The Early Years
I got into riding bikes back when I was around 12 years old. Learned on an old Suzuki 80 that you still had to mix the oil & gas together. I was a dirt biker. Although I never had anything real big, I was a pretty good rider and could hold my own against some of the better ones.
In December of ’98 I drove back to Ft. Myers, Florida. On my way through Pensacola I stayed at a good friends house to relax for a couple of days. Both my friend and her husband rode Suzuki Intruders 1500. They also had a 1986 Suzuki Madura 1200. Well I happened to be there while a bunch of their club decided to take a “tank ride”. Where you ride until the first person hits their reserve level. Since they had the extra bike just sitting there. I was invited to ride along.
Kay Craig in Pensacola, FL.
Its been 21 years since I rode last. When I got on that bike, I felt like a kid again. The excitement was over powering. The thrill was like going on a roller coaster for the first time. I was in hog heaven. That ride lasted for a couple of hours. I don’t know how far we road. But it was that ride which made me realize. I’ve got to get back into riding again. Its been to long. I had forgotten what it was like. It’s a big change from dirt biking, but I just had an urge to cruise. The thought of cruising down the road in a group of bikes was burned into my brain.
Just a Little Ways Back
When I returned home, I looked a round a bit. Really hadn’t given much though about what to buy. Going down to the local cycle dealer that carried Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha. I was like a kid in a candy store. So many flavors to choose from. Having no experience anymore as to what bike would be best, I decided to settle on the Intruder 1500. After all, my friend Kay and her husband really love theirs and are very satisfied with them.
Now came the hard part. Convincing “The wife”! Pleading with her brought back memories of pleading with my parents over my first bike. I cried and begged and stamped my feet to no avail. All seemed lost and the thought of getting my bike was fading fast in the days that followed. Then one morning, “The Wife”! confronted me. Expecting one last swift kick in the pants, out flowed the words “You can get the bike!!!”. Susan! Is that you? OK, who are you and what did you do with “The Wife”? Oh man, my heart was pounding, my head was throbbing. I went out the door so fast it didn’t have time to hit me in the ass. I was off to get that big ol’Suzuki.
What seemed like Only Yesterday
Well there I was, standing there in front of that motorcycle dealership. Looking up I swear I saw the same star the Three Wise Men did guiding me through those big glass doors. I step in, my eyes were fixed to that big ol’Suzuki. I nearly slipped on the trail of drool coming from my mouth as I sashayed my way across the showroom floor. I was just about to give that big ol’Suzuki a caressing hug when I looked over and “WHOA BABY” what is that.
I bought my bike on April 1st, 1999. It never even occurred to me that Susan might have been making a poor April Fools Joke when she told me I could get the bike. But I guess if it was meant to be one, it backfired. As of this writing, its been 8 months and about 15,000 miles of a backfire. Learning to ride the Road Star was a new experience. It didn’t take long to get the feel of the bike and just as short of time to feel pretty comfortable with it. I still hold myself back from the full potential of the power house. And the best part of the joke. Susan found out that she also enjoys riding. And now hopes someday to be riding her own bike.
I couldn’t stay off this thing whether if was for a short trip or a buzz up and down the freeway. But I began to notice something. As the miles were building up and time was turning into months. I haven’t found a soul to ride with let alone know anybody else with bike. I was alone. Like the Lone Wolf running without the pack.
To the Future
Time on your hands?