Perfection in the Morning Commute

It's early in the morning. Very early. It's just beginning to get light outside. It is that in between time when it’s no longer night, but not yet day.

I step into the garage and push the button for the garage door. I’m annoyed by how the noise of the old garage door opener destroys the stillness of the morning. There’s no music or rhythm to the clatter – it’s just noise.

I began to put on my gear. I’ve done it so many times, it’s simply habit. My hands quickly perform their task, almost with no instruction from my brain. I don my jacket. The snug, comfortable fit is familiar, almost like an old friend. The body armor slides perfectly into place. The act of zipping the jacket and fastening the Velcro around my neck and wrists is so natural, so automatic; I don’t even have to think about it. I pick up my helmet and a quick tug of the straps pulls it on my head. The quick lock strap snaps firmly into place. I pick up my gloves and pull them on. The fit is snug but comfortable. More Velcro straps hold them firmly in place.

I swing my leg over the bike and settle into the seat. Over time the foam of the seat is worn to just the right shape. Comfortable. Familiar. Just right. My hands find their way to the grips. A quick glance shows that the mirrors are perfectly adjusted. A little choke. A quarter blip of the throttle. The key is turned to the on position and my thumb hits the starter. Instantly the bike rumbles to life. The deep sound of the exhaust is sweet. The rhythm of the 4 cylinders… The burble of the exhaust… The mechanical noise of the engine… The slight vibration in the handle bars… All of these individual pieces come together to form a symphony of rhythm and sound. The song is well known by my ears. But like an old favorite that never gets tired, it still brings a smile to lips and it lightens my heart.

I roll the bike backwards down the driveway. Close the garage door. Pull in the clutch and gently push down on the shift lever. The bike drops into first gear. I gently ease out the clutch and slowly roll out of the neighborhood. The cool morning air is refreshing. I gather speed as I make my way to the freeway. I roll up the on-ramp and the bike effortlessly goes around the corner. Up on to the freeway, I readily find a spot to merge. It’s pretty easy at this time of day, not too many cars – yet.

The bike moves with just a thought. Accelerating. Changing lanes. Braking. Merging. It all seems to happen so smoothly, so effortlessly. It is as if the rider and machine are one. I’m focused on the traffic. No radio. No cell phone. Just man, machine and the music they create together. It’s as close to perfection as I can imagine. It’s that feeling. It’s that state of oneness. It’s that state of perfection… that’s why I ride.

Today's ride is simply to work. I'm not fortunate enough to enjoy a ride to the mountians on this day. But even a simple ride to work, can make an otherwise mundane workday perfect.

No comments: