03 May 2009

Third gear

I’ve left the city some time ago; I have abandoned the combative motorists and tailgaters, cell phone users and all of the seemingly ubiquitous texting that goes on behind the wheel nowadays.

That’s all a memory but still fresh in my mind, those frustrations are behind me, and I can relax on my country road, riding my bike in a peaceful third gear canter. In only twenty miles, life has slowed down a thousand times; the muscles in my neck are relaxing, the aching conflicts have withdrawn. It’s just me, my bike and the Palouse.

It’s all about to happen. The annual flood of wheatgrass, blanketing countless rolling hills and valleys in a mantle of green; by the end of June, these fields will be waist high with ripening wheat.

Dismounting the bike on the side of a hill, I follow a game trail that leads to a cliff, facing west; looking out, far across the valley, I spot the barn that I took a photo of on Christmas Eve.

There is a sympathetic and cool breeze on my face, climbing up from the valley floor below, carrying with it, the clean scent of fresh soil recently turned over by a farmers plow.

I have returned to my bike to write down these thoughts and decide to stay awhile and decompress a bit more on the side of this hill.

This has been therapeutic; living life in third gear for a spell, the greening fields, and the scent of turned earth carried on the wind.

I believe that I will ride the rest of the way home in third gear as well.

Ride well,
Whatever gear you choose to ride in.



RazorsEdge2112 said...

Earl, that is beautiful. May all of us who ride have an opportunity to ride like that.

Ride safe.

Lance said...

Earl, your writing and pictures are fantastic! Thanks for posting!

Arizona Harley Dude said...

Earl, this post could be the Poster Child for that oft asked question, "Why a motorcycle."

Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom and love of riding.

Canajun said...

Great post and photos! Living in the country myself, I really hate the days I have to ride into the city for anything. You nailed the joy of 3rd gear riding for sure.
Just curious - where were the pictures taken?

Charlie said...

I need to get myself down there and check out the greenery. I know I look forward to it every year myself. The third gear analogy makes sense to me now that I learned how to downshift from 5th once in a while.


Earl Thomas said...

RazorsEdge2112:It's good to hear from you again! haven't seen you in awhile. How are the flight lessons progressing? Hope you still have that flying bug.

I guess if we can't actually stop to smell the roses, I hope that we can at least downshift a gear or two to enjoy the scenery.

Lance: Thanks. This was a journal entry from a week ago. This Sunday, the weather was pretty crummy to get out and enjoy much.

Arizona Harley Dude: That's one of the things that I love about all of our Motorcycle blogs; that perpetual attempt at doing our best to explain why. I'll keep giving it my best shot.

Canajun: The photo's were taken in my neck of the woods here in Eastern Washington State. It's a 4000 square mile of rolling wheatfields known as "Palouse Country". Precisely these photo's that I took last week were about 30 miles south of Spokane Washinton on the way to Pullman.

Charlie: Things are finally starting to green up down here. The ride to work was beautiful. Many more to come.

Ride Well


bobskoot said...

Touching words today. Too many people are rushing to nowhere fast and missing the "simple" things that makes life interesting. Scenes of nature, landscapes and just enjoying the fresh air and the elements.

It's hard to find roads not jammed with vehicles or places devoid of humans but I'll try to find a 3rd gear ride soon

Thank you again for sharing your inner thoughts

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Lady Ridesalot said...

Just beautiful! I especially love the picture of the valley with the sun rays shining down through the clouds. It makes you want to thank our maker for putting us in such a beautiful place. The nice thing about riding... is we can ride away from our daily life and find these treasures, as you did on this day.

Your thoughts reflect the way I feel about it. I can be having the worse day, but a little time on the Glide... well, it's magical how it just melts away.

Thanks for sharing such beautiful pics!

Ride on!
Lady R

irondad said...


I'm looking forward to being back up there in September. Yes, this time I'm staying and spending some time riding around.

Life On Two Wheels said...

Great post. I've been contemplating trying to find a cheap dual sport so I could get off the beaten path for a while and leave the cell phones at home. I was able to experience something similar in Utah a while back on a survival trip. I've been riding for 6 years now but planning my first long trip so this provides some good inspiration. Thanks.

Earl Thomas said...

Irondad, Hopefully we'll be able to hook up this time around.

Life on Two Wheels, I don't think that you can go wrong with something like the KLR. Low cost of ownership, unpretentious to a tee and with that ship of the desert fuel tank, you don't have to stop for a long time.

Ride Well


mıontieandme said...

Fabulous photos and great blog :)

Touring Motocycle Tires said...

I call such a moment "The Bike - Me time". I have always enjoyed this moment! Going out for rides away from the other motors. just riding all alone in the woods and taking pictures of me and my bike. I am sure you did enjoy yourself.!