Saturday, April 18, 2009

No Time Like the President's

The great stand-up comedian, Norm Crosby, influenced me as a young person, as I watched him ply his trade on the late night shows. The Tonight Show, with Johnny Carson, and all of the daytime talk shows as well. He represented the immigrant American through his use of shtick concerning his poor command of the English language. As an artist, I knew he was so much smarter than the character he played, even though he never broke from character.

Norm's "fractured" English, tickled my sense of humor. I "got" the joke. I got that he had such an intimate understanding of language that he could poke fun at it, intelligently. There was the irony. "No time like the President's". For me, there's no time like the present to be taking on my new position.

Over the past four weeks, I've been laying the groundwork for a new role. The response I received from potential partners was overwhelmingly positive. It's time to shake up the old conventions and put the pieces back together in a new way. Like the Spring season unfolding around us, I'm planning a season of growth and re-birth.

Riding season is coming awfully slowly to New Hampshire. It's been cold and windy and rain is forecast for tonight and into tomorrow, Sunday, our normal day for club riding. Still, we managed a short scoot on Friday night, following the warmest day of this past week. The temperatures will fall again this week and be seasonally cool.

As a group, we have not yet gelled this year. Over the past season, we had so many new riders and so few chances to meet them all. A flurry of new names and email addresses bounced about that, at times, I'd felt like I should be wearing a name tag. "Hello. My name is...Joe Rocket". With the slow start, there haven't been many organized rides. I know that on the first nice day we get, the turnout will be overwhelming. 20-30 riders will show up and we'll all do that introductory do-si-do as we try to learn each others names, faces and riding styles. Despite our best efforts to organize the group off-season, some people will only come out for the rides and will defer the socializing until they get to know us better.

There are several rides already planned for the season including Nova Scotia, Gettysburg and several camping trips. It's been a long time since I've packed up my bike and headed down the road. I'm looking forward for the first chance to do just that. The short ride the other night was therapeutic. I wasn't focused on the stress and issues of the preceding week. On a nice long straightaway, I whacked the throttle back and instantly zipped down the road. A quick look in the mirror showed me how quickly the others fell behind. Acceleration is the best high!

I had plans to get some track time this year, plans that I'll have to put on hold. I think this will be another year, like others, where Summer slips away unloved. We have a lot to get done this year, in addition to launching my biz.

So, I hope I get a few memorable rides in this year. I hope the weather warms and I get to put some miles on my bike, in the company of my buddies. There's so much promise in the coming year.

A low, slow wave,

Joe Rocket

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