4.27.2006,12:02 AM
Local Adventure: Part II

Part of the fun of riding a bike is getting lost. Well, sometimes.

I recall fondly an animated soliloquy by a younger, and cute, rider that works at one of the local Yamaha dealers. His stories were so animated and funny that I held on to a rack of leathers to keep from folding in half with laughter. He has five bikes and hardly any gas to run them.

I stuff a tener in my pocket, choose a bike and put enough gas in it to keep me going for awhile. I don’t know where I’m going half the time; I just find a road I like and feels right. Sometimes I have to stop and buy a map, though, to find out where I am and how the hell to get back home before I run out of gas.”

I recall doing that in a pickup on the back gravel roads of Maine in the ‘old days’. Whenever the mood struck me, off I’d go. But this was today and I had a destination. My Hillbilly GPS let me down and I suspect I exited before I was supposed to. Or I turned where I wasn’t supposed to. Regardless, I was heading in the right direction and I knew eventually I would end up where I was supposed to be. Sure enough, I found Main St. in Grapevine and entered Touristville.

Grapevine is a small town built around a main street of small commercial shops, and skirted by convention centers, country clubs and resorts. It reminds me of the small towns in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains in New York, near where I grew up. They throb with tourists in the summer and they hibernate in the winter. Here in Texas, its all year ‘round.

Cars stopped in the middle of the street as drivers of SUVs and mini-vans spent 60 seconds making a 6-second decision. I was patient, though, and nodded courtesy at pedestrians as I stopped to let them cross the street. It was gratifying to see many of them smile and wave. I doubt they see the person inside the gear, big sunglasses and helmet, but they acknowledge the nod and smile on my face. These are people, trying to enjoy a family day in Small America. Let them have their day.

Picking up Northwest Highway and then 2499, I headed north for a date with my horse. The freshly asphalted side road greeted me with a few fun corners which I navigated carefully. Drivers tend to overshoot these corners going too fast and now there were no center lines. Turning onto the tree-lined small road lined with houses and big lots, I smelled freshly cut grass which titillates and tortures me simultaneously. I’m allergic to grass pollen.

Shadow (yes, the Mr. Shadow), greeted me with wide eyes and bushy butt. What the hell is that sticking up on his rear end? He’s shedding his bleached-hair-turned-orange and it was sticking straight up along the midline of his back and on top of his rear. He looked like he had a mohawk. While he nibbled on floor-strewn hay, I rubbed him all over with the curry comb, a routine he cherishes. We both cherish. It’s a time we spend together that releases all the tension in me; it’s relaxing. I can see why monkeys use grooming for socializing. I finished it off with fly spray and let him loose to join Bolivar, his bosom buddy. He proceeded to roll in the sand, with Bolivar following suit. Monkey see, horsey do.

Washing my hands and face of sand, horse dander and dirt, I geared up and started along the same route I came. This time, I turned west to ride along Grapevine Lake and stop at the park for a bit of Quality Time. Time alone, somewhere away from everything, to find some green grass and just let everything ride the waves of nothing. By water, it’s even better.

The lake water level is low, but so are most the lakes in Texas. We’re in one of those cyclic droughts. A few sailboats dotted the blue water below, the sun was warm and a nice breeze fanned me as I pulled out a book to read for a bit.

It was Good. I could have stayed there all day.

posted by Macrobe
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