I had an absolute blast Saturday riding a stretch of Highway 129 at the North Carolina - Tennessee border near Deal's Gap known as the "Tail of the Dragon."
With 318 curves in 11 miles, there are plenty of opportunities to practice the basics of motorcycle control.
I stayed focused on my goal of enjoying the ride safely. I rode well within my limits and left plenty of margin so I could get clear of the folks who crossed the centerline.
Lately I've been trying to be more intentional about living in the present moment. I've been trying to focus on now, and not spend energy wrapped up in thinking about the past or the future. As I reflected on the ride afterward, I realized that part of what made it special is that it was a series of "now" moments. Each corner demanded full attention. I was fully present for each moment of the ride.
I didn't think about the past. Once a corner was completed, it was forgotten. If I chose the wrong gear or braked too much or too little going into a turn, there was no time to beat myself up or dwell on it. I simply took notice, learned, and focused on the road in front of me at that moment.
Nor did I think too far ahead. I kept focused on the corner in front of me. Or if there were multiple corners visible, I looked far enough ahead to choose the best line through them. But I didn't think about what was happening a mile down the road. I didn't think about the next road I was going to take or where I was going to spend the night. To achieve the goal of enjoying the ride safely, I needed to be fully present in what was happening now. That's what I did. And the reward was wonderful!