I don't know if it's because I'm normally a computer junkie, but I feel the most alive when I'm doing something physical- riding a bike at night, for example.

But the one time when I felt absolutely the most alive was after a long, hot, Arizona day climbing up Montezuma's Pass in the Huachuca Mountains with a bunch of friends. After 10 hours of hiking, the sun finally slipped behind the mountains, we were at a peak, and the cool wind finally kicked in. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, the sky turned dark and the city below us lit up. The cool wind blew hard across the sweat that had long since soaked my shirt, chilling me from hot and sweaty to what seemed suddenly like freezing. It was a completely clear night, and you could see all the way to Mexico. Someone had brought up something alcoholic in a canteen, we all had a swig, and watched the stars come out. For that one, brief, shining moment the previous day's hot labor was all worth it. I felt like Superman, I felt like Buddha, I felt like God. I have never felt more alive.

I decided to take a ride to the What-a-Burger 2 miles from my apartment. I departed on my motorcycle wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and (foreshadowing folks) a helmet. As I left the street that leads from my complex I accelerated towards the intersection of the IH35 access road, a trip I've made thousands of times. However, this specific time was unique. It's something about this time of year in Texas, where the Earth begins it's z-axial tilt to grant our little hemisphere extended daytime, and glistening beams of sunlight in 110 degree temperatures. Positioned at the most gorgeous angle and coincidentally creating an on-and off glare in the tiny corpses of various bug-guts that coat my helmet's face shield. It was in this tiny second of poetic distraction, or maybe the false sense of security a familiar road exudes, or maybe even my own hubris, or maybe my roaming imagination preferring to anticipate a double cheeseburger with jalapenos instead of the trailblazer with the "tap-out" decal in the back window. Unknowing to me (due to my moment of indecision) the trailblazer lazily eeks out into my lane, and stops just short of the yield sign in the right turn only lane bypassing the light. As my senses immediately hone in on this Ethan Hawk-like display of lane navigation, all of my knowledge of evasive braking goes out the window and are replaced with an animalistic survival response... handful-of-front-brake. Wrong move. Immediately my forks violently bottom out and the front of my vehicle begins to decelerate while the rear tries (but fails) to match trajectory. The deficit in speed results in a skid, and the rear tire's contact patch is nullified by the ground moving faster than the rotation and a net loss of traction. I'm not thinking about any of this, and as the skid gets more harsh, probably greater than 50 degrees, I panic and drop the brake as fast as I engaged it. At this point the jig is up, I'm easily facing 60 degrees away from the line I should be in and as my rear wheel regains traction I'm propelled on its longitudinal axis from my lean into the pavement with accelerating velocity. In a typical high-side, especially at faster speeds, the rider is actually thrown from the bike, and it's curtains, however in my infinite low-speed (35 mph) wisdom (read stupidity) I rode the bars all the way to the ground. The concept is similar to a catapult, that instead of having a projectile, is simply aimed at the ground... I don't know what to say at this point really, other than that my freak-of-nature evasive techniques kind of worked. I'm fine. I'll be sore tomorrow, but I'm fine. The left handlebar bent slightly, to the point of flaking the paint off, and there is slight cosmetic damage to the fairing, but absolutely nothing serious happened. A girl stopped traffic behind me and got out of her car, looking scared if not concerned, I told her I was fine, and a guy on a Harley came over and helped me lift the bike up. We looked it over for a few seconds, everything was fine, and I rode back to my apartment (with no What-a-burger.) I feel blessed the more I think about it, and I thank God...

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