You can see a lot by riding alone

… we have observed.

Italian motorcycle manufacturer Moto Guzzi has a great new slogan for the Age of Covid: “Distancing has never been a problem.”

The head groundskeeper at the Werkes took his Moto Guzzi V-7 II Stone out for a late summer workout Wednesday (09-16-2020). No particular place to go, just to get a little distance from the crazy and the hate now roiling the Peoples’ Republic. No face mask but yes to the helmet. The corn pollen won’t kill me; hitting the pavement at 55 mph might.

The bike is light and bare, no bags, no passengers but a transversely mounted, 90-degree V-twin of 750 cubic centimeters burbling happily on nearly deserted roads. Mid-afternoon temps in the upper 70s, sun high but hazy (thank you, California). Foliage was beginning to turn colors. Farmers were harvesting the first of the field corn. Yes, the hills were alive. 

We do the roads marked with letters or names, which is how we came upon Observatory Hill Road. Where have you been all my life, happy little trail? This mile-long patch of blacktop runs from County Hwy A north to Paoli Road (the latter less than a mile due west of the little time capsule of Paoli — a sweet little hamlet upon the Sugar River). 

Sweeping up from the south, we got up on top of the hill and put on the brakes! Wow! God’s own eye candy! Switched off the Guzzi and beheld a 360-degree view proving the earth is round and glorious. Topographic maps at the Werkes show the crest of the road at 1,087 feet above sea level — rising dramatically above the 900-foot plain to the east. 

Listened to the breeze whisper through the tall corn and let soak in God’s creation while appreciating the expert husbandry of the local agriculturists.

So, where is the observatory? O.K., got it! It’s this road on this hill! To observe is more than just seeing. It is to perceive, to regard with attention so as to see or learn something.

One other surprise. Folks come up here to post messages on the pavement. As folks have been doing from the Lasceaux cave in prehistoric France and the Native petroglyphs of Albuquerque to today’s graffiti — but without the hate and anger of BLM. And only one that was obscene. Here are a few:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Can’t be angry all the time. No matter how justified. Not good for body or soul. Sometimes, you just got to be happy.

What have YOU observed?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
This entry was posted in Motorcycles. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to You can see a lot by riding alone

  1. Unfortunately I haven’t had much time to get out an do a day cruise on the bike. 😦


  2. You can usually see all the Verona water towers from that hilltop, but the west coast fire haze makes it hard to see clearly more than a few miles. 😦


  3. Barbara Kopelberg says:

    The road out to Paoli is like going back in time! You turn a corner and you are in one of the bucolic peaceful places in Wisconsin. As my late father used to say, “Madison is a bowl of fruits and nuts surrounded by normalcy.”


  4. georgessson says:

    Good catch, Dave. You DID discover some happiness in a world that’s hurtin’. Paoili and then Observatory, plus Fritz, Schaller and other scenic twisties right nearby. They have fit my old Brit bikes well for a coupla decades. I might suggest Argue Road, too, into “W” for a top view of New Glarus to the south… Nice purposeful bike, BTW.


  5. Cornelius Gotchberg says:

    There’s a bona fide Observatory Road with a real Observatory in Cross Plains Township; .5 miles/.8 kms north on CTH P from Pine Bluff, and turn left/west.

    That’s the beginning of the Driftless Area, and Observatory winds you all the way to Garfoot Road.

    Take a left/south there, or just before it on storied Barlow (AKA The Roller Coaster), and you’ll hit some Grandaddy hills!

    The Gotch

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amos Roe says:

    I honestly think that everyone in Madison would be just a little bit richer, and not just better informed, if they would take the few seconds or minutes it takes each
    day to read this blog. Thank you David.


  7. Good Dog,Happy Man says:

    David-dawg, life is good in da cheddarhood.


  8. Iam Pistoff says:

    “Blaska’s Bottom Line”…spot on! Hadn’t a clue there were so many single-track aficionados among the contributors. Nice device, Dave; mine’s an FJ1200. Big smiles and audible gleeful wails behind the shield when spooled up. BTW, how did you manage to achieve at hillcrest “a 365-degree view proving the earth is round and glorious.”…the bonus 5 degrees must be spectacular [no snark; my math skills are often suspect]. Happy motoring; keep the shiny bits up.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Allen Rickey says:

    Mr. Dave, Travel more than a little on motorcycles, usually solo. Solve a lot of problems while cruising. Kind of a retreat for me.

    Al Rickey


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Batman says:

    Looking forward to when the BLM Show decides to expand and extend into rural WI and begin to harass the farmers because of their white privilege.


  11. Bill says:

    Spent a fair amount of time in the countryside growing up but haven’t been out of the city much in the last 20 or so years. Got some time to spend out in the countryside myself a couple of weeks back driving around in the Monroe area. Man, I found out I can’t tell you how much I miss the countryside, the farm people, the intrinsic beauty of being out in God’s creation.

    Came back wearing the biggest smile I’ve worn in a long time.

    Nice bike David. Used to have a 750 Kawasaki LTD myself many years ago. Gave it up for a car. Seems that the wife, kid, dog and myself just didn’t fit on a bike all at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. westsidesue says:

    Wow! So enjoyed reading this lovely column! Thanks for the reminder. We LOVED that little patch of heaven when we lived there. It’s great to have relief from all the troubles in the world right now.


  13. Took a cruise out there this afternoon. It was clear and I could easily see the water towers in Verona. Nice cool day for a ride!


  14. Robski says:

    Great post! I now have a new place to discover. I myself just got back from Barnes (Bayfield County) and it was awesome! There were no BLM signs past Dane County save for a few in Duluth/Superior and a smattering of “peace and justice for all” signs which I think has a better message. Not so divisive and more universally inclusive for an interstate highway message. There were far more Trump than Biden signs on the way up but things were quite competitive in the NW corner of the state. Didn’t see one Jorgensen sign anywhere, the lines are drawn for sure but it was nice to see people stridently supporting who they wish to support. On the trip I also observed a fat kid kicking a soccer ball around a field with his friends at a small rural school that was OPEN! It was refreshing to see children and teachers/parents comingling together while mostly unmasked and going about their daily lives. It was liberating to walk into an bar or classic Wisconsin supper club without a mask and just eat, drink and be merry with framily. The highlight was the waterfalls at Pattison State Park, it was therapeutic to just sit and watch/listen to the Little Manitou Falls for a couple hours. It was just like old times and former Gov. Dreyfus was right about Madison being surrounded by reality. We saw that realism and it was great! Escaping this ugliness in Madison to Wisconsin is good for your mind and body and soul.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.