It was Spring, 2005, when I visited my brother, Ray, in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. He showed me his cherry-red Harley Road King and said, “Wanna go for a ride?” It would be my first time on a motorcycle since my brother took me on a ride when I was 18 and in the Corps. I said, “Sure!”
He turned that bad-boy on, and I straddled that gigantic, loud, shiny-red thunder-machine. The instant he saw my feet touch the passenger pegs, Ray blasted off. So fast he darted that I was sure I'd have to scoop up my vital organs from ground. I screamed like a horror movie as my finger nails pierced into his torso. As soon as I recovered, I commanded to him to... “Go faster!” He cracked up and lamented to me that his wife wasn't so fun.
I was 44 when I had that Harley ride. Perhaps it was also the beginning of a midlife crisis. I came home and demanded to my husband that he get a Harley. Caught by surprise, he asked, “What the hell?” I explained about my thrilling ride and he said, “That's ridiculous. I don't do motorcycles.” I pouted and said, “Well, then, I guess I'll have to find me a boyfriend with a motorcycle.”
Although I was kidding about the boyfriend (sorta), I wasn't kidding about my need for excitement. If I die at the age my mom died, then I only had 15 years left. And at 44, who knows when my health would turn to crap. I was a nurse and knew there was a lot that could go wrong. After all, early cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease run rampant among my ancestors. I was ready to really live. I was ready to ride on a Harley behind my husband and let nature smack me.
My retired husband thought about it and decided to go for it. So, the linear person he is, he was on a long quest of online research. He probably got a crick in his neck evaluating motorcycles as meticulously as a monkey picking ticks. I think it got him a little excited to know that there was a new way he would thrill me.
With flying colors, he passed a class and got a license. But things didn't turn out as I had hoped. My cerebral monkey tick-picker was not my confident Harley-loving brother. He was super-cautious. And when he talked about the day he would take me for my first ride, he looked as like a death row inmate envisioning the electric chair.
Another day I'll describe the first time I rode behind my husband on his new motorcycle.
Was there a moment you remember when you just knew you had to feel the thrill of a motorcycle ride?