Perceive: pres. part., to become aware of through the senses, eg. by hearing or seeing.
Perception: n., the ability to perceive.
I've come to realize, that the ability to make or break a good ride, is all how we perceive things. I know we've all discussed attitudes before, and how having a good attitude is a very key factor. But, where does our attitude come from? Probably how we perceive things has a lot to do with it.
Yesterday, we planed to go up to Sylacauga to visit with Harley's mom, who's recovering from a brief illness. We discussed our travel options, Glides vs. truck. The fact that the sun was shining brightly, helped a lot with our decision. There was no rain in the forecast, and even though it was only 42 degrees at that moment, the temps should climb to around 56 degrees by 2:00. We knew the ride would be chilly, but the fact that it was sunny would make it enjoyable. I felt need to get out there and ride on behalf of my brothers and sisters, suffering in the cold north who can only wait and count the days till Spring. They would probably give anything right now, to have a day like this.
I wore my rain suit pants over my chaps to ensure that I would be comfy while we cut through the morning air. The sun on my back was keeping me from being too cold, and my windshield and fairing was a tremendous help in blocking a lot of the cold wind as we made our way up the long curvy road. I realized pretty quick, that if it had been overcast, (as it has been a lot lately) this ride may not have been as enticing to me. I was thanking the sun profusely at that moment for being here today, so we can bask in her warm light while we enjoy our January ride.
We saw very few riders out, and by the funny looks we were getting from the bundled up drivers we were sharing the road with, they perceived us to be blooming idiots. While passing by a big house in the rural area of Wedowee, I saw 3 men standing around on a large driveway doing something with a trailer. One man had his hands shoved deep in his pockets, with his arms locked straight, hopping from leg to leg, as if trying to stay warm. He turned and stared at us, with a look of bewilderment and chin hanging. I'm sure, it was his perception, that it was too cold to be out on motorcycles. He appeared to be very cold just standing around in the driveway, much less flying through the wind at 70 miles an hour.
On the flip side, as a rider, the way I perceive things can change too, depending on my circumstances. At the beginning of our ride I was very happy with the sun and my windshield. Now, two of the things I coveted the most earlier that morning, became somewhat of a detriment to my enjoyment later in the afternoon.
After we had a nice visit with the MIL, and me doing my good DIL deeds (I just tidied up and did few light household chores), we headed back to Montgomery in a Southwest direction. By this time, the late afternoon sun was low enough to create havoc on my vision. Riders know what I'm talking about. That blinding ride into the sun that makes you think your eyes are going to constrict so far back into your head, it will take days for them to come back out! From one curve to the next, the sun pops in and out of your eyes with her blinding light. It's times like this, I wish I had enrolled in "Helen Keller's School Of Motorcycle Riding".
The windshield, I was so thankful for this morning, has now caused me to contract a severe case of "Turtle Pokeitis". Because of the sun's glare landing directly on it, it became almost like etched glass. I had a very difficult time seeing through it during these intermittent intense blasts of sunlight. As a result, I repeatedly stretched my neck as far as I could, so I could see over my "precious" windshield, thus causing me to mimic a turtle poking it's head of of their shell. All the while, the tall pine trees that lined the road, provided a scattered break in the streams of light, causing the impression I was riding through a solar powered strobe light. Flash! Flash! My perception of the sun and my windshield was changing again.
I'm not complaining, mind you, just sharing! I still had a great ride and I'm very glad we took the Glides out for some fresh air. The air warmed up nicely and I experienced some really great road time. Even though the sun proved to be both, a help and a hindrance, it provided the best backdrop I could hope for, to ensure a beautiful day to ride. I perceive there will be more days like this in my future.