Motorcycle TouringThe Charlie Bravo Story

Beautiful Day

You ever have one of those days? No, no, no, not THOSE days, one of the extraordinarily good ones? One of those rare days in August where it’s not unbearably hot and muggy, and I wake up to the sound of buckles being buckled and Velcro being, well, Velcroed? And no, that doesn’t mean that dad is putting on a brace or some other apparatus associated with injury or old age; that means Zach has called…


I get it; they try to keep this kind of info under wraps for as long as possible, because when I eventually figure out that we’re hitting the woods, I lose my mind and become the most annoying dog on the planet. Back and forth to the door, up and down off the bike, c’mon, c’mon, C’MON!, already! We’re burning daylight!

Then the moment of Nirvana arrives, and we hit the road. It’s early, so traffic is light, and dad is slicing and dicing through the back roads to the prescribed meet up point; who needs an interstate system? You can’t get your lean on on the interstate! The cool morning air rushing over dad’s shoulder causes my ears to stand straight up and my lips to peel back from my teeth; I am fully aware of how ridiculous this may appear, but dogs in ecstasy always look ridiculous, but we don’t care.

Like those who are dancing must look insane to those who cannot hear the music.

Then we meet up with Zach and the rest of the crew, and into the hills we go, through mud, over rock gardens, flashing past a small pack of my distant cousins, the eternally guilt-ridden coyote, over and over the valleys and through and through the hills. Everything is clicking: every turn effortless, every line perfection, meditation on a motorcycle, until…


There’s a little rural burger joint a few miles south of the woods where we ride; they don’t take plastic, but they do have outside tables, so this is where we usually end up. Besides, as being severely lacking in the pockets department, as in a place to stash my Platinum Visa, I make dad pick up the tab anyway. In this case, he hadn’t went by the ATM, so Zach got stuck with the tariff; I know, I know, I’m a mooch.

We split a cheeseburger(pepper jack, hold the onions) and a chocolate shake(don’t even go there), and we exit the gravel parking lot in a cloud of dust and glory. After a prolonged period of playing in the mud ends in Zach’s throttle getting stuck and him being jettisoned into the woods(much hilarity ensues), we finally began to wind down and begin the trek back home to the Casa.

Zach takes the lead when we leave the dirt and hit the asphalt, and as the curves intensify in their hypnotic effect, I find myself in my customary long haul position with my head on dad’s shoulder. King Beebe discovered the merits of this ear-to-ear connection long ago, as it seemed to allow him to tune in directly to dad’s thoughts, and the same works for me today.

…where did that boy learn to ride a bike like that? I’m having to hustle to even keep up! Here we go, fixing to cross Steel Bridge, this is where I would stand up on the pegs so I could check the water level on the creek; let’s just see if Zach does… 5,4,3,2,1, I’ll be danged, he looked at the exact second I would have, wow.
Sure hope mom’s not too bent out of shape that we’ve been gone all day… I believe I’ll just reach across and turn the rear view mirror so I can see what Charlie’s up to; Ha! She’s totally asleep on my shoulder, but the wind is peeling her eyelids and lips back! What a goober; wish I had a picture of this to put on the blog, but I’m kinda glad I don’t, this memory is mine…

Then we’re home, there are squirrels to be chased and Sandy to be assaulted, and life goes on.

It’s always a party at the Casa del Whackos!

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