Sunday, September 23, 2012

Riding and singing

Riding and singing.                                                                                                                          9/23/12

When I ride I like to listen to music. My GPS system has an mp3 player built in and I have about 9 hours of music downloaded. It is a pretty elaborate system to get the music into your helmet, this should be topic for another time.. Anyway while riding and listening to the music, I listen to mostly 70’s 80’s and 90’s rock some country, some newer stuff I even have Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra. As everybody knows music is inspiring, sometime while riding and jamming I look down to find myself traveling at the speed of light, well the speed of the Electric Light Orchestra. (ELO)  Thus the reason I also run a radar detector, also wired into helmet,, but that’s for another time too.

At times you can be riding along and a song comes on and the scenery it just right and the traffic is light and you can be inspired to sing along.  Don’t laugh at me you know you do it in the car too. But it is especially moving when you do it while wearing a helmet, traveling at the speed of light  in the wide open on the back of a fine machine cutting through the wind like one of those fighter jets in the movie Top Gun.

Riding in a group, a new experience. I recently started riding with group of guys. This is a little new to me as I usually ride on my own at my own speed and go wherever I want to go. In a group you have to all ride the same speed, follow the guy out front (even if you know he is lost) and have a predetermined destination and an agreement of when and where any and everything is going to happen. Everybody also has to be aware of each other’s riding skills, experience and most of all how far they can go on tank of gas. Ok since I’m new to the group and they have not figured out my skill level and I have not figured them out either I usually get to be very near the rear of the pack. I’m ok with this, seems to be sort of a pecking order kind of thing and I am the newbie.  Communication among the pack is important for a safe ride. The leader usually has some hand signals that relay a message and it is passed on by each rider. The leader will signal turning left or right, hazard in road, slowdown etc..  And since I’m riding near the back of the pack I get the message many times by watching the pack ahead of me. This is ok too because sometimes I have to be told more than once.. so I am told.

I got to be leader. One time, while riding with the group it was determined that we were lost. I had my trusty music playing GPS so I got to lead the pack back. Man I was going to show my stuff, and by stuff I mean my skills in the turns, my leadership ability all that! I would be the new leader from now on!! Yea right!! Well we all headed out and I couldn’t remember any of the hand signals the regular leader used but it seem everybody was keeping up ok and all was good under my leadership. Tunes were cranked, radar detector was set, beautiful day not much traffic so, let it rip. Man this was cool I was out front eating up miles and my crew was hanging in. We looked like a roller coaster going around every curve and thrills with every mile we made. Man this was fun being the leader.  Then we got to the first stop sign where we actually had to stop and turn.. I looked in the rearview mirror and the crew was way back there.. Hmm I thought “what’s up with those guys they were keeping up pretty good?” Then I realized I hadn’t really looked back at them for a while, possibly the last 10 miles. As they approached I lifted my face shield and asked the first couple riders “I am going too fast?” “Nope” they all replied. So off we go again.  Not long I notice they are all a pretty good ways back but they are going the same speed as I cause I’m not leaving them behind but they are not gaining on me..  Oh well.. We get to the actual stop and some needed gas so I found a gas station that looked like they could handle a volume of guys buying $10.00 of gas each. Pay at the pump was invented for guys riding in a pack. So once again I asked a few guys “am I riding too fast?” “Nope” they all replied again.  “Then why can’t yall keep up? “I asked. “Oh we can keep up; we just don’t like your singing.”