Tuesday, February 19, 2008

H is for

Harley Davidson
Once upon a time I was a Harley rider. It was some of the best times of my life. The freedom. The independence. The strength. The power. The thrill. The danger.

I learned to ride at a time in my life where I felt weak and insignificant. Fragile and small. Learning to control a huge scary bike was so big for me. The feelings carried over into my personal life and were my salvation at the time.

I got my permit the summer of '02. I took a motorcycle class on a little 250 or something ridiculous. I went home the first day after class and got on Ken's Fatboy (no comments from the peanut gallery!). I rode it around our neighborhood. Then I went around the block. Then I took it out on a main street. I'll never forget how vulnerable I felt stopped at an intersection. I was literally standing in the middle of the road! But I'll also never forget the sense of accomplishment I felt. I conquered a huge fear. I was riding a motorcycle.

Ken bought me a Lowrider the following week and I proceeded to put 3000 miles on my bike before putting it up for the winter. I rode every where - the bank, weight watchers, the grocery store. I refused to put bags on my bike - it looked so sleek. There were plenty of times I'd come home with a loaf of bread down my shirt or some other creative means of getting it home. I didn't care. I was riding.
In 2004 Ken bought a new bike so he handed the Fatboy down to me. What a bike it was - totally chromed out, Vance & Hines straight pipes, Kuryakyn Hyper Charger, chubbie bars, skull accessories - it was B.A.D. It was LOUD and that bike MOVED. So much fun.
I made some great friends during that chapter in my life. People who taught me so much that had little to do with motorcycling. Lessons I've been able to pass down and share:
  • yes, you can.
  • do things before you think you're ready
  • fear is nothing but not knowing how. learn.
  • it's easier to share a bed than a motorcycle seat with someone if you're mad at them
  • the wind is therapy
  • life is short. really short. enjoy the ride.

enjoy the ride.

3 comments:

Alisha said...

So I know it's not the same thing, but a couple of years ago I bought a Vespa and I can relate so much to what you're saying! I love the feeling of the wind in my face. Seeing the ground beneath my feet. Feeling the freedom of the road. And the looks! Kids waving. Old folks smiling. People stopping in the parking lot to ask me about it. The only thing I didn't like was that it was impossible to sneak into work late because everyone was watching for the girl on the little red scooter!

camillaknits said...

Okay, I'm *crying* now. Beautiful post, muh knitta. Life is just more vivid with you around. Enjoy the ride, indeed. C

Steph said...

This... was an amazing post... and made me smile... and tear up.... at the same time. Bittersweet, eh?