5.19.2006,9:10 AM
Adventures in Focus
Except for two 'Ride 'n Dine' dates, I ride alone. The Lone Wolf, so to speak. Partly a matter of preference, partly circumstance. I get the urge, I get on the bike and ride. The only planned rides are my weekday commutes. Although there are exceptions to every rule, nearly every ride is an adventure, no matter how small.

Last night's ride home was into a Texas sunset; a palette of pastel colors splashed across the horizon. Scattered whisps of pink to azure clouds folded over the setting sun and treated me to a live video that no movie producer could duplicate. It filled me with wonder and peace, while being caressed by the encroaching and changing stratas of temperature differences and accompanying enhanced smells. I realized I was widely grinning inside my helmet. Astride this bike sits a sponge of sensory receptors that buzz with all the stimuli surrounding the whole organism that is me.

This morning's commuting adventure began as I left my country road onto a Farm to Market highway to town. I turned in behind another woman astride a black bike; she, decked out in all black gear. Against the dawn, she was not easy to see. I felt a bit more comfortable with my increased visibility on a red bike and wearing red gear. I've been told by a few that I am hard to miss. That's good, in my book.

I caught up with Woman in Black and we rode together into town, each occupying opposite sides of our lane with me behind her. We waved to each other as I pulled into the gas station. Perhaps we shall meet again; just look for the Woman in Black with trailing blonde hair.

At the intersection of a highway and the freeway service road, I heard a distinct tat-tat-tat of a small bike. A tall man on an Enduro bike pulled up beside me, and I cocked my eyebrow. Here was a fine healthy speciman of the male gender, but obviously lacking in cranium content. Astride the bike was a tall man, probably 6 feet at least, wearing an armless tank top and short shorts with tennis shoes. At least he wore a helmet.

Judging from the nicely well-developed muscle on his arms, exposed back and thighs, and the backpack slung across his back, I suspect he was on the way to a gym. Being a gym rat and lifter myself, his large well-muscled thighs held my glance probably longer than necessary. Without having to describe what I was thinking at that moment, I found myself smirking and nodding approval.

The green light was a race to see who could sprint forward and maneuver into the left turning lane to enter the service road and entrance to the freeway. Of course, after a brief sprint in first gear, I let him take his position in front of me: I might as well enjoy the scenery.

We both occupied the far right lane allowing faster traffic to pass us despite that we both exceeded the speed limit by 5 mph. Again, we took our positions on opposite sides of our lane, giving each other ample room and protecting each other's buffer space. Entering the Bottleneck From Hell (two lane hwy in rush hour, bumper to bumper, avg speed 25-35 mph), we closed a bit more distance to each other which prevented cars from suddenly cutting in front of us. I noticed that our rear and front cushions were respected by cars and trucks alike. Nice to know cagers do see and acknowledge us.

At one point I slowly rode up beside him when traffic was stopped. Planting my feet down on the ground, I looked over at him and pushed up my face shield. We both had sunglasses on, but could read each other's faces well enough.

I nodded, smiled and said "Nice thighs."

After a second's hesitation of surprise, he laughed and returned with "Nice bike. I like red, too."

Cars began moving forward and we both shifted into first inching along with the flow, me falling slightly behind and keeping to his right. As he spurted forward and changed lanes to the right, he waved and down the exit ramp he went.

Ah, it was a pleasant adventure, as I type still smirking to myself.
posted by Macrobe
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