It’s Fartlek Friday, except that it’s Saturday. Which I suppose makes since given that Tempo Tuesday was on Wednesday. Must be a time zone thing.
I’m running on the Magic Fountain course. It’s a cool day, and the sky is black to the north. I’m trying to get in 4 miles before the deluge. Running on autopilot. And then.
A motorcycle comes down the road that parallels the running course along the shoreline. And then another. And another. And another. And another. And another. And another. And then a red light. And then another. And another. And another. And then. Another. Maybe you get the idea. Bikes alone, pairs, large gangs. I’m in a late ’60s biker movie. I assume I’m the guy who gets killed 20 minutes into the film. Seems as good a way to go as any.
The entire run becomes a ride down memory lane. Seeing “Easy Rider” for the first time at the San Angelo drive-in with Brother the Elder. Born to be Wild. Get your motor running. Head out on the highway. The biker bar in Arizona. My Sting Ray with a playing card in the spokes.
And then. As I near the Magic Fountain, the parking lot is full of Harleys. Hundreds and hundreds. They’ve filled up my running course, forcing me to do a little dance to make my way through. I envision myself on top of the bar table in my white platforms. Tequila.
Bikers are all over the place. Their diversity is stunning. Old and young, big and small, heavily tattooed and even more heavily tattooed. But they share that common bond: The love of a loud bike and an open road.
I guess that’s why I like them. They’re a lot like runners. The code language, the uniform, the unspoken camaraderie that comes from millions of miles chasing a common dream. I’m not much of a fan of the new breed of doctor/lawyer weekend warriors, but I love the True Believers.
And we trail runners sport our own tribal vests — Salomon and Nathan and UD. Bandanas and tequila at the aid stations. Maybe we’re not so different. An odd little band of outcasts, chasing our dreams down the road less traveled.
I give them a silent salute, take care not to do a Pee-Wee and turn 200 bikes into dominoes, and finish up the run just as the rain starts to pour.
Bike Day in a deluge. Mr. John Kay and Steppenwolf in concert. Waterlogged Skechers. It’s a good day. Maybe we really are born to be wild.
Racing with the wind …