The holy grail is filled with acid

New scars to worry.

How to react, when a love affair turns against you? When your passion acidifies and tortures you, do you turn away or fight to reclaim it? My mistress, my motorcycle, my dearest Lost, the joy I once knew at riding you is gone. Learning to ride in Canada, I remember the feeling of exhilaration and pride when I began to learn to pull the bike up with the throttle after skidding the rear, taking familiar curves tighter and tighter every time.

But these are not familiar curves, and my adrenaline rush has soured. I’m riding down the Espinazo del Diablo, a gorgeous road full of hairpins, famous for being so steep transport trucks regularly have to use the runaway ramps. This also says a lot about Mexican transport trucks. The road could be a paved version of the copper canyon’s delightfully curvaceous descents. I try to enjoy what should be one of the best rides of my life, try to feel the electric joy flooding my veins. It’s no use; the curves come up and a tension seizes me, my head pounding from the effort of concentrating on the road rather than the terror. I try to push through, control the motions mechanically and separate my actions from my cowering psyche but the stress bleeds through and I have to fight my tightening muscles the whole way down. Naturally, there is a fresh streak of oil in my lane, mercilessly freeing me from friction, another hairline fracture in my composure every time the rear slips and spins wildly on the curves.

I take a welcome break to distract myself saluting Gert and Beth, biking up the massive incline, Gert towing a kiteboard behind his bicycle! It is incredible the levels to which some people push their physique, I can’t even contemplate the ride up, nevermind with a trailer. I wish them luck and grimly press on towards the coast. I follow another biker, challenging myself to match his leaning on the curves. I try not to think of the scratches on my helmet, and his passenger without one.

The road levels, straightens, and as I finally manage to ease some of the tension from my shoulders that insidious question rises: have I permanently poisoned my journey..?

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