Thursday, September 24, 2015

the last book I ever read (On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks, excerpt four)

from On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks:

After I moved to Los Angeles, I missed my Sunday morning rides to Stinson Beach with my motorcyclist friends, and I reverted to being a lone rider again; on weekends, I would embark on enormous solo rides. As soon as I could get away from work on Friday, I saddled my horse—I sometimes thought of my bike as a horse—and would set out for the Grand Canyon, five hundred miles away but a straight ride on Route 66. I would ride through the night, lying flat on the tank; the bike had only 30 horsepower, but if I lay flat, I could get it to a little over a hundred miles per hour, and crouched like this, I would hold the bike flat out for hour after hour. Illuminated by the headlight—or, if there was one, by a full moon—the silvery road was sucked under my front wheel, and sometimes I had strange perceptual reversals and illusions. Sometimes I felt that I was inscribing a line on the surface of the earth, at other times that I was poised motionless above the ground, the whole planet rotating silently beneath me. My only stops were at gas stations, to fill the tank, to stretch my legs and exchange a few words with the gas attendant. If I held the bike at its maximum speed, I could reach the Grand Canyon in time to see the sunrise.

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