Hello, we are Dick and Nancy from Bath New Hampshire. Most of our riding is solitary by choice. There are not many scooter partners that want to leave their bed at 5am to ride in the stix. Each time I start the engine of my scooter I get excited not really knowing where I am going or what I am going to see. The road is an endless opportunity of choices. I am anxious and excited with little to no destination in mind. What will I see, where will I go, who will I talk to? I pack a light snack and/or lunch and start my day at 6am.
The Yamaha and the camera play parallel roles. Each is a means to seek out a path. With the scooter it is quite literal. With the camera the path is more subtle and hard to see. Yesterday morning I left with no physical destination in mind. Photographically there was no path in sight but I did not even leave the driveway when a small buck came out to watch me.
I am certain the Yamaha helps embrace my need to look around not only on the road but alongside it as well. The complete comfort of traveling slowly allows me to see things I would miss going 35 MPH or faster. I wonder if it would be difficult to travel so slowly for long periods of time on a motorcycle capable of speeds in excess of 100 MPH. The nature of the beast might rail against such pedestrian travel.
I have been having an on-again off-again relationship with digital photography. I am seeking a path, a subject area that will catch fire in my imagination. I wander around the side of the creek awhile before I click a few frames.
Later I find myself looking at some familiar trees, some I have photographed before. Like an old friend I have to stop and say hello.
There is something there that I have not recognized yet that keeps bringing the camera back. Something I haven't figured out. So I take another picture.
There are several discs on my desk waiting for me fire up the computer software and fine tune them. The digital process and my instant gratification is in direct contrast to the film development and printing process. I definitely feel the tug and pull of opposing forces. My hope is the ride will sort things out and reveal the path I seek before the possible purchase of a new SLR camera. The Olympus seems to work fine but the options with the new SLR is tugging at my creativeness. The price tag is a bit steep but the end might justify the means.
I tell myself the scooter can go up the trail. There might be something interesting up there. This trail is a remnant of an old farm lane. Over rock, root and rut I make my way through the woods and into a hidden hay field, freshly cut, that looks out over a view of the valley I have not seen before. A little gift of a riding choice.
I would never make the choice in my car or my husbands truck. Little explorations like this just aren't generally in character for most drivers myself included. The terrain and near absence of a clear path would exclude most motorcycles as well. I don't think many Harleys or other big bike riders are going to find promise here. These little adventures are made for a scooter.
I am riding my yamaha on loosely packed gravel roads with lots of washboard areas on the steeper sections. The scooter feels like one or both of the tires could slip out at any moment as I proceed along the smoother sections at 25 MPH. I have to fight the urge to put my feet out as outriggers like you do in the snow. I keep telling myself to keep my head up and throttle even. The wheels still feel as if they are sliding around.
While trying not to picture the paint job or my body after I drop I throttle back to 20 MPH, which turns out to be a comfortable speed for me. I tempt fate by throttling up for short periods but none of this affords me any additional riding confidence. I will eventually look into a more aggressive tire tread which might help but I wonder how much of this riding I would actually be doing and why 20 MPH isn't just fine. Then I picture a 40 mile stretch of this sort of gravel.
Friday the 13th
Just a few miles from home I was already bemoaning the quality of light I had to ride in. Clear skies and a morning temperature of 49? F were almost too much to bear. With no fog or interesting light any photography would simply be a futile exercise.
My mental complaining was so loud that I almost missed the signs along the road and then not even wanting to stop. My head was a long list of expectations and requirements necessary for a good ride.
I stopped along the road to watch an Osprey who was watching me also.