Monday, September 7, 2009


When I was a child I had dreams that I could fly. Sometimes it would be a low hover over a grassy field, other times I would suddenly find myself at high altitudes over a metropolis. Sometimes I would dream that I would lift off the ground to barely escape danger. I would always fly at gentle speeds, no big g-force moments, no near misses of tall buildings, just a steady drift, me-powered, landing effortlessly on two feet. That exquisite feeling gone moments after I awoke.

I got on two wheels to get that feeling back again. But when I started riding something wasn’t quite working. When I got my first scooter, I would seek out the roads the crotch rockets travel. I would hear the Ninjas searing the pavement from my window - on this road that runs along the highway that has no lights or stop signs. Those first few days, I would push the little audacious scoot to it’s limit on this daredevil straightaway, feel the thrill that is one part “wheee!!” and two parts fear. I started thinking about getting a motorcycle, a sport bike, along with some comprehensive medical coverage.

Then I experienced a shift. I had doubts about my 1st scooter, but a motorcycle wasn’t the answer, so I purchased a second scooter. It felt a bit more grown up, a lot more stable, and it lead me somewhere that took my entirely by surprise: The Slow Lane.

Very quickly things went from “how fast can I push this thing”, to “how slow can I go.” The scooter felt steady, like it had everything under control. I could relax a little, sit back a bit and enjoy the show. Instead of seeking out Crotch Rocket Road, I spent more time cruising the tree canopied streets of Brooklyn Heights and Ditmas Park – sauntering down those historic lanes, lulled by the hum of the low rev of my scooter, the slow scroll of gas light landscapes became my new rush. Today, riding along the water in Red Hook, I took the long straight stretch of road at a crawl - this is when my flying dreams came back. The gentle endless glide, the body’s subtle steering of it, the cool air lapping at my face and neck.

When people talk about ne’er do well RPM junkies who leave coffin lids fluttering in their wake they say, “he was really flying!!” But they’ve got it all wrong. It’s when you back off the gas, coax that throttle ever so gently, that’s where the wings are.

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