Motorcycle Fever: Not for Me!
I was sitting in my favorite chair dozing when the phone rang.
I picked it up and answered it. David, our eldest, said, "Dad, are you sitting down?"
I eased back and answered, "Yeah. Go ahead."
"I just bought a motorcycle!" he said.
"What? I thought you said something about a motorcycle."
He repeated it, and I yelled for his mom to pick up the other phone.
"David's found a new toy, and you need to sit down before you talk to him."
When she answered, I heard her gasp and whisper, "Oh no. Those things scare me to death."
By then I had them on the speaker phone, and all of us began talking at once.
The conversation went something like this:
"Now David, those things are dangerous, and they've only got two, I said two, wheels on the ground even on level ground! Have you thought this through?"
"Do you know how to ride the thing?"
"Aw Dad, I see them on the road all the time and with gas going through the roof and the Kia getting old, I've got to economize. I'll stay off the interstates till I get the hang of it. Besides, I'm gonna take a four-day program that'll teach me all about safety and riding."
Just when we were getting used to his newest hobby, a 30-foot sloop down near the Pamlico Sound on the Neuse River, he buys a motorcycle.
A motorcycle! I began to wonder if it would be as hard getting on a motorcycle as it was for me to board the sloop.
I asked him if two could ride at a time and he said, "Well, if the second rider was real small. The weight limit counting the bike is 600 pounds, and I weight 180. I don't think we could manage it, Dad."
Whew! That's a relief! And I know Pat won't go near the thing. Or I don't think she will. She surprises me sometimes.
Now, I'm 82 years old and shouldn't even be thinking about riding a motorcycle.
Would I have to grow a ponytail, a beard and a mustache? What about leather pants and a jacket, maybe with something written on the back, like "Sandhill Crazies" or something catchy. And a pair of sunglasses. I see a lot of riders wearing sunglasses.
Oh yeah, and a pair of sporty boots for when I take corners a little too fast and need to slide.
I'm beginning to think hard about the image thing. I've always been a little leery of bike riders. They look kind of scary to me most of the time. And now David is forcing me to rethink my whole attitude about bike riders.
Wonder what it would feel like riding one with the wind blowing in what little hair I have left? Oh yeah, I forgot the helmet. A nice fancy one perhaps. Might as well go all the way!
And I guess I'll have to quit leering at bike riders when they go by my car. After all, aren't they riding for a lot of good causes?
I see in the paper where they're riding escort for fallen veterans at their funerals. I really like that. And they often represent those in need. I see many of them flying our flag when they ride.
Maybe they're not bad guys just because they ride motorcycles. I know David is a good guy, and if he's riding one, it'll be OK.
Wonder what a Harley costs? My Audi is using a lot of gas and getting a little old. Wonder how much insurance I'd need? Probably too much. I don't think I'd need it for long though, if I started riding a bike.
I guess I'll sleep on this whole thing awhile. Dozing in my favorite chair always seems to help when I have these life-changing problems facing me.
Should I get one in Carolina Blue or red?
Robey Howard is a local freelance writer.
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