Warning: If you are susceptible to the power of suggestion I recommend you stop reading now. To continue reading may set you up for having the wrong song in your helmet for a long time to come.
Helmet to helmet communicators can be a blessing or a curse. Of course, I've only ever been connected to hubby. So he is stuck with my rumblings and rants. I'm not sure I could do well with "on" communication with anyone else. I know it would be a connection with friends. But your friend isn't always in your head to that degree. And, honestly, do you really want them to be? I mean, the spouse has signed up for your crazy, but your friend doesn't necessarily know the depth of it.
Do doo do-do
Oilburner and I don't keep up a constant patter of communication. We have long periods of silence just listening to road noise, engine noise, wind noise. But the line is there in case we spot something interesting, to warn each other of obstacles, or discuss what's for dinner.
We each have a Bluetooth connection with our own phones. We can, and do, shut each other off and listen to music occassionally.
Many times I do enjoy listening to music while riding. It's usually on just as background noise to drown out my wind/helmet noise. But it is mostly when I ride alone. I rarely listen while riding with Oilburner. And he is the same way.
This isn't a new thing for us. Many times we will listen to the radio in the truck while driving. When we are pulling the trailer? The music is never on. Pulling trailers is a responsibility. I think we leave the radio off to tune into the trailer more, and keep alert for dangers.
I'm wondering if the same thing is true on the bikes. Are we keeping the channel open, even though we aren't talking, "in case" we need to communicate in an emergency? Or are we just concerned the other person will be offended if we didn't want to talk to them? A way of ignoring each other?
The handful of times we have disconnected from each other was on the super slab and we wanted to make some miles.
So we went on a group ride this Saturday. It was going to be a long distance day and the first leg was going to be slabbed to get us into Tennessee. The pace was "spirited".
Oilburner was polite and offerend that I could listen to music if I wanted. (Now I am beginning to wonder if he was telling me he didn't want to to talk to me, so he could listen to his music?? Hmmm....Why do I never think of these things at the time??)
I told him I was OK. I didn't need to listen to music. I would just sing in my helmet. Seriously, I really don't know the lyrics to too many songs. So the default song came in...
It was over. Oilburner had this song running through his head all day. Karma for all the time he and his coworkers subtly whistled different tunes each week that their boss would unconciously pick up and hum, whistle, or sing for days.
And just when Oilburner was getting over it?
I have officially put 30,000 miles on my bike in three years. I purchased my bike somewhere around this time in 2008, with 9,442 miles on the clock. I flipped to 39,443 at the Saturday ride meeting location It was a short lived victory since I went to put on an additional 400 miles that day. But I'm still happy. :)
The Saturday ride took us to places we have never been before. Not even in a cage. So it was lovely seeing a brand new area. The group we went with are people from the local tag games. So we "know" each other by avatar on the boards. Some know each other in person as well. This was our first time meeting most of them in person. They are some good people.
However, I just don't mesh with their riding style. I don't mind a spirited ride and allowing people to go their own pace. I am fine falling behind and catching up, if you are good with that. But please don't say you are good with that, and then not be in actuality.
Their idea of good riding was fast twisties come hell or high water and whisking along 45 mph roads at 60+ mph. This involved passing on double yellows and even passing in the twisties. I'm disheartened to say that I bowed to peer pressure and followed suit...as long as I was positive it was safe. (Though nothing would have saved me if there had been a police officer.) There came a time when it was not safe and I fell way behind without any way of catching up. Good. It allowed me to actually spend some time looking at the scenery that was completely new to me.
The day was meant for the twisties and a minor amount of sightseeing. Fine with me, except the roads where we were sucked!! Lots of erosion and heaving, uneven surfaces with poor patch jobs. There were a few decent areas, but many of the twisties were plagued by uneven drops. After having read a face plant recently of someone that suffered broken ribs from a very minor 6 inch wide sink hole, I wasn't going to push my speeds on new-to-me roads.
In all, the twisties were fun. It was wonderful being on new roads and having new vistas to look over. We managed to make it to a state park with a beautiful waterfall, that we didn't see. The heat was getting to Oilburner and he wasn't up to walking the trail to the overlook. So we sat in the shade and hydrated.
It was nearing 2:00 pm by this time and we were 4 hours from home. We had only progressed one third around the originally planned loop. Oilburner and I decided it was time to split off and head for home to rescue the puppy and have a leisurely ride home. We stopped at one overlook for photos. :) And the one patch of rain we hit was wonderfully refreshing, dropping temps from 100F to 74F (38C to 23C).