Last Ride of 2014

There have been several occasions over the past few years when I have experienced moments of such intense contentedness and well-being that it seemed as if the entire universe was telling me “you are exactly where you should be right now”. One of those occasions was last Sunday – my birthday – December 14.

I love the fact that our weather on Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula is such a toss-up, it keeps life interesting. At the mercy of winds and ocean currents, our weather can change in a flash and seasons are unpredictable. Last year, winter started in early December with bitter cold, with several feet of snow down by Christmas. This year there is barely a flake to be seen, and temperatures have been as much as 15 degrees above normal.

I awoke on my birthday to begin my usual Sunday routine: check the weather and go for a run. When I clicked onto Environment Canada though, I could scarcely believe my eyes. +12 degrees C., no wind, and no rain at least for the morning. That settled it, I was spending the morning on my motorcycle. Happy birthday to me!

It was no trouble to get Mark on board with my plans. We left the house without even having breakfast, not wanting to waste a minute of riding time in December. The traffic was light, with the crazed Christmas shoppers still waiting for the mall to open, and we scooted through the downtown and up to Confederation Building so that I could get a shot of our bikes with the Christmas tree.

bikesConfed

A pair of Suzuki’s, John Cabot and a Christmas tree!

After a quick coffee and a bite to eat at Tim Horton’s in Mount Pearl, we rode through the Waterford Valley and across to South Side Road. Mark pulled off onto a dirt road, crossing a water-and-mud-filled ditch to get around a gate. I parked the ‘Strom and jumped on the back of the DR650 and we headed up the hill to a look-out point next to a bunker-ish building from the 1950’s.

MarkDR

The fog slowly rolls in from the Narrows…

With the bike shut off, the silence was broken only by church bells playing Christmas carols on the other side of the harbour. The notes hung in the moist, warm air, transported towards us by the gentlest of breezes. We stayed there for at least half an hour, taking it all in. It was strange to look at the old city in December, the thousands of trees stripped of their leaves, without any snow to cover the nakedness. The unique architecture stood out more, the colours of the famous row-houses contrasted with each other more. It actually looked like the city was made entirely of Lego’s.

nakedcitynakedcity2

Standing there, looking out over the city that I love, I felt like the stars had aligned and the universe had provided me with the most perfect birthday gift. I was in what I call my “Happy Place”, a state of tranquility and contentedness, and I made efforts to mentally bottle and store the feeling so that I can return to it during the cold, stormy days of the coming winter.

meDR

Me, in my Happy Place

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Posted on December 21, 2014, in Behind the Visor and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. People speak of “mindfulness” In Last Ride of 2014, you aced it!

  2. Riding in December always seems like such a bonus to me and equals double happiness. It’s like we just tricked OLD MAN WINTER and were getting away with a stolen smile.

  3. Looks like a great last ride of 2014! I have a similar tradition; doing a last ride on New Year’s Eve day, then a first ride on New Year’s Day. Here in South Carolina winters are relatively mild, but it can get pretty cold. Maybe you can achieve that continuous Happy Place by just sitting on your bike all winter!

  4. Some great images-and imagery, Krista. We have been so blessed with our weather this year. I’m glad you had great ride on your birthday. Merry Xmas and all the best to you and Mark in the New Year.

  5. Merry Christmas, Krista and Mark, and Happy Birthday!! Another great post… but I’m so jealous! As you may recall, I have just recently purchased my first bike in 35 years; a new Honda CB500FA, but it’s being stored at the dealership in Clarenville until spring, at which time I will be retaking my riders safety course. Going to be a loooooong winter! Keep these posts coming, as they will help get me through until next spring!

    Season’s Greetings to you both, and all the best in 2015!

    Glen B.
    http://www.FocusOnNewfoundland.com

    • Thanks Glen, and a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you as well. Hope that 2015 brings you an awesome riding season πŸ™‚ I’m hoping to do a lot of writing over the Christmas break…educational pursuits ate up all of my time this past few months. All the best!

  6. Happy belated Birthday Krista! Glad you and Mark were able to enjoy a unique and pleasant Ride on your special day! All the best for a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous 2015! Be sure to hoist a swallie of your fave “beverage” this evening in honor of “Tibb’s Eve”!

  7. I am originally from NF, living in N.B. There are so many beautiful places that I haven’t see so I really enjoyed your writing and photos on the various routes. Your info will be very valuable as I am hoping to tour some of these areas (weather permitting) this summer.

    • Hi Darrell, thanks for reading! Sounds like you have a great trip planned. If you want information on specific areas feel free to drop me a line, I’ll help you out as best I can.

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