Sunday, October 22, 2006

Lessons from 100 Posts

On October 2, 2005 I posted for the first time on Scooter in the Sticks. Today sees the 100th entry here and I thought I would use this as an opportunity to ask why I've done this. Before I do I want to thank my wife Kim for her patience and understanding of the work I do with Scooter in the Sticks, but also with my riding.

And of course she receives complete credit as author of the name Scooter in the Sticks. She always has the best ideas.

As I look back over the past twelve months and think about how writing, riding and photography have come together I see several themes or changes that recur from day to day.

As a photographer you'd think this would be a simple thing but I've found it a challenge to pursue and sustain. When I purchased the Vespa LX150 it was in large measure a step to introduce some fun into life. And it has exceeded my expectations on that front. What I did not realize is that it has opened my eyes wide to everything around me. The nature and demands of riding do not easily suffer the kind of automaton manner that I can embrace in a four-wheeled vehicle. Riding the scooter has heightened my awareness of the road and my fellows on it, but also everything thing that I pass by. The photo above was taken this past Saturday afternoon as I road home from the local library. Riding along I saw a dense growth of bittersweet vine, something Kim and I have been seeking for a long time. We never saw this growth while driving but ride by it one time on a scooter... I definitely see more.

The process of riding unwinds me. I can feel the tension, noise, and chaos of a day dissipate as the scooter gains momentum. The scooter asks me to be patient and accept the world around me. It allows me to actually do what has often been suggested. I made the video below before I bought the scooter. I had identified a connection between the photographic work I was doing and the daily work that I was engaged in. Looking at it now I can see the Vespa is a mirror of photography. Both processes do the same thing for me.

Managing a safe ride requires focused attention. I'm aware of the direct connection between the choices I make while riding and the results of those decisions. Riding allows me to stay awake and not be asleep in my life. I appreciate the days and being awake allows me to take action rather than just think about things to come.

So there it is, reflections drawn at 7AM on a Monday morning. In another hour I will be departing on a long ride with my friend Paul. It's 37° F right now with a 20 MPH wind. The forecast calls for a high of 44° by midday. We're heading north in the remote and forested countryside of Pennsylvania, me on the Vespa and Paul on his bright yellow Suzuki DRZ400 SuperMoto.

A fine pair we'll make on the road.


Anonymous said...

Love the video! Very well done! I completely understood.

Jorge said...

Excellent short film Steve. I have been dreaming about getting a Vespa. Working very hard on the wife. Life as an accountant is so exciting that I need something else. Besides I am not willing to enter into the field of creative accounting quite yet. This fall's colors are the best in the last five years. "Saludos " from Western Mass.

Bryan Hudson said...

Hey there from bhudson. I have asked you a couple of questions regarding my LX150. Great Job on the video editing. I know how much time and effort goes into something like that! I have been doing video editing for a while.

Love it! I made a very short clip of a ride this past Monday. I will be posting it tonight on Mod Vespa.

talk to ya later!

Bryan from victoira, bc

Steve Williams said...

jorge: If you add a Vespa to your life I think you will find it offers great returns if you ride it and treat it respectfully. I bet Western Mass. woud be a fantastic place to ride. And New England is just a short trip away....

bryan: Thanks for your kind words. I'll look for your video. Ride safely.