Nostalgia can be a tricky bitch.
On the one hand, she provides you with loving and warm feelings about past experiences which leave you with an overall feeling of goodness.
Then on the other, she can trick you into thinking things were better than they actually were.
Today as I wrapped up things at work and headed out to my scooter for my first Tuesday Night Ride of the season, I wondered which would be the case. You see, this winter has been long. We've had snow on the ground and roads for 7 months. SEVEN. That's over half the year. Minnesotan's have been teetering on the edge for at least a month already due to the snow. My facebook feed has been a barrage of "this again", "f.u. mother nature" and the like for the past month. The smiles you see on our faces hint at something sparking just beneath the surface if the sun doesn't show real soon.
Generally speaking we have the first 'official' (although nobody is in charge, we're not a 'group', and there are no 'rules') ride the week of March 17th. I was anxious for my first #TNR, for certain.
The ride to Lake Harriet was mostly uneventful, even though a helpful truck-driving motorist stopped me to tell me that "when he saw me back there he noticed I blend in with my surroundings". He suggested I wear brighter colors. I thanked him and drove off when the light turned green even though he still wanted to chat. When you ride a scooter, you anticipate conversations on the road. Usually people are stopping you to ask the general stuff (how fast does it go? what kind of mileage per gallon does it get? how much did you pay for it? do you have to have a motorcycle license?), so this was at least a different type of conversation.
TNR - we had a larger-ish group tonight. 2 and 4 stroke Stella, Vespa, I think a Henkel? (not sure what Kent was driving...it reminded me of a old salon hair dryer), MP3, Silverwing, etc. The new paint job on Alice's mint Stella was very pretty. Sadly I did not take a photo!
We headed around Lake Harriet, Calhoun and Lake of the Isles. Then I got lost...(in the ride and enjoyment, not actually lost!) Grand Rounds were in the mix and we did lots of parkways. There were a lot of other scooterists and motorcyclists riding and I think I counted something like 5-6 people either photographing or filming our motley crew as we rode around the cities. One gentleman yelled "VESPA GANG" and gave a few fist pumps.
At one point we were drafting a large collection of bicyclists that stopped to talk to Stacie, Christine and Becky. No phone numbers were exchanged, but the figtails were admired and talks of a calendar were started.
We ended on St. Anthony Main at Pracna. It was a really gorgeous night and the ride was just over 60 minutes in length. The rides are always a blast. I especially enjoy the conversation that follows.
The group was definitely on point tonight. We were quiet-ish at first, and then the typical jokes started flying. Vague insults, references to Tom's B.O.N.E.R. and the hand gestures we would need to utilize when riding it, etc.
Up until the actual ride I was living in the space of "warm fuzzy memories" regarding TNR. As I suited up for the hour-long ride home I realied that nostalgia wasn't such a tricky bitch afterall. TNR = goodness, laughter, fond memories, and the desire to make new ones.