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The night was warm with the scent of rain and a few lonely stars visible through the clouds. I pulled my scarf up the back of my neck, flush against my helmet to take the edge off the wind. Ahead of me, the glow of my high beams threw the surrounding darkness into sharper relief and lit up the underbrush of the trees. Coming into the corner, I leaned forward low over the gas tank and let the bike slide gracefully into the curve as I hugged the edge of the mountain.

I had not intended to be out riding so late but I had one too many at dinner and wanted to wait until I was sober before driving home. I might have stayed the night, but a gentleman never overstays his welcome. Accordingly, I had refused the offered couch and headed homeward. Besides, the long slow curves of the empty road home are seductive in their own way..

Coming out of the last curve in the foot hills to the long straight expressway north I opened the throttle and stepped up through the gears, letting the wind wash over me. Above, the clouds parted and the moon stood full and bright opposite the last slivers of the setting sun. The wind washing over me was delicious, cool and invigorating but without the chill of the mountains.

Speed, adrenalin, engine roaring below, and the moon overhead. Perfection.