Thursday, December 18, 2008

Motorcycle Also

As with most people, I have lots of goals.
Usually they are normal things like get a bachelors degree but it also includes things like skydiving (accomplished 2001), visit Europe before turning 25 (2002, 2004, 2005), start the new year before all my friends (2004), and of course learn how to drive a motorcycle.

In June 2005, I moved back to Orlando.
With the encouragement of my friend Sean, I started researching where and how to learn how to drive a motorcycle.
Once Roger and I started dating that fall, I shared this goal with him.
And he was game. Roger always loved to learned new things so this was very cool with him.
And really, what guy does not want to know how to drive a motorcycle?

Before the Florida summer got into full swing, Roger and I signed up for the Harley Davidson class in May 2006. I was excited. Roger seemed sort of nonchalant and calm like always.
We both did our pre-class homework and then compared answers.
We were set.

We showed up that Friday night, did our first classroom session, and Roger only got one wrong.
Of course, he rubbed it in even though I only missed two.
The next day was the first day of actual riding and Roger never truly knowing right from left, kept messing up.
The teachers were not impressed and actually slightly annoyed but I couldn't help but laugh and try to pretend I did not know him.
The following day as we tested, Roger was number one in the class doing better than the guy who had been riding for twenty years.
He was stoked.
His ego was on cloud nine.
And I could mark off one of my goals as done.

Tonight as I took pictures of Roger's bike as I am getting ready to sell it, I couldn't but remember that weekend.
Or the day we bought the motorcycle when we were just browsing.
Or the day he ran out of gas about a mile from the house and he walked it home.
It brings tears to my eyes to sell it but I also know it will just sit in my garage otherwise.

And as I rolled it out to take some pictures, a felt a dragger in my heart is I thought if Roger was going to get hurt, it would have been on that bike, not in his car.

1 comment:

Crash Course Widow said...

I understand that dagger of worrying about the wrong thing.

Charley went on a very technical mountain bike ride **by himself** 3 days before he died, when I was out of town at our 10-yr high school reunion. I was NOT pleased about it and tried to get him to take someone else with him, but to his logical mind, his other friends weren't strong enough cyclists to make it and he knew he was always careful and didn't take unsafe risks, so going alone was a nonissue for him. I hated it but didn't want to nag--he was a grownup, after all, and a smart, careful man--so I let it drop but insisted he call me immediately before he left and as soon as he got back to the car.

I got his phone call that he'd made it back to his car okay when I was in an area of virtually no cell phone reception. I couldn't tell much of what he said through the static besides, "I made it okay," so I hung up. And--I kid you not--I turned to my friend, who'd asked if it was Charley, and told her, "Yeah, it was him. He was just calling to say he's not dead."

Never occurred to me that it might happen at a place that's billed by the Oregon bike racing association as the safest place to learn to race.

I got rid of that mountain bike before any of his other bikes, and I refused to let his father have it because I couldn't stand a reminder every time I saw the bike that the situation could have been a lot more horrifying, had he died on that technical ride 3 days earlier and we'd never been able to find him.

I found it was easier to not have those dagger reminders around...but everyone's different. Hope you're holding up okay in the aftermath of its leaving.