Ride with Norman Reedus: 'Norman is Back w/ Dave Chapelle & More' Season 2 Official Teaser - YouTube
I have to be honest, I don't watch that much TV. So if I'm jumping into the second season of Ride with Norman Reedus a little late, don't hate me for it.
I was inspired to write this for a few reasons. 1) I already did a review of the first season, and it seems if someone took notes over at AMC. Although I'm only commenting on this one show, it's improved.
2) I used to live in Charleston, SC for a brief time and I know Savannah, GA pretty well. Charleston speaks to my soul and there is just something about that city that says "I'm home." I have friends in Charleston today that I've known for close to twenty or thirty years.
3) When I lived in the area I often took the same route that Reedus, and his riding partner - Dave Chappelle - did. They crossed the same bridges that I crossed, rode the same roads. Although they obviously didn't drink in the same bars or go to the same haunts that I did in my early 20's.
In other words I'm feeling a bit nostalgic.
Even way back in the early 90's the two cities were completely different. Charleston was a painted lady of a bygone era, full of old money and a feeling that the world could carry on around it. That nothing was going to change it.
The last time I was there it felt that the city was, begrudgingly, entering the 20th century.
Savannah on the other hand felt like it was out of place a bit. It seemed a place that would accept the odd and unusual. The artist, the musician...and a young man still trying to figure out his place in the world. When I read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil the events portrayed in that book were still fresh in the cities collective memory...but instead of being an open wound, were seen as scars of pride.
Savannah, with it's one way streets and near impossible ability to get anywhere directly also adds to it's mysterious atmosphere. It's been nearly 20 years since I last stepped foot in Savannah, and based on what little I saw of it with Reddus...nothing has changed.
Depending on the route it would only take about 2.5 hours hours to get from one city to the other, separated by about 110 miles. Due to the wonder of television however, it takes our brave travelers two days. OK, I'll grant they just getting up and going would be boring and a very quick show, plus, the most interesting stuff I've always found is off the highway and on the back roads.
They started in Charleston, riding the flat and boring route 17. This would be, or was the last time I was there, scrub lands. Swampy ground broken up for the most part by long barren stretches of pine forest. The road is a nice two lane highway but the challenge for the rider is to stay awake.
While I'm sure I've traveled on State Route 21 through South Carolina at one time or another, I can't tell you much about it. It travels deep into the salt marshes and winds it way through Beaufort. If memory serves it's full of some wonderful wildlife and some beautiful sunsets, but I only had brief adventures in places like Saint Helena Island.
In a way, I'm glad they stopped in Saint Helena. When I lived in Charleston I was introduced to Low Country cooking, which can best be described as a mix of seafood, fresh veg, African spices and rice with a little bit of French thrown in. It's not quite Cajun, but not that dissimilar. Trust me, you haven't eaten till you had authentic low country, and both Chappelle and Reedus do. Plus a history lesson about one of the first majority black communities in the United States. Reedus and Chappelle treat this place with the gravity it deserves and, unlike the first season, it doesn't come off as "jokey" or lightly touched upon. "Gullah" history, traditions and language are unique to the American experience...and they treat it with honor.
Finally, in a way Reedus and Chappelle find a kindred spirit in each other. They don't spend a lot of time talking about bikes, although there is a running joke about Chappelle leaving his blinker on. They talk a little bit about the creative process, about family, about the pressures of being on something successful that then gets out of your control (which is a veiled comment about the never ending Walking Dead I'm sure). Chappelle in particular seems to have built up a myth about him, intentionally or not, which questions why someone would leave a successful career to simply disappear for a bit.
There is no ground shaking revelations, no laugh out loud moments, Chappelle plays it mostly straight and Reedus; wisely, lets him. In the end what you got is something closer to the original Bourdian "No Reservations" show that "Ride" is based on. It's good to see, and enough for me to want to watch a little more...and get back to Charleston and Savannah soon.
In the end it ends on a positive note..."We will ride again.". I hope so too.
For the first times in months I rode. For the first time since the accident, I was on the back of a bike.
A woman in my community is selling her former husband's Honda Silver wing. She is asking a fair price for it and Sue prompted me to go and take a look. Sue knows how much I enjoyed riding and owning a bike. The owner told me the year but I don't remember exactly. I think it was within five years old and she had a tad over 17K on her.
In didn't take me long to grab an old helmet and a borrowed set of gloves to take her for a test spin. I'm not sure why I consider motorcycles women, but to me they are.
So I started her up and she didn't roar to life, she didn't have the "oomph" that Kimmie did despite being a bigger engine. Of course, she was also a bigger, heavier bike than my old Xciting and that matters.
I rode her around a bit, through some local twistie's I know of on a back road, I opened her up slightly on a straightway and I did feel comfortable, despite wearing none on my safety gear except a pair of borrowed gloves and an old helmet I picked up somewhere along the way.
It felt.....odd. I don't know what I expected, taking her gingerly through a turn. Where was the excitement? Where was the feeling of awe? Of being on the edge? The tires seemed a little squirrel'y but they were brand new, still having the nubs on them and the bike had sat for about a month so the pressure was probably off. I took my time and was careful.
I knew I was also probably gun shy too.
There were things I like, the former owner had put a Givi windshield on it and that would come in handy on the cooler days or in the rain as the wind and rain where whipped around me and not into my chest as with Kimmie. The storage was nice, and the previous owner had placed a pretty decent, but now great top box on it. All the storage departments locked with a singe key. He really did take good care of the bike and it had undergone a full maintenance review about 1000 miles ago.
Maybe it's just the fact that I never really cared for the looks of a Honda Silver Wing. Maybe I'm still afraid, still touchy after the accident. Truthfully Sue and I can afford the bike and still have a good chunk of change left over, so I can't say "I can't afford it."
I just don't know if I'm ready yet. Maybe I never will be. Maybe this is just not the bike for me. I just don't know yet.