Of Dragons and Asphalt

Every time we get the idea of heading up the mountains there is always a huge effort of timing, preparation, and planning.

From loading 350 pound bikes onto a rental truck, a NINE HOUR drive, packing, to getting vacation time from work there is much to be done. It always seems like a lot of work for just a few days away.

Helmet, jacket, gloves, boots, camera, video camera, memory cards, batteries, cash… Jesus, where am I going to put all of this on that little sport bike? White knuckles, check. OK, let’s go.

That first ride up 28 instantly erases the memory of all the painstaking effort and time, the planning and weather watching, the overtime and crazyness of the preparation.

Clicking my bike into 3rd gear and laying into the throttle, hearing the scream of the engine bouncing off of the canyon walls, the natural laws of physics start to make sense in a Taoist kind of way.

When riding at high altitudes at a “reasonable” rate of speed (lol), your ears will deafen and pop like they do on an airplane. I always try to avoid swallowing or popping them, because when your lean angle is just right, you can actually HEAR the relationship between the road and your tires over the screaming exhaust. Like the soft murmur of a distant conversation. I’ve never been a religious man, but that sound is as close to enlightenment as I’ve ever been.