One day about 14 years into our marriage my husband made a demand. He’s never demanded anything. We have always respected each other and talked about any major life changing decisions or big money purchases so when he made this demand, I knew he was serious. He told me he was buying a motorcycle. In fact, he already had one ready to purchase and was going up that day to give the guy the money. He let me know that while he preferred that I went with him, he was going whether I went or not. He told me he needed this and had put off the purchase until our children were older, but now the time had come.
Okay. This was about the last thing I wanted to spend money on, and I knew they could be time and money consuming. I also knew that they were dangerous and riding one put you at a much greater risk of dying on the highway. I knew nothing other than those two things- expensive and dangerous. I went with him to see the bike. The conversation between my husband and the seller of said motorcycle went something like this “…yeah I did blappity blah, blah, with the doohickey and that made the bike really cool. Now it rides like shit, the seat’s uncomfortable, it’s the ugliest color of yellow you ever saw, and you’re likely to spend your retirement on it, but hey man, it’s a bike.” He would probably have a different version of just exactly how it went down if he were telling the story, but this is my blog.
So, off he rode and I followed home in my car. I have never seen this man as happy, except maybe on our wedding day and the births of each of our 5 children, but other than that this was his climax of happiness. He was giddy. And I knew our lives would never be the same.
He talked me into riding with him and I got to understand first hand why he loved riding so damn much. Shit! I was hooked too. We rode that bright yellow Dyna all over every weekend we could. The seat was the worst and my ass would hurt so bad at the end of the day. But it was something we did together and the kids couldn’t go so we never had any tag-a-longs- it was awesome!
The biggest reason I loved it so much was that it made him happy. I loved seeing him ride (I’ll admit to a little bad boy fetish). We met new people that are now some of the closest friends I’ve known. I experienced the world in a much different way on the back of that bike. My senses were heightened; I smelled and felt things in the wind that I didn’t even know existed.
Eventually the seat got to be too much and we went together to get a bike that would be a more comfortable ride. Within 6 months of having the new bike I decided I wanted to learn how to ride, but Bob refused to teach me anything but the basics (in hindsight it may have saved our marriage, he knows how independent and stubborn I am and that I would have never been able to let him teach me).
I took a course at Johnson County Community College. Originally I was enrolled in an all women’s class, but couldn’t attend it so I took the motorcycle-training program with a group of about 20 men. They were not easy on me and I had to prove myself over and over. Nothing gets me going more than to tell me I can’t do something, especially if it’s a boy. I passed the course, passed the test and got my license.
I started out riding an 883 Iron, but soon realized I didn’t like it. I wanted something more. I purchased a Dyna Streetbob (think Sons of Anarchy) in denim black, dropped it low, changed the stock pipes, sprinkled in my own small touches here and there and oh my gawd! That bike is one bad-ass bitch!
Now the only two things I knew going in to this adventure were confirmed. Motorcycles are expensive and dangerous, no doubt, but they are a hell-of-a-lotta fun! On the back of that bike, I have no stress. I can’t let my mind wonder into places that cause me anxiety and tension. We get to spend our time together doing something we both love. I am so appreciative that he made the decision in the way that he did otherwise I would have tried to talk him out of it. I don’t think I would have won, but I sure would have tried.