This Bike is a Running River, Filled With Dangerous Beauty.

Marquez T Woods Oct 8th, 2020

With my feet at the edge, I anticipate the dive.

The gas tank mirrors my image, only to foreshadow the silent reflection that lies ahead. Fear lay at the edge of my consciousness beckoning my focus. It's the sand at the shoulder of the road… waiting for my eye. It longs to be emphasized with my focus. It seeks the perception of inevitable chaos. Uncontrollable, unpredictable entropy.

I distract myself in the approach, placing fear in the back of my mind. I turn my back on the panic at the bottom of its abyss. Its presence is assured with my reluctant arrogance and my one-way ticket imposed commitment.

With a flex of the fist and flick of the foot, my body is engulfed.

The fear bubbles to the forefront of my mind despite my best efforts. I ride in tandem with my mortality. It lurks in every blind spot, in every moment of hesitation, in every error in judgment. All of which can keep me from my home or send me to an eternal one.

I see a man lay in a fetal position submerged in the entropy. He is barefoot, soles scraped red from the road rash. He lay still in the middle of a five-lane highway positioned for rebirth. His helmet remains shut, concealing a face that could be my own. I look away because I must.

I cannot forget the permanence of each ride though disguises itself with adrenaline.

I widen my vision to the tributaries of salvation.

The right amount of fear allows for hyper-awareness, the wrong amount holds your focus and freezes your body.

A sheriff winds up his siren behind a semi-truck creating an abrupt domino effect of brake lights. I feel the panic pull at my focus. I cut through it with decisive action. Even in this, I remain fluid, calculating the next potential path out of danger. Acting and reacting are within the same second at this speed. My confidence grows as realize I have the right amount of fear.

The current imposes itself, regardless of my path.

I am in a new reality. One who’s momentum will be acknowledged or inflicted. Starting point and destination no longer exist. The dichotomy now lies between myself and the forces of nature.

Wind does not respond to the laid-back flexibility I’ve holstered my entire life. It doesn’t care about my philosophy of energy redirection. It is not a punch I can roll with. I must conflict directly. I must lean against it with conviction or be swept away.

I am synchronized with its thriving ecosystem.

More intuitive than a finger on a pulse, my legs wrap around this mechanical heart. The wind zips through a boundless desert reminding me that the ecosystem stretches farther than the bike itself. I can feel myself becoming aligned with this machine, with the road, and with the world.

This synchronicity echoes into the rest of my life, in each environment I enter. I carry the awareness and respect to recognize danger, the courage to confront it, and the confidence to find my way through.

After all, I escaped death to get here, what else is there to fear?