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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's a sign

I've been wanting to post this for a while now, because it was one of those things that was just so darn cool. I hope you will join me in my appreciation of its awesomeness.

I've learned a lot from riding the bike: about myself, about life, about little things like how to change a tire, when certain wild flowers are at their peak, whose dogs are left to roam free, and the precise moments when I should sit back and enjoy the view. These may seem like small things, but they are lessons for life, really. And nothing compares with knowing that your body has the capacity to carry you a long distance, get you where you need to go and do it with nothing more than the use of a simple instrument built of rubber, fiberglass, and metal.

One of the things I had never known before (and it took my hubby to point it out) was that Harley riders have a sign or hand signal they give to each other when one pack of riders passes another. It doesn't shock me at all that Brad knows this. Not that he is or ever will be a motorcycle rider, but just because I have never met anyone other than him who has stored every piece of information they've ever been exposed to and actually uses it. Seriously, his mind is like a card catalog. You can find anything in there.

So Brad had pointed this out to me when we were on the road a few times. When one group of riders passes another, they give this low arm sweep gesture with there hand making what looks like the love gesture or, what we became familiar with in Hawaii, the "hang loose" sign. Of course I doubt they're telling each other to hang loose. They are much too cool for that. But it's interesting to watch. Their facial expression doesn't change, and it is done with an air of coolness that is impossible for me to recreate. If any Harley riders out there want to let me in on the secret code, I'd be glad to know it. Again, it's one of those little things, but a great deal of fun and a window into a part of life I otherwise would be going too fast to miss.

A couple of weeks ago we went on a 30 mile ride up around our cabin which is in Brimson, MN. It was a new route for us, so we weren't sure what to expect. Part of it had us riding on the shoulder of a road that was pretty hilly and busy with weekend travelers who were in somewhat of a hurry to get to their cabins, the lake, a campground, or wherever else they were planning on spending the day. It wasn't a dangerous route, it was just busy and we were feeling the heat and the hills. It was on one of these uphill climbs that we passed a pack of Harley riders who were zooming by in formation, enjoying the downhill. And then they did it...they gave us the sign. Not just one person, but a number of them. We were treated to something that will never happen again. For a few seconds,the two of us, middle aged dorks dressed in pink jerseys and spandex, were granted a small modicum of coolness. It was a fun gift to receive and one we wish we could have returned. But there was nothing cool we could do back (spitting was all that came to mind)...all we could do was nod and smile to their enigmatic faces. At first we thought they were teasing, but then we realized it was real. They were giving us props. It was awesome.

I have no idea what they saw in us that warranted the gesture. Maybe it was our determination, but instead I think they recognized kindred spirits who were just as appreciative of a great ride. Whoever they were, I'd love for them to know they are now part of my biking lexicon. One more memory that riding has brought me that I can tuck in amongst the others to build my own card catalog.

Here's to noticing the little things and giving props to anyone you see, however you might do it. Sometimes it leaves a major impression!

1 comment:

  1. You made my day Alane. Can't wait to learn that signal. Cheers. Shar

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