Spirit Traffic is the story of the 10,000-mile motorcycle trip the author C. Jane Taylor took with her husband, John, and son, Emmett, to celebrate Emmett’s college graduation. They were all new riders, and it was their first trip. In May, Jane and John took Spirit Traffic back to the road on their BMW 650 GSs for a 97-day national book tour. Below is her second installment of Postcards from the Road, which will be published every Monday.
Related Story: C. Jane Taylor Rides 6,000 Miles on National Book Tour
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May 22, 2022
The Cher Show was playing at the Ogunquit Playhouse. I read the sign as we rolled into Maine after a cold misty morning following a full day of rain. “They say we’re young and we don’t know, they won’t find out until we grow…” I started singing inside my helmet. My Cher voice immediately modulated into my Bob Dylan voice. Good humor is an essential part of surviving Maine weather in any season and by any mode of transportation.
Here are some highlights since my last Postcard:
Monday: I was treated like royalty at An Unlikely Story Bookstore, the Wimpy Kid empire owned by Jeff Kinney, the second highest earning author in the world — JK Rowling is first. From a comfy leather chair on stage, I read from Spirit Traffic and took questions from an appreciative audience of 35 people, mostly mothers and daughters. One woman asked me how to write a book. Another said, “I am you. I am facing fear and learning something new.” She was a new rider. My favorite story was told by the first female sensei in her Boston dojo. And an old kayaking buddy showed up to surprise me.
Tuesday: We set up a table in the showroom at Wagner Motorsports in Worcester, MA. Mike, the head of sales, was a charming host. It was Indian Motorcycle Demo Day. Between test rides, men of all ages visited my table to talk and buy books.
Wednesday: We were feted at a salon gathering in Troy, NH, in the 1860s home of Evan and Theresia. Warm hospitality, extraordinary gourmet food, and champagne set the stage for a party of 17 guests. My favorite adventure story was told by Debbie, who claimed she had no adventure in her life. The story of her first born proved her wrong. Not believing the timing of her contractions, she and her husband hopped into the car and raced to the hospital. The baby was already crowning, so Debbie could not sit in the car. Instead, she kneeled in the back facing backwards, breathing. In his panic, her husband thought it prudent to wait for the red light to turn green, though no other traffic was present at two in the morning. They arrived at the small-town New Hampshire hospital to find the door locked. Debbie pounded the door for admission. Orderlies tried to seat her in a wheelchair, but the baby was crowning. She kneeled and was wheeled butt first into the delivery room. The baby was born eight minutes later.
Thursday: After an early morning Zoom yoga class with John (Evan, Theresia, and me taking the class in an adjoining room), we rode out into a heavy mist. After a mile in the wet, we donned our hazmat green Motorrad rain suits. It rained all day. Temperatures lingered in the upper 40s. Our night off from the tour was spent in front of the heater in our room at the Lighthouse Inn in York, Maine.
Friday: This was the first day of the BMW Downeast Rally. After a two-year rally hiatus due to COVID, these riders were thrilled to see one another and to meet “the author.” I read after a hearty dinner to a roomful of supportive, likeminded new friends. At home, whenever I hear a motorcycle ride by, I turn to see it. My neck was sore in Downeast Maine! And every bike sounded like mine.
Saturday: I had lunch with Leah (I don’t know her last name) and Muriel Farrington. Muriel started riding when she was 58. She is now 80 and has ridden more than 400,000 miles. She is funny, smart, delightful, and in terrific shape. Talk about inspiring!
Keep the rubber side down.
Spirit Traffic can be purchased on the author’s website. It is also available on eBook and as an audio book read by the author.