Monday, June 18, 2018

22,000 Miles and Counting

When I left the house this afternoon I had no intention of riding the 60 some miles I still needed to put the odometer over the 22,000 mile mark, but at about 20 miles out I decided that I might as well go for it since I had nothing more pressing to do today.  I headed out on a road that I figured would put me about halfway there and then just kept going past the half, not deciding till I had about 20 miles left to hit the milestone in which direction I'd go to complete the intended mileage.

Other than watching the miles tick by I had no particular thoughts going through my head until my nose caught the scent of the deep woods along a stretch through the uninhabited forest.  It's said that smells can take us back to particular times and places more quickly and with richer memories of specific events than our other senses, and today that was certainly the case as the smell of ferns and such hit me.

I was in the back seat of my junior high girlfriend's father's car, she and I still in our bathing suits from having spent the afternoon at their lake house.  The sight of her body in her yellow bikini, the closeness of her bare thigh pressed against mine, and that look in her eyes that made me melt all came back to me as soon as that smell of the woods came to me on the scooter.  It was a fantastic memory, and I was smiling from ear to ear as I recalled that moment from my past that lives in that part of my brain where the very best of memories are stored.

We parted ways after high school, but she's still in the area on her second marriage and I confess that I sometimes ride the scooter past her house when I'm out in that direction for a ride, hoping to catch a glimpse of her.  Whether I'd have the balls to speak to her if I were going by and she was on her porch, I don't know.  The last time I saw her was many years ago at my grandmother's wake, and even then as she stood beside me near Gram's casket my mind was whirling with the many memories we'd made together, some admittedly with our clothes off.

As I'd noted in the second paragraph up there, I had no particular thoughts going through my head until my thoughts went back to her, but as I continued my ride toward a new odometer mark she kept coming back to me in snippets of pleasant memories.  Dare I say I still carry somewhat of a little torch for her?  She'll always be a special part of my life though she hasn't been in it for years.

It was hotter than hell out there today and I'm hoping I had enough of a base tan so that I won't be sunburned later.  I probably went through about three quarters of a gallon of drinks as I rode, grabbing a gulp whenever I could keep going with only one hand on the handlebars and stopping for refills as needed.  I stuck to roads where I could just keep going for miles without having to stop for signs or signals so I didn't get too hot with a constant breeze washing over me.

Without planning exactly when the 22,000 would hit and where I'd be at the time, I simply circled a neighborhood in which I knew I'd be able to put down the kickstand no matter where I'd be so I could get a few pictures.  It happened here at the intersection of Yeaver Ave. and Murray St. in Forty Fort, a small borough across the river from home and only a few miles away from home.

There's a finale to the day's story that put a huge smile on my face.  After having spent some of my ride thinking about my former girlfriend, as I headed out of the neighborhood where I'd stopped to get the pictures I lifted my head from the very satisfactory view of the odometer and out of the corner of my eye I spied a young woman in a bikini in a backyard.  With my camera still on the lanyard, I slowed enough to get a picture of her as a bonus to add to the day's celebratory nature.

All that was left was to celebrate in proper fashion, with some food!  The nearby McDonald's was a perfect stop with cheap burritos and my final drink refill before heading home to bask in the accomplishment of having ridden 22,000 miles on two wheels.

I have only 2,901 miles to go to have ridden the distance of the earth's circumference!  I sure hope I can complete that equivalent circuit on my beloved Piaggio and with my head as full of wonderful thoughts and memories as the past 22,000 miles have provided.


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