Been riding the past couple weekends. We went to Key Largo last weekend. A ride that should’ve taken us till mid-afternoon round trip, ended with me closing my fence at around 7:30 in the evening. Lou’s bike wouldn’t start once he arrived at the rendezvous, so we jumped the battery, and followed him home to make sure he got there ok. We went to Carraba’s for lunch and jumped on the turnpike for the ride South, where my bike proceeded to stop three times; because I’m unintelligent. Turns out the bike was low on gas and all I had to do was hit the reserve switch. Off we went to refill on gas, and head on down to Largo. Originally we were going to take Card Sound Road and head to Alabama Jack’s, but we already had food in our bellies, so we took the main road, which I can never remember if it’s US-1 or if it has some special beachy name.

By the way, I’m going to say it, I don’t care who’s listening: Ricky, you’re not going in the front anymore. You ride too slow and when you’re in the middle, you leave too much of a gap. You’re going in the back and you’ll catch up when you can.

Back to the ride. US-1’s a two lane road, so there’s no speeding to pass or lane changes (except in the one passing zone). This is good because you can just relax. Or try your best not to freak out when an eighteen wheeler roars down through the oncoming traffic and shakes you in its wake. Every so often, you could see the water through the mangroves and when you could, it was nice. I’ve always thought the ride down there looked more like the savannas in Africa than anything else. There’s just so much sad brown brush out there. Sometimes, I think what it’d be like to run out there, and keep running and running and running. What’s in that stuff? Similarly sad gators? Thick mud? The South Florida Unicorn? We arrived in Largo around 4:30pm or so and sat in chairs for 2 hours. Sometimes we drank water. Boring, I know. But, for some reason, this motorcycling thing dehydrates the living shit out of ya.  The ride home was uneventful. I rolled with the reserve switch already on, fearing that the breaking in of the bike might maybe have something to do with the horrible mileage I was getting. About ten minutes after we hit the Palmetto, it got dark, and we rode black and single roundly lit, hard, with me in the front, in a nice go go go kinda pace. We filled up once upon getting into Miami, somewhere on Flagler, and I declined an invite to Las Culebrinas because frankly, I wanted to chill on my couch in my sandals and my ratty house shorts.

Aside: My favorite thing about clubs was always the people watching, but the thing I hated most was how cigarette smoke would cling to my nose for a few days after. Motorcycle riding does something similar with vehicle exhaust. It’s nice being outside of the cage of the car, and seeing everything, but man, you get all the smells, the bouncing lil rocks, and the sounds, too. Nothing like a car playing some frickin’ Reggaeton and no window to pull up to block it out… go back to your third world country, please. So after such a long day of riding, it was a relief to hop into my car and go to McDonald’s, where I marveled at the magnificent invention that is the car and its radio and air conditioning. So. Comfy. Quiet. And the seat doesn’t make my butt itch after a long time.

This past weekend, we went NORTH.

It was definitely the best ride I’ve had so far. We met near the Golden Glades Interchange (which could be a name for a fancy strip club, no?) and rode up to Lauderdale, where we cut East to the beach and rode up A1A. We (Me, Mike, and Lou: best riding buddies EVER) went early so there wasn’t a huge crowd on the sidewalk or many cars in traffic. I popped open the face shield and let the sea spray come in. The ocean looked like it was stretching itself out, like a bed sheet: getting ready for a long summer of making love to all comers. It was a great ride, never going past 40 mph, but never going under 20. All the jogging pretty girls were very nice to look at, as well. We had a huge lunch at Brewzzi’s in Boca, then rode down to the dealer where I bought my bike. They say the first service is gonna be 400 bucks (after some calling around today, I got prices of 210 and 199). I’m pretty damn sure all they’re going to do is change the oil, too, which pisses me off. “There’s metal shavings in the oil that need to be removed.” Right. But the guy said the bad mileage will sort itself out after the bike’s broken in. I just find it strange that, Lou, who has the exact same bike as me (a few years older), had about 30 miles more than me and he STILL didn’t need to hit his reserve switch. (shrugs)

Today I rode after washing the bike. I’d been told the best way to fully ride the bike is to ride it. I wore no gear and it was really nice, sleevecut t-shirt billowing in the wind, breeze in my face… and my EYES, which made me tear up hard. I must’ve looked like I was just interviewed by Barbara Walters “I hear you are very close to your father, Frank.” sniff, sniff, waaaaaahhhhhh. Alas, the bike dried quickly, but my tears just kept coming. It was quite the unexpected reaction. I expected to get hit in the face by rocks in the road, to be honest, but not by an involuntary post chick flick reaction.

Let It Break

And, ah, the ride that is this Monday is coming to a close, Tuesday hot on its heels, its breath on the back of my neck, promising the same chase, the same route, the same parking spot, and, oh, lover, will you make the glass pot break again so I can chuckle and think to myself, no matter how small a thing, how funnily different it made today? Kiss my heel, I’ve got a piece of glass in there. Yes, look for the shine. No. Leave the lights off. Come close to me. Yes, I smell like dirt because I washed the bike and rode naked, welcomed the fall at 22nd avenue, where the road dips awkwardly. Don’t be scared. Bring your lips to mine. Smell the clean of my moustache. Yes, love, I washed my hands and face before bed. Break something. Anything. Let’s laugh in the dark. Let’s caw with the Truxton Bird. No one knows its song but us.

-listening to Line and Sinker by Billy Talent

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