Sunday, March 21, 2010

Introspective, in handy bullet-point form

It's Sunday night and I start my new job tomorrow morning, so I'd better put whatever remaining punctuation down on the New Orleans "Spring Break" trip there is bouncing around my head.  Here goes, at random:
  • I didn't expect to make it all the way to Michigan on the bike.  I expected to stop somewhere in Tennessee and figure out a way to get it in the back of a u-haul.
  • Yes, I had been planning to go to New Orleans to buy the Triumph.  I had my heart set on this bike for a while and was scouting out places that had this model (1) in-stock to satisfy my silly need for instant gratification (2) on sale as leftover 2009 (3) in a climate where I could expect a March test-ride and (4) east of the rockies.  There were options in suburban Dallas, suburban Houston and suburban Tampa.  And down-freakin'-town New Orleans. Let's see... yep.  Easy choice.
  • Why a Triumph?  I don't know, maybe you can blame this guy.

  • I didn't buy this bike for long-distance touring.  It's pretty stupid for that.  The vast majority of my riding is within 1 hour of my home, and it should be just fine at that, thank you much.
  • That said, I really enjoy traveling on two wheels - you feel more like a traveler everywhere you go, even on the nights you're a shill using your fancy points at the corporate hotel chain.  I may even need to consider adding a more-fitting machine to pursue this beyond my weekend jaunts in the upper midwest on the Street Triple.  But that brings me to a key lesson-learned.  Things happen slower on a bike.  Back roads happen more than highways and anything but interstates.  Small towns and stretch-breaks happen more.  These are all good things.  But if I'm ever going to carve the canyons in California, I'm going to need six weeks off work.  At least.
  • I said this after my GM trip last summer across the western states ending in Seattle.  I need to get a better camera and learn how to use it.  The Canon Powershot is a fantastic tiny point-and-shoot.  It fits in my pocket and can power-on and take a decent blur-protected shot in 3 seconds.  But it just simply doesn't do the scenery justice.  A digital SLR and a good-enough lens kit are serious money, but I think it's gonna be worth it.
  • The next point, one any reader must be thinking, is that I'm going to have take someone along on my next trip so I have something else to take pictures of other than that stupid bike.  Sharp-looker though it may be... 
  • I still struggle with seizing the moment and forcing people into my pictures - even if I'm thinking it, I'm still usually too shy to impose.  Objects and scenery are easy to picture but sometimes a face or two makes a better memory.  Something to work on I guess, and as someone once reminded me, probably the reason there are professional photographers in the world.
  • After safely riding north out of all the "gunrack"-associated states and sitting home on my couch, I allowed myself to re-watch Easy Rider today.  Take it away, Jack...

  • I liked writing about traveling here.  I think I might even have a few followers, which is neat.  I'd probably have done this just for myself but all the better if I can communicate a bit more than I have in the past.  I'd like to continue the blog in some form.  But I'm not sure what it'll be like.  I might take some time to think about it.
  • The trip to New Orleans and the ride home had their minor breakthroughs, but I still struggle a bit with spontaneity and openness alone on the road.  I want to be a better traveler (not that I think I'm a *bad* traveler) but it's hard to do.  I think it has to start in the approach to day-to-day life, because at least on a two-week getaway, I can't just switch off my mood when I hit the road.  It stays with me for a while and maybe keeps me from being the adventurous-Andy or sociable-Andy that exists in my head.  And that's about all the introspective I care to be about that.
  • End on a happy note: Egrets! Gumbo! Schwinn! Croissants! Abita! Dogs! Motorcycle!

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1 comment:

  1. I love this blog! What a great trip, great photos, fascinating story! Very cleverly done. I read from start to finish. Look forward to more "interesting days!" Not anonymous - Karen G