Up to Felton we went

November 5, 2014

I woke up in the quiet morning of Felton, a small town just a bit north of Santa Cruz. The house is completely silent. This is going to be Arkadaş’ new home for the next while. I drove from Lancaster yesterday, the bike in the back of the truck, up the I-5 then into a succession of smallish roads winding their way here.

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Yesterday the other bike, my trusted IO was also going towards his new home. Joe came, also with a blue pick up truck and loaded him up and drove away into a new future. Joe is a motorcycle mechanic, loves the 80’s Suzukis GS and Katanas. We talked a bit and every issue with IO that seemed unsurmountable to me are just details to him. So it’s a perfect home for it. Joe says there’s an engine waiting, with only 15 000 miles on it, this bike will have a new heart and someone who can deal with any issue. I felt good and I also felt a sadness to see my road partner, the machine that changed my life irremediably for the better, disappear on the horizon. But such is life.

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IO’s and Joe

I turned around and it was this other Suzuki, my Arkadaş, sitting in the back of the Ford. I felt anxiety, yeah humans like to hold on to things and situations and at that very moment all the changes, motions I’ve been setting in action since I’ve been here suddenly grabbed me and I felt insecurity. The when? Where? What? How? Of tomorrow. Yeah, it does happen to me at times.

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the two bikes

In the cab I jumped, started the engine and I too, headed down the road. Up the 14 North, West on the 138. I look around, the space. So much space. The road. So much road. How I love the roads of America, the land of this continent. That endlessness. Endlessness that gives a sense of hope and freedom. Possibilities.

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Driving a pick up truck… it used to be part of my daily life when I had horses. My first very own vehicle was a red GMC so rusted you could see the road rush under the rubber mat on the passenger side. So this is not foreign, what is different that with this machine, 50 MPH just happens, 70 goes by with just a whisper of a foot on the gas pedal. It just goes. My GMC wasn’t so smooth.

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When I got off the 5 onto the 158 the views changed from dusty to dreamy, the sun setting on these rolling hills, lake, beautiful oak trees and burnt grass.. the moon hanging above this scene, almost full into a rose-bleuey sky, it was breath taking.

The way to Felton is winding into narrowish twisty, up the mountain sides roads. Thankfully I had a GPS device, Thanks to Sunny!! as I was saying “nah, I don’t need it, I know the way…” that device saved my butt as I was now in the dark not recognizing where I was. But I did make it to Seraphim’s home.

It’s now night. I find Seraphim in his garage, it is so good to see him. Big hug. We talk and talk. That’s one thing I’ve been doing too much maybe since I’m here, talking. I’ve missed talking to friends in this unbridled way. No language barrier or cultural ditches to fall into. We went to eat at this place we’d been the last time I was here, an organic pizza place. I stuffed myself to the rim, I hadn’t eaten all day. Then we went to tackle the bike.

Very methodically we proceeded. First, we positioned the truck in a depression in the ground so the tailgate was only about 12 inches from the ground. Then Seraphim got some lights to light the scene and a flashlight to see what we were doing. We removed the tailgate extender, Then he put air in the tires so we can manoeuvre the bike easily, we set the ramp down, then undid the ties, he carefully moved the front wheel of the bike out of the chock, I was stepping on the ramp so it wouldn’t slide, while Seraphim slowly, carefully rolled it back. And it was done.

I had to start the bike and take it to the back of the house, where the garage door is. Turned on the ignition, zzzttt then the roar of the engine… Oh I so wish I could have been riding this machine… I miss riding this machine… the sound… the feel of this machine; raw power along with a smoothness, a contradiction of sorts. I rode around the block and for a moment wish I’d never leave… just ride until we exhaust ourselves.

I feel wistfulness for leaving it behind. However this sounds, the only thing I really consistently missed while being away was riding. Last week riding the small blue dirtbike around, I got reminded of the joy of the ride, the incredible sense of freedom, of meditative space, endlessness, there isn’t quite anything like this in life. And, riding the tiny 250, I realized that it didn’t matter what kind of bike you ride. It’s the same experience. Detaching from the earth, gravity, feel the air, be engulfed in the wind, drinking in the smells. The world, from the top of a motorcycle, reveals itself generously. No walls or ceiling to separate you from the world. You’re in it. You’re it. It’s you, your molecules no longer isolated in a “me”. Yeah.

I’m about to hit the road back down south to Lancaster. Tomorrow it’s the sculptures that get moved away. Every day, I’m getting closer to achieving the mission I set out to achieve. Between now and Monday, when I fly away to Montreal, every minute will matter.

Seraphim and I had our goodbyes last night, as he was to get up in the wee morning hours to get to work, so I wasn’t going to see him in the morning. Friends… what a blessing. I hope we can manage, in a not too distant future to take a road trip on the bikes. See another corner of this incredible land from the back of a motorcycle. In the mean time, lets live, live fully, wildly, passionately.

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2 Responses to “Up to Felton we went”

  1. Conchscooter Says:

    The notion of naming a road “the” marks you irredeemably as being from Southern California. Just as one who refers to the Golden State as “Cali” is marked as an outsider. In Santa Cruz County drop the “the” or risk being shunned and mocked. You like me could end up in Florida- a fate worse than death they say, though I quite like living with heat mosquitoes and alligators.


    • I am actually nowhere near being from Southern California, I am Canadian, and more accurately Quebecois, and I really have no problem with either being mocked or shunned as it is completely unimportant. So I will not self-consciously drop anything out of fear but just continue my merry way.


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