“When a Road passes through a forest does it make a sound?”
Seems a lifetime ago this riddle passed my mind while riding through the Old Julian Forest on the Suzuki SV650s.
Only recently did the solution come to me.
The sportbike is unlike any other type of motorcycle.
The art of extracting the maximum performance has little margin for error from both man and machine;
because Death awaits just grams and milliseconds away from excellence.
Fear of Death has been the ally that sharpened my senses,
but a moderation of that fear has protected me from it’s betrayal.
The connection starts with the controls.
I hold the handlebars as one must hold a lover’s heart.
Too firmly, and I will not feel the machine speak the road;
too carelessly, and the machine will not know my intention.
This high fidelity connection is key to precision;
and precision is Life.
Twin cylinders beat in a neutral harmony
His heart beats also in a neutral harmony
He pulls in the clutch, and plucks the gear.
The chain gently twitches forward, and eagerly awaits
As his right hand twists the throttle, the machine growls into motion.
Thus, begins the battle between the forces of Life and Death.
The forest is a silent chalice for the road which sways and twists through it’s gentle valleys and hills.
It is in these curves, where Life is most precise, and Death’s claws are most cruel.
It is in the magical moment, when both man and machine lean into the curve their fates intertwine.
As they approach the curve, He plucks the gear down
The machine roars in defiance,
Again, another gear is plucked down,
The machine roars with greater rage, which echoes throughout the forest
Although fear thrashes at his heart,
still his hand holds steadily as before,
reading the Road beneath them while simultaneously orchestrating the lean into the corner.
His leg opens to the inside of the turn – ready to glide it’s knee over the Road.
His other leg holds firmly onto the machine, anchoring his torso as he lowers his center of gravity
In this very moment, his ears are closest to the machine’s twin cylinders
Crisp cold forest air gently breathed in by the machine’s airbox, creating a soft humming
The machine’s valves softly tick in precise harmony, mixing the air with mists of thunder.
The machine precisely delivers the power invested in his right hand to the Road beneath them with furious grace.
These two Hearts – one soul dance to the melody of a nameless Road
When a Road passes through a forest does it make a sound?
Does this road live in your heart?