This story begins with the hubster. Years before I began riding my own motorcycle I had heard tales of this magical motorcycle Mecca and how amazing it was. As I began riding my own and immersing myself in the motorcycle culture I quickly learned that the really cool bikers were able to swap stories of said magical place and their experiences therein. Being curious I googled it and a wave of mild discomfort flushed over me. The blind curves were intimidating to say the least & then there’s that whole “tree of shame” situation. I’m not one to give up and I had a few years riding experience under my belt so when the opportunity arose to slay this dragon I mustered up my courage and set out on what would be a rewarding experience. I had just purchased Pearl (Harley Roadster 1200) & she didn’t handle with the precision of my previous bike but I’ve always believed it’s more about the rider than the equipment. This theory of mine was backed by some YouTube vids of some Honda Gold Wing riders dragging pegs through those corners. As my previous experience on cruisers go, I found Pearl to be one of the better handling bikes. The Roadster sits up higher and is quite fun in a lean.When the day finally arrived I was greeted with rain and a chill in the air that almost caused me to lose my nerve, my pucker factor had kicked in. Thankfully I had a friend who is a more experienced rider than myself and she reassured me as she took lead. Eventually the weather did clear for us and I went through the gap at a moderate pace. I want to clarify moderate, I pushed myself to the edge of my comfort zone, I didn’t jump over it. Our speeds allowed us to lean our bikes and I even scraped pegs a few times, but I happily pulled aside & waved a few more experienced riders past as we went through, this is proper etiquette riding the gap & following the unspoken rule helped to ease my comfort level as well. I’m thankful for my patient friend!Once the dragon had been slain I could relax a bit and take in the natural beauty of the area. Mountainous countryside, babbling brooks, even some wildlife all come together to make this a truly enchanting place. This is where the spiritual part of being a motorcyclist takes over. The wind pushing against you as you immerse yourself in the landscape. All the noise of life recedes as the road, the roar of the engine, and the beauty of God’s creation become the singular focus of my mind’s eye. This is the freedom bikers share. Whether it be a Harley or a Honda, the two wheeled experience is about that freedom.