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The one that got away
Oct 2002

Day 4 part 1b

Before leaving, the store manager offers me the use of the computer terminal to check current weather forecasts. Sadly, things are not looking good. The forecast is for daytime snow and freezing rain during next several days.

As the staff goes about their business, I sit there watching the monitor and assessing the risk/reward equation. Given the current data, it becomes clear to me that pushing on would be unreasonable. After all, the whole point is to live to do it again.

At this point I remember an old pilot adage: "A superior pilot uses his superior knowledge and experience to avoid situations that would call upon the use of his superior abilities." In other words, don’t go knowingly in the midst of harm’s way.

Standing next to the bike as I gear up, Andy Goldfine stops by and chats for a minute on his way out of the store. In few words, he shares some much-appreciated trip wisdom with me. Right there, standing in the street, I abort the trip.

If canceling the launch was an easy decision, deciding what to do next is more troubling. Here I am, relatively far from home with no general destination to shoot for. Though I rarely travel with rigid plans, I still like to have a general sense of where I’m heading. Even if it turns out that I do everything opposite from the initial plan, the fact that I had the plan is comforting, I guess.

So, what to do? Well, there is the BMW Falling Leaf rally in Potosi, Missouri. This rally has become an end-of-year tradition and includes access to awesome riding roads. But that is only next weekend. We are now Saturday. What do I do for a whole week? Being away from home and my resources also leaves me feeling a little under-tooled for re-scheduling a trip.

Suddenly, I feel the accumulated fatigue of the recent days as I realize that it might all have been for naught – a somewhat depressing thought. It is now almost 6pm on Saturday. What do I do and where do I go?

What I need to do is sit down and think. A little focus wouldn’t hurt either, as I’m feeling slightly unfocused right now. As I cruise down the street contemplating my next move, I pass a local restaurant. I always prefer going into a local restaurant whenever possible; it provides me the opportunity to appreciate local colour and flavour.

I'm on the older side of town and this establishment looks like it is right out of the fifties or sixties. I note that there is a big sign in the window proclaiming that smoking is allowed.

I park in front of the big window and fidget with my bike for what seems like a long time. I keep zipping and unzipping things as I repeatedly forget this and that. I think to myself that I really need to re-charge my mental batteries.

Montreal, Canada

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