Hello to everyone in the vast reaches of cyberspace.
It’s been quite some time since I have posted something on the blog. I must admit I haven’t been giving the blog as much attention as I did in the past. This is largely due to the fact that the free time I once had has been drastically reduces by work commitments.
Nonetheless I have been doing a fair bit of riding, and once more an epiphany struck me as I was moving in unison with my two-wheeled machine.
But before I get to that, a little bit of background. Being part of a motorcycle club carries with it the duty to attend specific events at specific times as decided by the club. However, if such an event is perhaps cancelled for some specific reason and one has already planned to go riding on that day, one can’t let the opportunity go to waste.
So with the event being cancelled, I still set out riding on the 30th of June this year with a nervous pillion on board and a few key points I hoped to reach during this ride. My pillion on the other hand was just along for the ride.
We spent some good time on the road, riding one of my favourite road sections colloquially dubbed “the twisties”, a somewhat winding piece of back-road that runs through an area called the cradle of mankind. One starts roaming through the valleys and then moving up the side of a hill. At the highest point on the road one has a magnificent view of the valley below. Thereafter one descends back into the valley and on route to Hartebeespoort dam. The route we wound up following takes one across the dam wall with another magnificent view.
We spent the day riding between Upperdeck restaurant, “Tant Mallie se winkel” (translated to Aunty Mallie’s Shop), and the Chameleon village flea market, and having dinner at Upperdeck before setting off to home. At this point in time it was dark already and the winter air was extremely cold. The route home took us past the Hartebeeshoek Earth Station, on a route once again colloquially dubbed the “satellite road” thanks to the large radio telescope and dish arrays found along the route.
Now we come to the epiphanies that had occurred to me during this delightful day of riding. The first of which is the title of the post. Back to basics. Riding as part of a club is quite fun, and it has a massive impact on moral when a large group comes together to brave the weather and have some fun. But in some instances one yearns for the solitude that comes with solo riding. I understand that my travels on this day is not exactly solo in the presence of my pillion, but the solo riding I’m referring to is having the ability to divert and change routes on a whim and just travel to where the road takes you without having an impact of other riders in a large group. Its this type of riding that I have yearned for in quite some time. Setting out with no plan, no time limit an no set destination with the sole objective of enjoying the day.
The second epiphany came on the travel back home in the dark. There’s something poetic about riding in the dark. Staring at the canvas of black and stars and watching your headlight paint a narrow beam of tar mere meters in front of itself. The absolute desolation of these country roads at night, the eerie hum of engine and screech of wind makes one feel so alone, so at peace. One is lost without truly travelling off the beaten track. The road so familiar also so unknown.
Its one trip I wouldn’t soon forget, nor is it a trip that I wouldn’t wish to repeat. To all my fellow riders and readers, ride safe, and enjoy the journey.