By Sergio Laurente
Unfortunately, I am old enough to remember a time when having GPS readily available was uncommon. Not only is navigation now the norm, but some apps give real time feedback on best routes considering any heavy traffic areas. This means that people even depend on navigation to get them from home to work and vice versa. Relying on algorithms to direct a drive you do forty times a month is odd to me.
I seem to be embarking on an old man rant, but I don’t mean to. I absolutely understand the value of getting from point A to point B in the quickest time possible. However, in an era where we seem to be fighting for minutes in a day, sometimes the ride is more important. I enjoy not having the ability to look at a digital map display when cruising about southern California. Getting “lost” might mean seeing some odd architecture or a cool path that leads eye-popping wall art. I have spent hours going down random roads deep in the city or through the country vineyard hills. By far, my favorite is aimlessly riding the coast line and taking in the awesome views.
Obviously, all of that can be done in a car, but riding a motorcycle requires a different level of concentration. We are forced to take in the environment. We cannot avoid the smell of the garbage truck that is holding up traffic or that fresh bread aroma drifting from the bakery just passed. We have to be more aware of what is going on around us. We might notice that the BMW driver in the lane next to you is texting and completely missed the guy walking the crosswalk (also while texting) that tripped on the curb and exploded his iced mocha latte blonde frap all over the concrete.
I challenge you to do just that this week, if you have not done similar recently. Get on your bike and ride. Pick a random direction. How about west? Ride through places you have not. Stop at a place for lunch that you have never heard of and didn’t validate on Yelp. Make mental fun of what you see various people doing on the street. Take extra notice of the colors that the season offers and enjoy the scents. Strap a thin blanket to your handlebars or pack it, then find a nice spot to relax next to a lake or beach. I think you will enjoy yourself and if you do, make it a regular occurrence.