The Five Senses of the Road

Yesterday was my two month anniversary of living the life on the road. I know that it doesn’t sound like a lot and even to me it doesn’t seems like it has been two months already. Times do really fly by fast. Like I said, even though it has only been two months, I have been asked by several readers what has been the most amazing place I have been to so far. It’s actually not a places but the senses that has been awaken while riding a motorcycle. Things that a cager would never experience because they’re wrapped up in a car body effectively forms a cage, isolating them from having to interact with outside world.
As everyone know, we have five senses, hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch that help us process the information and respond accordingly to the information we received. Here is a breakdown of my five senses that I have experienced on the road.

Hear – I love the sound of my motor rumbling under me and this can also go under touch as well since I love the feel of the vibration from the motor, listening to road songs on my iPod, the train blowing their whistle when I wave at them.

Sight – the beauty of Mother’s Nature gives us, such as the magnificence redwood trees, the blueness of the water in crater lake. Also, the beauty of what is man-made, lately I have been fascinated by all of the bridges that I have crossed over, concrete, metal and wooden ones. However, the best was seeing the eye wide open on a little boy who was in awe of my motorcycle but terrified of it until his mom brought out his John Deere tractor to ride next to me.

Smell – This has been the biggest amazement to me is the smell I have noticed while riding. Such as anise, water, skunk, tar, burning brake, eucalyptus, fresh-cut grass, pine, exhaust. The most amazing thing for me is that I know when there is water nearby by it smell. You can’t smell that in a car. I always wondered if this is how the Indian were able to track water better than the settlers. When did we lose this critical sense?

Taste – Can’t really taste anything while riding but loving the taste of freedom of being on the open road. The taste of being able to set my own schedule.

Touch – I have felt the peacefulness of the open road and like I said above the vibration of the motor beneath me. I have also felt the cold, heat, rain and the wind which I hate with a passion both on the motorcycle and off of it. At least when the wind is blowing while on the bike, I can take a detour or take a break from riding but when the storm is raging around your tent. You wonder if you made the right choices in whether to camp or hotel for the night. That is another story in itself.

The other night at camp, I met another deaf solo female traveler. She has been traveling around the world off and on for the last thirty years ( We were swapping stories and comparing notes about life on the road. She made a comment about my pace of being on the road between each stops. She usually stay between three and five days at each stop that she make where I’m staying only one night most of the time with a multi-day stop every four or five days for laundry and motorcycle maintenance. I pondered on her statement for a bit but then I realized that each of us are different. I start to feel antsy when I stay too long at one place and need to feel the wind and his spirit on my back as I ride.

25 thoughts on “The Five Senses of the Road

  1. “Things that a cager would never experience because they’re wrapped up in a car body effectively forms a cage, isolating them from having to interact with outside world.”

    Last week I returned from a 1800 mile bicycle tour. And that is the very reason I chose to travel by bicycle.
    I’ve enjoyed reading about your travels. You go girl!


  2. Hi Gina! Thanks for this post. I often suggest to writers that they incorporate all 5 senses in their writing to strengthen it. Hey, you know a heightened sense of smell can be strengthened? You’ve been practicing 🙂 Mental and physical health also help, apparently. It’s a good trip. You are healing. The sense of taste is actually mostly smell, too. Much love, Carla


    1. Thank you Carla…interesting links. Its amazing how when riding a bicycle or a motorcycle you’re more attuned to mother’s nature and how it heighten your sense of awareness as well.

      Miss you and scrunch!!!



  3. Gina, you always seem to put your finger right on it when you describe your experiences. This time you have nailed it for all your biking sisters and brothers as well, you certainly have been reading my mind ‘cos that’s exactly how I feel about the riding senses!
    Keep on enjoying the ride and keep safe. Best wishes, Dookes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. GinaMarie, what you are experiencing reminds me of the indian tradition of leaving the village to go out and fast for several days to let in nature and have a vision.  What a great adventure you are on and to realize and take in the senses we were given at birth.  We lose some of this by the day to day life our culture has become by the modern things we take for granted.   There is nothing like being out on a starlit night in the middle of nowhere to see the heavens as they have been since the beginning of time.  To be able to hear that coyote in the distance and the scamperings of small feet in the night looking for a meal.  In the silence of nature, I have felt more alive than ever.  Is such a treat to read your notes, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sis, I’m so proud of you. You are doing great. What an adventure!!! Roll on little Sis, love you to pieces!!! 🙂


  6. You didn’t mention the lovely smell of roadkill, one of my least favorites by far! I always like feeling the temperature drop when you get near water, or pass through spots in the mountains that literally never get any direct sun.

    I’ll have to come back to read more about this grand adventure of yours. Thanks for visiting my blog today.


    1. You’re right, I did forget to mention the roadkill. However, most of the roadkill, I’ve come across are skunks and they aren’t pleasant either. Thank you for taking the time to read mine as well.


  7. I love the sights and smells of my riding travels! I do hold my breath when I see something that may stink! Enjoy yourself! Your doing great things!


Leave a Reply to Ginamarie Austin Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s