Thursday, July 21, 2011

Are we rebels?

I may have said this before, but writers are isolative people. Ask me to show you a good time, and I’ll show you my laptop, rocker-recliner, and a fresh cup of coffee. You want more details? All right – Pandora Radio (the paid version), an open MS Word document, and a story blasting into my head out of the ether so fast that, even typing 120 words per minute, I can’t keep up.  We’re talking nirvana here, folks, it doesn’t get any better than this.

And yet I also consort with a group of people who have a tendency to say, “Screw it, let’s ride!”

So on Saturday, that’s exactly what we did.

A lot of stuff has happened since we last had coffee.

First, I drowned my Blackberry Pearl in the toilet. Then I got a new phone. Then we went on a 150 mile motorcycle ride for charity. And yesterday I published a short story on Smashwords (for details see post prior to this one, or click the books tab).

I have a bit of a history of crashing cars and dropping phones.

Enough so that my spouse looks at me sideways and says, “How much did you hate that Ford EXP?” (Google it, I dare you. Send me a pic, if you can find one. EXP in this case is not short for Explorer or Expedition. It was NOT an SUV – it was a wonky little 2-seater wanna-be sports car, and our particular model didn’t have any heat. In winter. In Minnesota).

Anyway. I digress. I’ve crashed a few cars in my lifetime. And dropped more than one phone in the toilet.
Which leads to different cars and different phones.

So now I’m getting used to a lovely little gadget called an iPhone, and at the moment everybody’s happy. Although today I am driving a wonky little 2-seater wanna-be sports car that doesn’t have air conditioning. High temps in the 90’s. In the Summer. In Wisconsin.

Sheesh, the similarities are killing me.

To make up for the inconvenience and expense of unexpectedly needing a new phone, I did my husband a special favor.

(No, not that. Well…  Ah-hem. Never mind).

I accepted an invitation from friends to join them on the Spirit of Service ride, which started in Hermantown MN and ended at the Carlton MN VFW.

ride july 11 crop

Oh, lookee! There’s my fancy new iPhone. In my hand. Now where the heck did I leave my sunglasses?
“The mission of this ride is to raise money for our Troops and Veterans, so we can lift the “spirit” of these fine men and women who have served and/or are still serving this great country.”

We’ve been on several charity rides, and they’re always a blast. On this one we were fed THREE TIMES (including cake!) and I even won a nice little prize in a drawing. It was 90 degrees and humid, which was only truly miserable when we stopped for food and beverages. Or when we parked in the direct sunlight at one of those stops and then had to get on the bike again. Ooh. I think my ass got hot-seat-burn through my jeans. Dang.

Bikers are cool. I often wonder about the rebel reputation, the view of bikers as troublemakers and rabble-rousers – because we feel that a lot of bikers are the nicest people you’d ever meet. We ride for charity, we look out for one another, we give each other the V sign as we pass on the highway going opposite directions. (That’s my job, specifically, when riding the bike – look pretty and wave. Ask my husband – he’ll tell you). When we’re parked on the side of the rode because the bike is acting ornery, other riders always stop to see if everything is okay.

When my magnetic sunglass attachment flew off my glasses and I made my husband jump out of formation so we could turn around and look for them, a good sized crew of bike folk pulled over and waited for us. It was a good thing, too, because we didn’t know exactly where the next stop was.

Admittedly, motorcycle rides are my husband’s gig. I’d still be perfectly happy with my laptop and recliner. But. I have made a promise to myself to get outside and live a little, especially since our summers are so short and our winters are long. There is plenty of time to be anti-social when the snow flies.


The Spirit of Service ride was our first time out on the Harley together this year. Personally, I really enjoy buying clothing to ride on the bike. I especially like buying leather. I like the stops. I like trying new coffee (or sometimes vodka) at different bars and such along the way. The ride was also a great motivator for me to get my iPhone loaded with music.

Writers have vivid imaginations. Without my mellow, soothing music, I tend to sit on the back of the bike and have gruesome visions of how I could die any minute now. iTunes helps.

But where are the rebels, you ask?

We had approximately 50 bikes on this 150 mile ride. We had three or four really brave riders who controlled traffic for us. They weren’t in uniform. They didn’t have police authority. They just burned rubber to the head of the caravan and blocked intersections with their bikes and their bodies.

Talk about guts. Whoa!

It was nice though, because  all 50 of us were able to run the red light or the stop sign and ride in one big group. Probably safer – because pretty much everyone knew we were there, unlike the lone bike that often gets overlooked in traffic.

Sometimes there was honking and angry people. I sort of thought maybe a few of us could branch off and follow the angry ones, then solicit them to donate to our charity. “Hey, dude, you did not respect the group. You divided and inconvenienced the group by putting your car in the middle of it. Some gave all. You can give some.”

I like it. Of course, we didn’t do that. The few cars that ignored our impromptu roadblocks tended to pull over to the side of the road when they realized they were in the middle of a “gang” of 50 motorcycles. I don’t necessarily think it was intimidating, but it’s perhaps not the most comfortable position to be in.

In one small town a lady police officer had blocked the road for us. So perhaps the authorities were in on this, after all.

It was the whole road blocking thing that made me wonder if we were rebels, after all.

I think it’s possible. Rebels with a cause. That’s not too shabby. Live a little. Make sure you life has some fun stuff in it. Ride.

Happy Thursday, Darlings, and be glad it’s almost Friday!

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