just perfect for another shot of my little scooter juxtaposed beside something much more note worthily powerful.

You can tell that it's getting later in the fall because I'm back to using what I call the "Prissy Sit" on some of my rides. Typically in the warmer weather I ride with only my heels on the running board and with my knees wide apart to savor the cooling effect of the breeze on my legs. When it's brisk out, though, I'm quick to get those knees behind the body of the bike to let it do its streamlining job of whisking the wind around my sides.

Left - the summer sit. Right - the prissy sit reserved for when it's cold.

Well, it's Sunday evening now and I have the taste for another Sheetz French vanilla cappuccino. The perfect excuse for another little ride before putting another weekend to bed and getting in the groove for the work week.

Happy ridding, all!


Paul said...

I remember riding in one of those fire engines when I was a kid. It was very old by the time it got to me, and i don't even remember if it was mine or some other kid's, but I loved riding in it.

It was a lovely weekend for a ride, that much is certain. My son and I went on a group ride yesterday, which you will find more information on in my blog.

irondad said...

What a cool ride! The best experiences often seem to come when we decide to "just see where the road goes" don't they?

Anonymous said...

There is nothing better than setting out to explore on two wheels and just going where the road takes you. I love that feeling of discovery you described so well.

Lance said...

I like the term "prissy sit" - now I at least have a great name for what I have been doing this fall as well!