April 1st, 2011

I flew into the world’s busiest airport in the middle of the afternoon. Whether Atlantas airport IS the busiest airport in the world is just a guess. But it seemed like that to me at the time.

I walked through the usual mob of airport goblins. Stern executives with their cells pressed to their ears, overburdened parents, baby carriages, immigrants, women with bad hair, stilettos, military personnel, airport gophers, kids packing hiking gear.

Restrooms are equal opportunity convenience centers inside the Atlanta airport. Huge facilities for women. And, just down the concourse, a huge facility for men, rimmed at the top of an aluminum canopy by blue neon symbols with figures wearing pants.

Im inside a city inside a city with what seems to be twenty or thirty different exits to everywhere. I pick one of them after I step off a two story high escalator and find myself on a broad sidewalk bus with buses, cars, and passengers dancing frantically amidst
chaos. An unorganized fire drill of roll aboards, canvas sacks, and people wondering where they are.

Its easy to tell which people are citizens of Atlanta. They’re not looking around like monkeys in treetops. They know right where to go.

I envy Atlantas beautiful roads. Theres a curve and a swoop and an elan to them no other city has.Tax dollars appear to have been used wisely at least by this city’s department of transportation. I dream of being able to get on the gas of my Superbike and take these roads for a twist. I envision moving at Mach 2 even at the height of rush hour.

The roads are seductive. And thats why I don’t understand why there are so few motorcycles on the roads in Atlanta The only bikes I saw were cop Harleys parked at intersections, their riders directing traffic. Everything else appeared to be the usual American soup of imports and domestics, sedans and coupes. One long python gliding effortlessly and slowly under overpasses. And it wasn’t even 4:30.

Atlanta also has excellent signage. Its as if someone gets up on a ladder when no ones around and buffs off the dust and road silt.

I dont expect all roads in America to be as graceful as the ones I’ve seen in this city and its suburbs. But if you’ve got two wheels and an engine and the imaginative skill to ride some of the best asphalt you’ve ever encountered, trailer your Superbike to Atlanta and see how smooth that horsepower functions when you get on the gas.

I envy you if you do.

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