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Early Fall Saturday Adventures

  • Posted: 09-29-2012 11:53 PM
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There comes a time in a man's life when he must venture out of his comfort zone and try something new. Be it out of necessity or a pure sense of adventure, delving into an uncharted territory of trial and error is both exciting and nerve-racking. As I sit here and reflect on my life; how I got here, where I am, and where I am going, I am amazed at the amount of risks I've taken that have provided rewards I cherish so much. And as the Summer of 2012 comes to a close, and the end of the year draws near, I am about to undertake two new challenges that I am sure to thoroughly enjoy, albeit with a definite sense of trepidation.

I am installing a tow hitch on my wife Elise’s Acura MDX today. I installed one on her last MDX also, but that was for a hitch-mounted bike rack. This hitch is going to be for towing. Towing. I never really thought I would be towing anything, yet here I am on the dawn of a new learning adventure.

Some will say towing is nothing groundbreaking, and they are correct. Lots of people tow lots of things. But for me, there is a nuance and detail to learned skills that demands me to be able to fully understand all the variables before stepping forth. My personality is not so much one of an obsessive, but definitely one of wanting to take sure steps. Therefore, having never towed anything before is this a real adventure for me. Once this skill set is mastered though, combined with the purchase of a trailer, I will be opening the door for a great many new possibilities to explore new recreations that I only really felt were for more advanced men.

With that out there, one may ask what am I going to be towing? That brings me to the second something new that carries it’s own risk/reward cornucopia. I signed up for a motorcycle track event yesterday and I will be towing the bike to the track on October 21st. Only two years ago I got bitten by a bug to learn how to ride a motorcycle. Of course, this in itself was a dramatic learning experience (actually, so far thankfully undramatic but exciting no less), but this track day I am expecting to be one of the most thrilling things I have done to date.

For those unaware, I ride a 2001 Ducati ST4 in a very vibrant yellow color. This bike is a great mix of sports and medium-distance touring. To date I have put only a couple thousand miles on it, regrettable mostly by commuting. The few real rides I have gone on have been very gratifying, especially a lengthy 360 mile run through San Diego and back through Julian. Going to the track with the bike will allow me to expand my capabilities and explore a little deeper those of the bike.

No, Elise wasn’t reluctant to sign off on the track day, nor was she about me getting the bike in the first place. Many men who would like to take these adventures are saddled with women in their lives who unapologetically forbid them. I actually have to admit, I feel sorry for these chaps. Without satisfying the taste of experiences for which one longs leads to a bland existence. I suppose in the light of my marital virtue I am obligated to give this a shot.

Somehow I will have to figure out how to load and secure the bike, get to the track safely, get the bike off the track without looking like the new kid at school, ride all day without running out of gas or high-siding, reload the bike, and get home without incident. My hope is I won't need to do any backing up. Being reasonably intelligent I am sure I will make it fine. Yet those inevitable missteps and oops moments always intimidate me.

We'll have to make sure to keep those oops moments for backing up into the driveway at home after a successful day of hauling and racing.

- Marcus



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