On Two Wheels

Life has a way of turning on a dime. Just a few short years ago, my wife Cindy & I were humming along great. We were each others best friend, the kids were grown, and we could enjoy life and each others company.

Then, all of a sudden, things changed. Cindy was gone. (See “My Life with Cindy”). Now that chapter in life is closed, and I find myself single. With that comes a change in outlook. I’m not saying it’s better. It’s not better. I miss her very much and think of her every day, and sometimes, it seems that it’s more than I can bear. It’s just different. There is now a giant hole in my life that she once occupied.

For the first couple of months after Cindy’s passing, I pretty much sat on the couch in the dark, drinking, watching TV and generally feeling sorry for myself. Eventually, my inner voice started talking to me. “What the hell are you doing, sitting here wasting time? You are still alive. Get your ass off the couch!”

Her passing has also shown me that we just don’t know what tomorrow brings. My age is also a factor. How long will I be able to do some of the things I want to do?

So, this brings up the so-called “Bucket-List.” I think we all start putting stuff on our mental bucket list over time. As I look back on my life, I’ve had some accomplishments that would satisfy a lot of people’s bucket list wishes.

I’m at the age where I am definitely hearing the tick of the clock, and without any restraints, my goal is to start to “Check-Stuff-Off” that bucket list while I still can.

Cindy used to be my moderator. She would let me know if I was out of line, or acting stupidly. She was the voice of reason for a lot of things. She was also a great motivator. She was able to push me to achieve things I might not have otherwise. 

She was always opposed to my having a motorcycle. It stemmed from an accident I had with her riding on the back about a week before our wedding. After that it was always “No motorcycles!”

Still, I have always had the desire to get back on a bike. Without that restraining voice, and feeling the need to fill that hole in my life, I jumped right back on. It started when I bought a 300cc Suzuki motorcycle that didn’t run. It was an inexpensive way to find out if a motorcycle was really for me, or if it was a passing fancy. I got it fixed up and looking nice, and it was fun to ride. I just loved the freedom and sensations. However, the Suzuki had some shortcomings (spare parts non-availability), and I felt it would not be viable for any ride longer than I was willing to push it. And I did push it on a couple of occasions.

So I sold off the Suzuki and bought a Harley Davidson Sportster. That one opened up a whole ‘nuther world. It was rock solid reliable, and I could take off to anywhere I wanted. At least as long as my rear-end would hold out.

Not long after, I walked into the Triumph dealer, “just to take a look.”
45 minutes later, I’m riding a brand new Bonneville home! It is a similar class bike with a completely different personality. The comfort level was far superior to the Sportster, and I could cover a lot more distance on the Bonneville.

That got me thinkin’ about the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. I have said for a lot of years that it was a bucket list item, along with owning a Harley. Doing the ride to Sturgis was once just a “It would be cool if…” It now became realizable. So the planning began!

Once again, my impulsive nature surfaced, when a beautiful Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe came up for sale locally. In short order, that was added to my “stable.” The plan soon shifted to ride the Deluxe to Sturgis.

That plan is still in effect, although delayed. In May of 2015, I had a spill on the Bonneville when I had a close encounter of the worst kind with a coyote on a single lane country road in the foothills. The resulting busted ankle put a hold on my summer plans while I healed.

The Sportster has since been sold off, the ankle has healed, I’ve improved my riding gear as well as my skill level.

There are a lot of roads out there that need to be ridden. My newest goal is to ride as many as I can, while I can!