Wednesday, June 1, 2011
I said 'NO!'
Today I said NO when offered a ride on a new bike…and it felt weird, very weird.
Why ? you may ask.
When I thought back, it was the very first time I’ve ever refused a ride…on anything!
Hell yeah, I've ridden mopeds to Harleys and just about everything between; sure I’ve been disappointed more than once but loved them all.
I’ve owned more than twenty bikes of most kinds but mainly Japanese bikes where I learned I rather liked the combination of powerful motors, accurate suspension and steering combined with the lightness they build in so well…then I rode a Harley. (knowing how much you Americans love that brand I shall not mention them again)
In the early 1980’s I built up a Methanol powered Yamaha 750 drag racing bike with two friends, the day we finally got it to the local drag strip for testing I was just a few days out of hospital after a serious hip operation and still on crutches. When the testing was pretty much finished one of my friends made the mistake of asking if I was up to a ride...Hell yeah!
They had to help me onto the bike, put my recently operated leg painfully onto the foot peg then hold the bike upright as I couldn’t walk much less hold up a bike..
I gave it everything and tore up the track as fast as either of them had done,they didn't get the time though as they said after, they hadn't expected me top actually race it...Geez that thing went, but I paid dearly for that ride... my girlfriend didn’t talk to me for days and that was the last ride I got for quite some time. (if you get my drift)
I owned a Yamaha TZ, a full race street bike that snapped drive chains or chewed gears out if you mis-timed a gear change, I sold it after my fourth gearbox in six months.. it went on to very nearly kill it’s next two owners. Since then many bikes have come and gone.
My current bike is a very nice, very new Yamaha TT with the finest suspension I’ve owned, it climbs hills like they’re flat ground and absolutely flies.
But my nemesis is and has always been loose beach sand, I climb massive rocky hills very well, fly down our outback tracks faster than I ride on the roads...but add just one patch of sand and I’m quickly laying on my ass.
That’s exactly what happened nearly a week ago now, I dropped my nice new bike fooling around in the sandhills with my kids... and hurt my hip..a lot!
I've spent two days unable to walk, sit or drive. Funny enough I can sit on a bike, so I could (if I was stupid enough) ride my electric start TT, but no! I've been a good boy and looked after whats left of my aging body, (this time) which brings us to today, walking again with the help of a cane and able for the first time to drive (with some pain) I went out to watch the kids ride.
When my son-in-law asked if I wanted to ride his new bike I thought about it.. and refused. Oh, there will be other days and I will take it for a ride but I was quite proud of myself today…
It’s only taken 35 years to learn to say ‘NO!”