Adventure junkies are always seeking bigger and riskier adventures. Adventure for most of us comes with reading, planning or visiting a new place or trying new things.
I write a lot about adventure, and I do seem to have my share of them as I crisscross the country chasing the cure for multiple sclerosis (MS). I have experienced adventure in places like the solitude of the Arctic Circle, the scorching Nevada deserts and the lush mountains of North Carolina. Sometimes, however, adventure finds me even when I am not looking for it. In December I was presenting at a patient program in Maine. Now, riding a motorcycle in Maine in December might seem unusual to most, but, by now, you know two wheels is the only way I travel. The event was only 150 miles from my house, and I certainly did not entertain the thought it would be anything more than routine.
On this particular trip, the roads were clear and despite a stiff easterly breeze, it was a toasty 39 degrees when I left my house. It was just after a snowstorm, and all the vehicles looked related, covered in a fine powdery salt. I was driving at the speed of traffic, only accelerating to get by trucks that were shedding bits of trailer ice and slush. At one point, a chunk of ice frisbee’d off the top of the tractor trailer ahead of me, and I caught it miraculously across my face shield. Oh, the joy. Startled and after recently watching a movie about avalanches, I throttled up and passed the truck cab and then again to clear a few additional big rigs ahead of him. The ice that hit me was not fatal, but a bigger glob could certainly ruin a motorcyclist’s afternoon. I slowed back down and even ventured over to lane one, and continued at the posted speed limit. I was not in a hurry, and I was a bit chilled by the wind.
I saw the Maine State Trooper sitting on the off-ramp peninsula and nodded my helmet as I drove by. This time of year I often get a wave or tip of the hat, as I’m possibly the only rider they see on the road in weeks. Oddly enough, he threw on his lights and pulled out behind me. I moved over to let him pass, but he got right behind me and closed in on me. It took half a mile to realize he was pulling me over. I thought maybe he saw something wrong with my bike or he’d made a mistake. When I asked him why he pulled me over he said, “I’ll let you know after you provide me with your license and registration.”
“Ok,” I said. It took me a minute to get at my wallet as I was all bundled up and my fingers were cold. After looking them over he said, “Aircraft spotted you back a ways and estimated you were traveling 85 mph in a 70 mph zone.