Commuting long distance on a motorcycle

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Freedom is the simple ability to do what you want when, where, and how you want to. Pretty simple stuff. There has to be another word for that feeling of riding the bike into work. I like my job. The people I deal with are professional, easy to get along with, and basically pretty darn good people. And, I love riding somewhere to meet them.

My clients are all over the world. I primarily deal with people in America, Latin America, and in the Asia Pacific theater. One of my former clients is even on this list, and I find that talking about our mutual hobby is a pretty darn good thing. I’ve met up with people I know professionally in the darndest places. Like the parking lot of a rally. But, I’d rather be riding getting bonus points.

When there isn’t snow on the ground I ride the bike to work most of the time. The commute from door to office is 67 miles. Just a warm up by long distance riding standards, but a relaxing adventure through the trials and tribulations of Denver traffic to be sure. When I ride to the customer (who provides motorcycle only parking!) it is 102 miles door to office. It includes the durable hell of the Boulder Turnpike, but the wonder of HOV lanes! Getting to work is nice on the bike, but I’d rather be riding collecting state lines.

Tonight (9/10/01) I rode home in the perfect weather at the perfect time of day. Leaving my office in the Colorado Center just outside downtown Denver I zipped south on I25 in near zero traffic. I had to stay late till about 6:30 PM talking with customers in Australia. It was early morning for them, and I could hear one kind lady in Singapore getting her kids out of bed as we discussed issues for the week to be dealt with. I’m sure they were intent on the thoughts of the day, but for me I was intent on the ride to come. I’d love to ride around Australia and Asia.

When the phone call finished I was on the bike headed south five minutes later. Using the collector distributor lanes of the highway I made time out of Denver trusting in Mr. Valentine. Denver uses photo radar vans that move around town and can appear anywhere (Now they have been declared illegal). Especially on I25 in light traffic. When you climb Surrey Ridge south of Denver you can watch the mountains appear out of the brown cloud that can cover Denver in late summer early fall. The sunshine gets brighter, the air gets cleaner, and the road gets smoother. Castle Rock is a blink in the commuters eye as you get to the Palmer Divide. It stretches along the front range of Colorado between Monument Colorado, and Castle Rock Colorado. The borders are fuzzy, but I think of it as the great plateau. This is a most excellent ride.

I found some other users “on” the highway too. I’m no expert on USAF jets, but I believe the designation is F-15. Twin tails big motors, and loud. Five of them flying low and fast breaking into separate groups and recombining. As I rode across the plateau I could watch them streak across the sky turn and dip like giant hawks cart wheeling through the sky. Freedom from gravity, or at least the ability to tame it. A new kind of freedom to experience. No matter how hard you try you can’t keep up with a fighter jet. Unless it’s parked. True symbols of what keep our freedom true. I’ll never get this kind of ride.

Perfect weather, perfect time of day, no traffic to speak of, golden sunlight on everything, and just a ribbon of road reaching out beckoning me to pass my exit for home. Some day I want to experience the freedom to just ride. I want to see what is over the next hill. See the sun rise on the East Coast, and watch it set on the West Coast. This is truly a ride for the future.

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