By Larry Feinstein

Prairie Creek Redwoods, Orrick, Calif.

Prairie Creek Redwoods, Orrick, Calif.

I am not sure when I would have started writing again if there wasn’t a deadline for publication. It has always been important for me to do a good job, everything from getting my homework in on time to having well documented presentations when I was in the broadcast advertising business.

When I got back from my two-week motorcycle odyssey, writing in my blog everyday while on the road, it was inevitable that the writing would continue, but I felt both spent and overwhelmed by the experience.

I took a solo motorcycle ride through Northern California, southern Oregon and along the Pacific Coast, starting and ending in San Francisco. I chronicled the ride on my blog and the precise details are behind me now, but the internal ride continues. I can still feel and see the granite faces of Yosemite, while rocketing through the verdant Oregon landscape, or weaving around all those silent redwoods, standing at attention for centuries.

As a hopeless marketer, I made a point of spreading the news of this pending adventure to as many people as possible. I can’t imagine any published writer claiming they don’t want to be read. I certainly did my part by handing out business cards promoting my blog and writing this column each month, not to mention telling virtually everyone I met.

Frankly, I wasn’t prepared for the incredibly touching feedback when I resurfaced on Kaua‘i and it has thrown me. I started to feel self-conscious, wondering how I was going to keep it up and feeling terribly insecure about my ability.

When I was a little boy, my father died and I remember being alone in my dark bedroom and beginning to tell myself stories, written in the invisible ink of the moment. I have no idea what you think about, but my mind has always gone in the direction of sharing literate stories with my Gemini self. Maybe, I am a walking schizophrenic, but at least I don’t keep looking around to see where this voice is coming from.

After coming home, the first few rides on Flaming Lips, my bike, were awful. The anxiety that nearly overwhelmed me countless times on the Mainland was still too close. I dropped that Harley five times in 15 days, and let me tell you, that is not a confidence builder. I remember the moment I felt completely relaxed on my bike and it was like a veil of insecurity instantly lifted and I could hear the voice again.

The idea of calling this overall writing effort of mine Mind and the Motorcycle is purposeful, neither a gimmick nor a rip off. If you had to isolate the genes of the rider and bottle them, you would find at its core the unpredictable feeling of unfettered freedom that wraps around you when you are blasting along a highway through forever Oregon wine country or riding up and past Opaeka‘a Falls in Wailua.

Russian River, Cloverdale, Calif.

Russian River, Cloverdale, Calif.

My mind can fly freely on a bike and has this way of bringing me back to where I need to be. There was a reason for referring to you as a passenger on my ride, which made sense to both of me.

Virtually every night at the next stop along the way, I looked forward to uncoiling from a long day on the motorcycle. I was flooded with thoughts and feelings, beginning with the before dawn darkness, rolling into nightfall’s dropping temperature.

All of the sacred experiences on the road were with me as I sprawled out on the n