It is a beautiful fall day and I am alone. Sure, there are other vehicles on the road – lots of them – but mine is the only motorcycle I see. I feel sorry for those who have already put their bikes away for the winter. They don’t know what they’re missing, I think.
Trucks parked on the side of the rural roads with hunters patrolling the shoulders looking for evidence of game indicate deer season is upon us. Most carry rifles, some carry bows, but all are wearing blaze orange vests and caps over top of camouflage pants and jackets. I wonder, what is the point of wearing camo then? All look at me as if I’m nuts to be riding today. Some wave; most don’t.
No more bright reds and yellows in the forest. Now the trees are gray and barren, having sloughed off the last of their leaves during the wind storm a few days ago. It’s evident nature is hunkering down in preparation for winter.
Though it’s only 2 PM the bike and I cast a long shadow across the pavement. The sun, in a deep blue, cloudless sky, is already low on the southern horizon, providing light but little heat, a huge change from even a month ago. So it’s cool. The forecast was for 11 degrees, but it feels like it’s still in the single digits. No matter, I’m dressed for it and am reasonably comfortable. Besides, a cup of coffee at Tim Hortons will warm the blood in advance of the return trip home.
I don’t quite achieve a Zen state of riding – it’s not that kind of day – but for a couple of hours I am in my element. I think about the beauty of nature and how transient summer is at this latitude. I enjoy the sense of calm while riding a country road with no other vehicle in sight. I breath the crisp autumn air, with just a hint of decay as the fallen leaves begin their journey to ultimately become forest loam. I listen to, and feel, the sound of the big twin and remark, again, on how much better it runs in the cooler, dense, air. And I wonder if this is my last ride of the season.