Sunday, September 18, 2016

Pitying the Hurried

“If you’re in such a hurry you should have left yesterday!” my favorite uncle used to exclaim whenever he was driving and some idiot came flying by at an unsafe speed, making it clear that he was a jerk with not enough time to get where he was going.  When I’m in the car and somebody cuts me off I don’t much give a rat’s ass, but on the scooter it pisses me off when somebody is riding my tail because I’m not going as fast as he’d like me to be moving.  

Unless I’m scurrying about in town to get somewhere in particular, when I’m on the bike I’m going nowhere and I’m not in any hurry to get there either.  I enjoy seeing what’s on either side of me while I’m scootering along.  I like taking in the smells, like yesterday when I was going past the Susquehanna Brewing Company and they were cooking a batch of wort on its way to becoming a delicious beer.  I enjoy a slow speed that makes it clear to myself that I’m living life and happy to be doing so, and I don’t want to be rushed along by somebody behind me who should have left sooner than he did to get where he’s going. 

It tends to piss me off that if I were in a tractor trailer or big dump truck going 25 miles an hour the fruitcake behind me would likely growl to himself but not likely do something stupid and unsafe like passing where passing isn’t allowed, yet seeing me on a scooter doing the same speed makes some folks itch to fly past me over a double yellow line with impunity.  If I’m Sunday riding, as I was literally today, and if I’m on a straight-away with at least a little bit of a shoulder to the road, I’ll gladly move as far to the right as I can and signal a car behind me to pass, but if he’s practically kissing my ass with the nose of his car, he can wait and I’ll hold the speed limit.

To be certain, I know what it’s like to be that ass hat going or wanting to go too fast.  I got my one and only traffic citation to date for going 102 MPH on an interstate.  Most of the time, though, I leave the house with plenty of time to get wherever I’m going, holding fast to my maternal grandfather’s dictum of, “I’d rather be an hour early than a minute late.”  Yes, I use the scooter to zip about the city because it is faster than taking the car with its speedy take offs from full stops, but when I have it on a winding country road I’m there to savor the ride.  I don’t typically ride under the posted limit if there’s somebody behind me, but I do detest being expected to exceed the limit just because whoever’s behind me is impatiently chomping at the bit. 

All in all, I feel a sense of pity for the people who are in such a hurry to get to where they're going.  They're missing out entirely on the fun of getting there.

Like it or not, the evidence is there that autumn is well on its way with winter to follow.  This lone tree seems eager to be the first to herald the change of seasons.  

I’ve switched to jeans instead of shorts for riding now, but on a good day like today I can still get away with staying comfortable in a tee shirt.  It was an unusually beautiful day for riding.  The sky was cloudy, but the rain was still hours away while I was out on the Piaggio.  

One of the best parts of living in a valley is the sight of coming back to it after a trip be it a long or short one.  When I’m out of state and see a “Welcome to Pennsylvania” sign on the way back, it feels like I’m coming home even if I’m still hours away from the house.  Likewise when I’m out of the valley and coming back into it down the side of one of its mountainous walls, the sight of the tiny looking houses visible in the distance never fails to warm me with that same feeling of coming home.  

It wasn’t all that long ago that I posted my having crossed 19,000 miles on the odometer, and here I am with only 100 miles to go till I’m at 20,000 which I’m confident I’ll arrive at in another week or two.  Finances being as they are I’ve been putting off some needed maintenance, namely getting new rollers and a new drive belt installed.  I’ll need my annual inspection by the end of next month, though, and then the riding season will slowly dwindle.  Hopefully by spring I’ll be ready to get the much needed items replaced.

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