120 Miles of Smiles

Had a busy, busy weekend, which is why this post is after a three-day interval rather than the usual two. My weekend consisted of routine activities, with more two-wheel adventures now being included. As always, my routine begins with…

…a warm snuggle with the spouse as we observe sunrise and talk through our day’s plans. Spouse is waking even earlier since sunrise is so early. I still get out for a fast-paced walk each weekend morning whilst wearing my trusty and comfortable Chippewa hikers, but I walk for only for about an hour and about three-to-four miles, depending on my route. Upon return home, I prepared my usual four-gluten-free-flour waffles for The Spouse and cooked an egg & toast for myself, washed it down with OJ. (No coffee for me; I’m already wired!)

Shower, change to my sliders jeans, t-shirt, put the second pair of this day’s boots (Wesco Morrisons) on and get to work!

Saturday morning, I hopped on my Harley and rode to my H-D dealership where I helped my motorcycle club with an annual fundraiser. Kinda silly thing, but whatever… I volunteer a lot. While I was there, I was treated exceptionally well by the service staff of my local Harley dealer. I mentioned that I was concerned that my tires are probably low, and quick as a flash, a service guy checked the tires, confirmed that they each were 10 pounds low, rolled out a compressor, and voila! Back to safe pressure. No charge! As big and bulky as my bike is and as old-age achy my body always seems to be in, I can’t reach the valve stems since I can’t “get low” any more and I don’t have a lift. (Age is not my friend!)

Assuming an officer role with a motorcycle riding club and frequenting the dealership more often, and also knowing and working with a number of local motorcops whose Harleys are serviced there — the dealership staff know me well and I appreciate the respect and courtesy with which I am treated.

I was home by early afternoon. I changed clothes from biker duds to LOLIT-escorting duds (jeans, comfy Justin cowboy boots), and took five little old ladies and the spouse grocery shopping.

But the day wasn’t over yet! Changed again to BDUs and Timberland work boots and spent an hour on a lighting project for my homeowner’s association. This will still take many more hours to complete, but each hour gets us closer to having our neighborhood entrance well-lit at night.

Late afternoon, it was time for juicy hamburgers on the BBQ, baked potatoes, garden salad, and the joy of the smile on Spouse’s face while having dinner on our back deck on a pleasant, humidity-free, evening. Listening to the birds chirp, frogs croak in our pond, and watching the squirrels do their high-limb gymnastics in the back yard is relaxing.

But the mosquitoes were beginning to invoke blood transfusions, so it was time to go inside. By the usual 2130, I was out cold. Spouse guided me up the stairs to bed (I actually think that I sleep-walked it.)

Next morning, I rose at the usual 0400, did some quiet work, and then at 0545 had another warm snuggle, followed by another hour’s walk, another hot breakfast for The Spouse. I changed to CHP breeches with Chippewa Hi-Shine boots, but after moving vehicles around and getting the Harley ready to roll, I found that gear too warm. I quickly changed to tactical breeches and my favorite Chippewa Firefighter boots. Those boots just don’t get hot, despite hot weather.

I rode to my favorite “biker cousin’s” house where we arranged to meet for a ride. I got to meet his new gorgeous and well-behaved puppy who, I think, wanted to go riding with us. But she’s a little young for that and we had no helmet that would fit her (giggle.)

Cuz and I rode and rode and rode (120 miles, but seemed longer). Lovely scenery, open roads, little traffic, and full, bright sunshine. We stopped for ice cream and then lunch — in that order (giggle again.) Terrific ride with no destination in mind but having the order to get more miles under my butt for conditioning in preparation of my big Utah riding adventure. I love riding with this cousin who is a great guy, has a terrific sense of humor, and is an admirable & honorable young man.

Home by early afternoon. Checked in with The Spouse, who was fine. He was going to watch the ballgame on TV. I hopped back on the Harley and rode to an older part of my hometown (where I own houses that I rent to community heroes), and observed a groundbreaking for a new county building and community re-investment. Glad I rode the Harley because all regular parking was far away and they were running shuttles. However, motorcops directing traffic knew me and waved me into a restricted close-in parking area where they had parked their police motors. Nice to be known and welcomed this way — goes with being a long-time member of my community, right here in sprawling surburbia.

Chit-chatted with county elected leaders and officials, neighbors and fellow civic wonks, cops and firefighters, and then bid my farewells and rode home on a lovely, yet quite warm, sunny afternoon.

Back home — Spouse was still watching The Game. I prepared steaks on the grill, mashed potatoes, green beans, and a light garden salad. Water for both of us. We turned off the TV, ate our meal, and then Spouse resumed watching The Game while I caught up on some wonky business that I do as a civic leader — lining up testimony about another in-fill project nearby.

The humidity and bug-count was increasing, so we ate indoors. After dinner, I showed and began preparations for my work day to come. This will be a very busy and momentous week for me at work, but more on that next time.

Life is short: be a part of your community, contribute to it, serve, and be a welcomed member of what “real community” means.