Saturday, February 16, 2013

THE BEASTS

I wrote this little, quick story for the Harley shop a few years ago.  I don't think it got printed though.  Someone wrote something about motorcycle safety or something instead.  Thought I'd just stick it up here.  Motorcycle travel has been an important passion of mine all my life but, has been augmented by my love for outdoor photography,  nature and the boats that allow me to visit those out of the way places I love.

THE BEASTS

The high road in the sky was held captive by dark purple and gray clouds that presented a menacing appearance to the beautiful mountain tops, and added an additional obstacle to be overcome by the lone traveler on the gently curving road that graced the tops of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina.  Yellow and orange daggers pierced the darkness as Thor’s hammer sounded near this wilderness roadway.  Natures tears poured from the heavens and were blown hard at the lone traveler who was carefully winding his way up this wilderness road.  Nature’s beast was unleashed upon the mountain.  Undaunted;  the traveler persevered  pushing ever closer to the storm that raged just ahead.  There was no sanctuary to seek refuge from natures wrath.  But the rider, himself, was astride a beast of iron.  As he approached the storm he pulled himself down close to his mount and sought relief from the torturous rain that fell in deluge against the shield in front of him.  The big Harley penetrated the storm and held a true course guided by the steady hand of its handler.  On and on  it went with a roar of it’s own that would rival the thunder of Thor‘s hammer.  The Harley’s heart beat strong and demonstrated unending strength as it carried its handler through the worse that nature could summon.  On and on the Harley bent left, then right through a wall of water until at last the purple sky diminished and  shards of sun could be seen penetrating through the darkness.   The warmth felt good on his wet face.  Then finally the rain quelled and the rider rolled the throttle open.  The Harley eagerly responded with a roar and thrust the rider back hard as it put power to the road.  They left the storm far behind.  Blue sky’s with billowy clouds surrounded this high road.  They were on the top edge of the world and they were free.  He let go of the handlebars and thrust both fists straight up to the heavens and screamed “Y.E.S.SSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Total exhilaration!  
My name is Gary Loucks and I have been running over the roads in this country, Canada and British Columbia for forty eight years.  I have been gifted all my life with the time to spend on the seat of a motorcycle traveling to anywhere my heart desired.  And I have traveled a lot.  Motorcycling has always been and still is in my blood and is as important to me as food is to my body.  My memories continuously drift back to my early years of motorcycling when things were pure and simple.  The equipment was rarely reliable and adequate at best.  But it provided the vehicle that would conjure up many future adventures.  I would often leave Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and drive non stop to Jackson Hole, Wyoming tarrying only to fill up the gas tank and buy a bottle of water.  I speak of the seventies when it was rare to see a motorcycle on the interstate.  I remember rides to Wyoming when I would not see another bike traveling at all.  All those exciting rides;  countless rides;  countless roads all form kaleidoscopic visions in my mind of past adventures and experiences.  
Motorcycling allows me to break away from the normal.  It provides that little “sharp knife edge of danger” that rebels against all the government forces that try to protect me with safety belts, roll bars and insurance.  Motorcycling  allows me to be rebellious in my own mind.  It symbolizes a freedom that car drivers will never  realize.   You see;  a motorcycle is a magic carpet that can carry me to and from any place I wish it to.   To be in the wind and feel the rain;  to press one’s knees tight against the gas tank and sharply tip a big motorcycle into a tight turn, back to vertical and toss it the opposite way into the next is reserved for the few who desire adventure and wish to depart from the boring daily routine.   I enjoy motorcycling because it allows my heart to beat stronger when the adrenalin flows as I negotiate the curves of the Chief Joseph Highway, or ride the beautiful Highway 1 North through California to Oregon.  From Snoqualmie Falls, Washington through Idaho to Jackson Hole , and up the Canadian Rockies to the tundra and back, and across this nation’s  Mid West to the fabulous Blue Ridge Parkway that runs from Cherokee, NC to Waynesboro, VA;  my favorite road in this country.   I have ridden many, many magic carpets over all these roads and more.  I am blessed for that opportunity.   And I am thankful to a father who allowed me to trade a 30/30 Winchester deer rifle for an old 1956 Harley Hydro glide in 1962, my first real motorcycle.  Yes, motorcycling is part of me.  I doubt I could exist without it.   I hope you allow your motorcycle to be your magic carpet.   Let it carry you to far off places.    Your destinations are only limited by your imagination.    Set your vision on some far off place and just go.  Enjoy the adventures and experiences along the way.   Ride hard;  ride slow if you like;  but most of all ride safe and enjoy your magic carpet as I do mine.