I went for a long ride again on Sunday and I met up with some interesting characters along the way.
I saw bunches of these guys, just scampering and threatening to ruin my day at every dip and curve in the road:
Then I traversed along side some farmland and ran into two of these guys:
Then as I was descending a long, sweeping road through some dark lush forest, a wild turkey darted up the side bank:
Later, after I left the county airport viewing area (there were no airplanes to view on this day) this guy was standing on the side of the road as I scooted by:
As I rode along I counted scooters and saw only one. A guy went down a road that I was turning onto at a traffic light. He was riding a Honda Helix and wearing only shorts, flip flops, and a tee shirt. Oh, yeah, and sunglasses! No helmet.
That was it for scooters.
I saw plenty of motorcycle riders. At one point I had two behind me and one sped past me like I was a turtle being passed up by the proverbial hare. I tried to yell out "Slower is better!", but he went by so fast he did not hear me.
Toward the end of the ride I cruised down a long curve toward the East Fork of the Little Miami River in Clermont County. I decided to stop here and admire the view and rest my hind end as it was getting pretty numb.
As I pulled over and dismounted, a motorcycle guy pulled over next to me and asked me if I was ok. I told him, yes, but I was taking a rest. He asked if I minded him taking a rest here too and so he did and we chatted it up a bit.
He was a county native and a long time motorcycle rider and we talked about the routes in the area and I learned so much about great areas to ride. Never once did he snicker or chuckle or whatever at my lowly Met, but treated me as a "fellow rider" and seeker of back road adventures.
I felt good about that and yet a little humbled and a lot envious of his range and power to explore for hours on end.
While this conversation ensued, another Harley rider pulled up and asked if we were ok and then joined in the conversation. His bike was a work of art and I wish I had asked to take a photo of it.
It was a graceful composite of chrome pipes and red glossy paint on a low riding, classic cruiser.
With him joining us the conversation continued on into talking about riding back toward my old stompin' grounds out in the rural county that I lived in for 7 years. They both knew about roads and bars and cafes and overlooks and everything about my beloved routes.
It was so nice to learn more from their perspective and listen to their stories.
I realized instantly a common bond for riding and just wandering aimlessly on the back roads. No agendas, no time frame, just ride and see where you end up.
For just a few I felt like this:
Instead of this:
We all stood and shared stories for a bit, perched on the bridge beside the river.
As the skies darkened, another rider pulled up and warned us of a storm that was brewing just down the road, so we all said our good-byes and went our separate ways.
It was over in a moment, that mystical gathering of back road moto spirits.
I then headed up a steep hill out of the valley at wide open throttle and cursed my 49cc engine all the way.
I got home dry and intact and dreaming of more power.
But then, for a brief moment in time, I was part of a community of bikers.
For just a few moments, there at the bridge, I was "cool"!
(all photos courtesy of the internet photo gallery)