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Local Roads
By the Checkered Demon

Living up the hill entails conditions, road-wise. The geology hasn't quite settled down and the roads are dirt, with a scattering of ball bearing sized stones overlaid to keep you honest. You really don't want to start things you can't finish heading down towards town, where there's pavement and speed.

The bike is proper, an '09 XR1200 Harley Sportster with a Vance & Hines track kit. Loud, wearing many bucks worth of custom paint. More of an evil piglet than a Hog. It's rather quick, it both handles and stops well and Harleys have the dirt gene. It's almost a shame to hook up to the Macadam.

Now you can't play so loose. There's grip there, and though the bike will still slide and drift, a bad bit of throttle on pavement can make it suddenly grab, stand up and tumble end over end exiting a turn. Or the front tire hooks under, producing the same result. Twice in my life, and three would probably finish it. So it's really a madness to go all knee down in curves on public roads. I leave that for a couple of squids on crotch rockets who blow past me pretty foolish, owing their lives to the oncoming car who faded to the verge, shooting me the bird and glaring as I rode by in my lane. I guess he thought we were a group. He might not fade the next time.

Rip off up the hill to Stove Flats, maybe 1,500 feet of elevation gained up a snaky road through a canyon with overhanging cliffs, which shed rocks and debris onto the road, usually in the middle of your line. Awareness grows. Descend towards town down Rist Canyon, good bobsled moves but more vehicles now. The exhausts crack off the canyon walls and the tempo of petro-thunder frightens the Deer, launches flocks of birds and pisses off the residents. It has set off car alarms. It's what ran me out into the County. Jerks like me.

I worked my way along the edge of town nice and easy, low engine speed to keep the pipes quiet and the police at bay. I finally caught my road home and rolled on up into the foothills, around a lake and into the gravel lot of the Canyon Grill. There were probably 30 or so bikes parked around, and a crowd of geezers and lads in biker duds drinking beer and lying to strangers. I found shade and a table and sipped at an icy beer while I waited for my chicken burrito and sweet potato fries. They'd look dandy displayed against the alarming cleavage of the waitress, who'd described the food in a low sultry way that left me a little at sea.

Well, they did. And there was no doubt I was dealing with a mammal there, these medicine balls oscillating before my eyes like a fan as she spread out the food. I wanted to tip the Canyon Grill's HR department for hiring her!

All stuffed, I strolled out to the bike. A little concentration for the job at hand, for the one thing you can't do is drop your bike pulling out of a biker bar. Roll straight back 20 feet or so with a dead engine and hook left in a j-turn. You are now facing the exit. Crank up, rev for effect and motor out smoothly, feeding more throttle as you enter the road, making the perfect shifts and leaving the perfect audio signature as you vanish up the hill.

I was on my road, the drive, when I stopped the bike, shut it down and parked it on the stand. I walked to the edge and looked down the drop off before hurling the burrito and fries, the beer and the milk I had ordered for some reason all down the slope into the weeds. My stomach felt as though I'd eaten a litter of live mice.

A solid week lying up in a bath tub eating ice and coke syrup, when I wasn't being given a saline drip for dehydration, or vomiting. That's the way to lose ten pounds without a thought. I call it the victim diet.

I'm as guilty as Jimmy Carter, for the lust those bosoms created in my heart, and I paid my fine in full. My sins have been absolved and I don't trust girls with big tits no more. No sir.



Swarms of $65 drones overwhelm Russian defenses in Syria, and I walk the place looking at the approaches, thinking about that. Thinking about Amazon, and just how available the new stuff is.

I have only once seen the imprint of a hawk's wing in the snow, and maybe I just don't look hard enough, but it was like finding a message from the other side. The bird banked left and dragged the tip, striking a jinking bunny.

I hope your cold days have warm spots. Joe will show the bird.


Love in Reverse

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