The Value of Community and Trusting Your Body...

Its been an epic day!  I'm not one to ride with others very often - but - one must make exceptions for family!!

My cousin Duane rode from Gravenhurst to Hawkesbury, ON to meet me... its an honour thing for him!  So, having spent the night with Helen and Andrew I travelled through Quebec along Rte 148 to Genville where I crossed into Hawkesbury and met up with Duane and Cindy at the Comfort Inn...

Duane's first words... "That thing doesn't song like a Beemer..."  I laughed.  Beemer it is... his hearing is affected by the many years of riding a HOG!

Cindy and Duane packed up and we headed over to A&W where we enjoyed breakfast and the first of a number of catch up conversations... that always began with a question that somehow got at "what do you need/desire"...

One such conversation was... "when do you wish to stop... or... when does your ass need a break..."  I told Cindy I liked taking pictures of old barns... and thus began the pattern: Cindy would see an old bard, Duane would slow down, I would catch up... and wave him on... as we had a long way to go and it was HOT!!

I did stop for one photo though... and given the context, I could not help but wonder about the communication... about the community that went into creating this barn of sanctuary and storage in such a location.

What need was present?  How was the need communicated?

Building barns, as I understand the history, was a family/community events.  Individuals within the family  articulated their need... no doubt this was hard work, taking the time to ponder as individuals - what is it we need in this time and place in order to move forward with our lives: individually and as a unit.  Do I want to raise chickens?  Do we see ourselves storing grain?  How will we use the space... to create community requires communication!  And then the building begins and more and more communication takes place all based on the premise "we'll figure it out..."

And as barns are built - no two are every exactly alike.  Each barn reflects the need presented and communicated to the community... and unique parts fit in unique places!

With the exception of the beach in the distance off of Hwy 17, the journey onto Hwy 417 - slab.  Nothing much to see.  No pictures.

However, just past Arnprior the benefits of riding a motorcycle became readily apparent.

Traffic was backed up (at the first of 15 or more constructions sites along our route) 6KM.  On a two lane road they had traffic reduced to one lane as they rebuilt a bridge...

Duane nodded to me, swinging his chin to the right and I knew
exactly what he was thinking (we are after all related)!  We rode for almost 5KM on the shoulder of the road passing all the backed up traffic and dipped back into the queue three cars before the signal person.  Priceless!

At Renfrew we turned west and settled into a rhythm on Hwy 60... ebb and flow with the traffic.

At Deacon we blew by a little lake and very quickly Duane was gearing down to make a u-turn... Hmmm is he doing what I think he is doing... YES!!  As I was riding with my swim trunks on under my riding pants I was in the water before they had even changed!

Living in the moment!  As my friend Barb Nixon said on Facebook today "Reminding myself to approach today as if it is the only day there is- because it is..."  Barb and I met at a retreat that she led in Oregon that I attended while I was on my original Sabbath Road... thanks Barb.  Your sentiment, in similar words has become for me a daily mantra.  "Enjoy the Moment".

Enjoy the moment... we did.  A swim, a visit in the shade sharing a a tall boy of Busch between us - just enough to quench the thirst of the day, phone calls and text messages to family and other friends... what better moment could there be that the one we found ourselves in right there and then.

Refreshed from our swim we motored on.

Passing Wilno (home to the first Polish settlement in Canada) I was reminded of the important place in my life of my one Polish friend (at least who I know is Polish) - Jerry Wittstock.  Thanks Jerry for accepting me always - as I am.

And it was just past Wilno, after entering Algonquin Park, that I was moved to do something I'd not done on this bike before - ride with no hands.  Tell the truth... you did it on your bicycle.  Its not much different on a motorcycle - just at a higher speed and a correspondingly higher level of trust in yourself and your machine:

  • set the throttle lock
  • remove hands from bars
  • put hands out to side and feel the wind lifting your arms
  • focus on your core

Its not about balance, its about knowing your body and its position in relation to that which you are intimately connected.  Balance would have you sitting straight up and down... that's a recipe for disaster.  Your hips and shoulders must move in time with the machine... and yes, you can navigate a sweeping left hand turn (around which you cannot see anything) with your body and your hands stretched like wings... Look Ma... No Hands!!!  Tell me you've not said that at least once in your life, with joy bubbling to the surface...

A few more stops for bum breaks and a stop at the West Gate for a bathroom break, then we turned
south on #36 and then Dorset merged onto the 117 which took us over to Hwy 11 where - soon after entering the highway Duane got cut off by a dump truck trying to make one more load for the day... We eventually passed him... he waved "sorry..." but he still got the Newell/Bruce glare as we rode slowly by...

Arriving in Gravenhurst the firs order of the evening was to rehydrate as we sat on the front porch and enjoyed the setting sun and told stories of the day...  it was, to this point, the only day we had - and we enjoyed every moment of it... on the Sabbath Road...


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