Green. Blue. Gold. Those are the summer colors of Kansas. Green trees … rolling hills ….. farmland. Until I rode through the landscape on a motorcycle I never realized how many colors of green there were here. If you were to draw a picture of what we ride through you would need every green crayon from the 64-color box.
The blue sky is an endless dome over our heads and the depth is only enhanced by the white contrast of the puffy clouds. Even in 100-degree heat, the Kansas sky and puffy clouds look like something out of The Truman Show movie.
Gold. Glorious, beautiful gold is rolled up into round bales to rival Rapunzel’s locks and dot the landscape to break up the green as we ride by. It smells like sweet summertime and looks pretty as a picture.
Yes, even on crazy hot days Harley and I like to ride on the weekends. The wind massages my skin in soft, summer breaths and plays with my hair like Trixie used to do when she was little. Being on a bike is both mesmerizing and breathtaking.
Harley turned the bike north when we left last weekend to start our Sunday Funday ride. We don’t usually plan out our route, but mostly ride wherever the road takes us. There are a lot of organized rides out there, which we appreciate and sometimes support, but most of the time we like our stops to ourselves, with the exception of a few locals or other random bikers who frequent our favorite spots.
Last Sunday one of our stops was at Helen’s Hilltop in Tonganoxie, Kansas. By the time we got there the sun was directly overhead and I was pretty much sweating like a pig. I made a beeline to the restroom and then found, to my dismay, that getting my tight, sweaty jeans back on was reminiscent of Ross trying to put his leather pants back on in an episode of Friends. Suffice it to say, I didn’t have any powder to help mop up all my sweaty sweat, and thank god for that. But the exertion of squirming and squeezing and jumping up and down trying to get my tight jeans back on made me break out in an all-body sweat all over again. My hair frizzed, my mascara ran and I looked worse than when I had gotten off the bike.
I finally came out of the bathroom to find Harley halfway through his beer. He stared at me for a beat and said, “Everything alright in there?” I gave a slight nod and he looked at me in that way he has sometimes that makes me feel like maybe I am crazier than I am afraid I am. Then the bartender slid me over a Summer Shandy (yep, at a biker bar) and I clapped my hands with glee. And then remembered that I was supposed to act with a bit of decorum and took a long, cold, glorious swig. If there is anything better than an ice-cold beer on a cold day, I can’t think of it right now.
One of the great things about finding places off the beaten path is that you meet some great people and see some strange $hit. We came out of the dark bar and were squinting into the sunlight and saw something I’d never seen before. I had to blink twice to make sure my eyes were adjusting correctly. It wasn’t really a motorcycle. It was a cross between a dune-buggy and a trike and looked like a traveling sofa. They guy who built it was having a beer on the porch and was happy to let me snap some pics.
I love seeing new places and meeting new people and riding with Harley gives plenty of opportunity for both. Being on a bike lets you smell the sweet, fresh air of the country, feel the warmth of the sun and the soft caress of the wind while you take in the rich, vivid colors around you. Riding is a feast for all of your senses and I can’t wait to get my next fix.