Yesterday, I did something I haven’t done since sometime in mid-2018, I rode my TU250X about 50 miles from my small town home to the Twin Cities to meet a friend for lunch. I know that seems like a small thing and 5 years ago if someone like me described that as an “event” I’ve have worked hard to politely nod my head in acknowledgement without at least grinning a little. 10 years ago, I’d have laughed. I was/am an asshole, I know, but I did start calling myself a “geezer” (in a monthly publication and in this blog) when I was 50, so it’s not like that is some kind of sudden realization. For the most part, the 120 mile round trip was uneventful, in a good way. The TU is absolutely competent in normal city traffic and I’m still moderately competent, when my eyes are working correctly. My biggest problem yesterday was the fact that I’m definitely a lot more sensitive to light than I was pre-cataract surgery, so I’m stuck wearing glasses inside my full face helmet and face shield when the sun is out. Two sets of lenses puts some stress on my MG (myasthenia gravis) weakened left eye, which made managing double-vision symptoms difficult for a few miles. As soon as the sun went below the horizon and I could dump the glasses I was fine.
MG isn’t a curable disease. It will continue to plague me until it or something else puts me in the dirt. Yesterday was an anomaly from my last 4 years of life and, as such, it was a brief open window of freedom. People like me who have mostly skated through life without many injuries or problems that weren’t self-inflicted naturally forget that this life we enjoy and take for granted won’t last. Sooner rather than later, the window of life that we learn is “normal” when we are young begins to close and, if you are half-aware, you learn to appreciate the moments of fresh air that you still have. Yesterday’s ride was a true moment when that window opened and I was allowed to feel that “I’m not dead yet.”
In fact, riding home as the sun went down, there was a brief moment when the sun going down in a blaze of yellow, orange and red, blue and purple cloud cover on my right was spectacularly balanced by a huge, bright orange full harvest moon rising on my left. That lasted for about 5 miles and 5 minutes of when I rode along the ridge of two valleys before turning east and riding down into the Mississippi River Valley toward home. I got a glimpse of the moon just as I came down the last rise toward my home stretch, but after getting the bike parked, unwrapping myself from my ‘Stich, when I tried to show that natural wonder to my wife it was hidden behind cloud cover. Another brief window of life.