I walked into the garage and didn’t realize how much time had passed. About eight weeks ago I slipped on a Dell keyboard and my foot slammed into the television stand. I took a hard fall and sprained my ankle badly. I knew that it was going to be a long haul as joint injuries in the extremities take their time to heal. The fact that it was bad just added to the mess. The good news is that it happened heading into winter rather than in the peak of the spring or fall motorcycle riding season.
My recovery has been pretty standard. My mini disaster happened on the 26th of October. From that, I was on crutches full time for about two weeks. It took another two weeks to fully ween off of the crutches. It was yet another two weeks to ween off the air cast. Now it’s nearing mid December. Fortunately, we’ve had a lot of rain this fall. We need the rain and it keeps me from being bummed out that I’m not riding. The goal was to be able to ride to our Christmas party (12/15). My ankle was going to have to be in pretty good health to go riding. Since it was the left ankle it had to be able to bend enough to shift and strong enough to lift the bike off the side stand.
As that weekend was approaching far out in the weather forecast was not looking good. A cold front was to roll in and keep the temps down and the clouds in. My heart sank. I hoped that things might change. The unexpected news was that this coming weekend was to be perfect for riding. It was to be in the high 60s and sunny on Sunday. I walked into the garage and it hit me: a lot of time had passed. The bike had bugs and dirt crusted on it from rides gone by. The grease on the chain was dried up. The oil level was low. The tires were down in air.
As I sit here noting the motorcycle’s shortcomings, I too had my own. My riding gear was shall we say: tight. My joints were stiff from not riding. I didn’t feel anywhere near in my groove. I knew though that if I didn’t go today it would be another month before I’d get to go riding again. Sometimes you just have to just go for it. I pulled the laces on my boots taught for as much support as I could get out of them.
I decided to take a less is more approach. Normally I’d equate riding down a big freeway like eating a can of spam. When hunger pangs kick in, then spam starts tasting better. When you are ravenous, well, spam is pretty darn good. When I started the bike up it labored a bit as it had been 8 weeks since it was last run. All sorts of interesting smells came out of the exhaust. With a pull of the clutch lever, a tap of the shifter, and a blip of the throttle I was back on the road!
The minutes that followed were the best ride I’d had in a long time. My face was back in the wind and the bike was out on the road. Sometimes it doesn’t matter where you are going. I just matters that you are moving. This was one of those times.