Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Twists and turns

The very best riding moments are deeply satisfying.

There's something about twisting stretches of road, particularly well-spaced S-curves, that can be counted on for that kind of satisfaction.

The portion of the commute that follows Lake St-Louis through Pointe-Claire, Dorval and Lachine has a fair number of those twisting stretches.I tried to capture a few photos of them this morning.It's the physical forces flowing through the bike and the rider that make those curves so much fun. For the Vespa and my current skill level, the magic equation seems to be somewhere over 50 km/h, with a decent lean into the turn, and then shifting the lean one way, then the other, as the S curve rolls by.The antithesis of the graceful S-curve is the awkward slow, sharp L-turn, often in cramped quarters, sometimes jerky, always risky, never pleasant. Bonus points for fumbling the controls on the turn indicator and inadvertently flashing the high beam. Even more points if it's a trifecta and I hit the horn button too.

As great as the S makes me feel, the awkward L-turn is unsettling, undermines my confidence, makes me curse my lack of skill, and makes me vow to return to a parking lot to practice.

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The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.