Thursday, May 21, 2009

Motorcycle Grandma?


My husband has one big crush - on his beautiful blue Harley Davidson motorcycle. We are off to take it in for a "check up" in preparation for summer fun. Or is it fun? The answer is a resounding YES for him, and a tentative maybe for me. You see, I have developed a phobia on the bike.

It happened one day while we were riding in Portland with some friends. I don't know what my husband was thinking, but we were on the freeway, and simply put, he started going way too fast. He has his excuses, none of which I have accepted. In the meantime, I forgot to open all the air holes in my helmet. So the combination of a lack of air, the 75 mph, traffic, the feeling I was going to faint and fall off the bike, the inability to get his attention because he was
intent on keeping that bike going forward at a hair-splitting speed, has left me with a damned phobia for riding in any kind of traffic!

It's crazy how phobias become so real - all it takes is one time of feeling out of control and fear takes over in a very strange way.

Anyway, I forced myself to go with him again when we lived in Minneapolis. That trip he kept going and going and going, without stops. Now if you know anything about seats, you'll know it is a very unfair situation.
His seat is much larger than mine - despite the disparity in sizes of the appendages going into said seats. Some women liken it to riding on a fence post for hours. Stops are very important! But he just couldn't make up his mind where to stop, so we drove and drove. The end result was a very crippled passenger, and one that didn't want to go again for a while. (His story may be slightly different :-)

He's had bikes since we first met. Back in the day it was a Suzuki, without even a sissy bar (a bar to hold the passenger on.) We used to motor up to the Lake (we lived in Reno), spend the day at the beach, have lunch at a favorite restaurant, head back to the movies, and be home in time to BBQ. All before children, or dogs for that matter. Next came the dog, thus we had to take our sports car, next came the children and that required a Taurus station wagon! Anyway, you get the picture. Now we are back to the motorcycle. Only I'm 30 years older. I am just not that same young, carefree girl. (Or size, for that matter.)

You can wear lots of gear to keep you safe. "Leathers". But I feel claustrophobic in them. They're heavy and hot. Add a big helmet and you might as well be going to Mars.

So, I know I'll go with him. He really
wants me to go, and I'll do it for him. But being a Motorcycle Grandma, is not all that it's cracked up to be.

Any others out there that will be hitting the road on two wheels this summer?

31 comments:

primavera123 said...

Be careful! Friends of mine had a tragedy while participating in an SOB outing (Swingers on Bikes).

The husband and wife were riding double when an inexperienced teenage driver failed to see them in her blind spot.

Gas prices and environmentalism are making motorcyles very popular. We should all put down the iphones and the lattes and keep a sharp eye on the road.

Good luck and have fun!

Bogey said...

No I haven't had the luck but now wish I did learn to ride when I was younger. I was smiling the whole way thru your post visualizing the anxiety you were having for such a trip. Perhaps a side car would be appropiate but I'm sure your husband would nix that one in the bud. Hang on tight!

Missy said...

It is a very pretty bike. I have ridden as the passenger a few times and never for very long, but I think the driver has a way better experience as they are in control and can stop the minute the helmet causes their head to feel like it is pinching their skull bones closer together!

Jeninacide said...

That sounds scary about the air holes situation! How did that happen?

I don't really like bikes overly much. Erick's family INSISTS on calling them Murdercycles. (Sigh).

I would be content on a MoPed.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, you are brave...VERY BRAVE...I'm in awe...~Janine XO

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Oh, bless your heart, you are a woman after my husband's heart! Our friends in the 3 best spots in the park all have bikes. Bob (the undertaker, of campground stories fame) keeps insisting that we should get a pair of Harleys and join them. Might I remind you, I don't even ride a bicycle....I have a tricycle. The thought of hurtling down the interstate along with truckers and inexperienced drivers makes me weak in the knees. Having said all that I hope you have a good time, you brave soul!!!! Oh my gosh- the word verification is 'mancri'! It does make my man cry that I refuse to have fun on a motorcycle. I am snorting and laughing....

MzzLily said...

We have mellowed into a scooter. Hubby loves driving the country roads on it. I prefer 4 wheels. There are too many crazy people on the roads!

Meeko Fabulous said...

I've always wanted to site in a side car, if that counts for anything. In any event, go and be fierce with your bad self! You go for that ride and try to enjoy yourself as much as possible. Look at it this way . . . My mom crochets . . .

Star said...

no, no, no, deathtraps, all of them. Sell it quick before it claims you, grrrrrrrrrr
Blessings, Star

Verily I go. said...

LOOOOONG time ago. Dirt bikes. Much more forgiving when you hit the flat part of the earth. I don't believe I could be a passenger. So, ok, sorry...I have to stay home. :)

Barter Group said...

No, but good luck.I adore bikes always have, since I got branded by one when I was 16.I learned fast not to stand too close!!
Get those air vents open, you might feel better, and keep those leathers on, they will protect you from much damage.
Just think of all the admiring glances you'll get as you whizz by from people who wish they were you!
Sounds as if a bit of bribery might go a long way for an addicted rider!! Good luck!

scarlethue said...

I saw a group of about thirty motorcyclists this weekend zooming down my street. Funny how they flock together.

Helmets have air holes?? Who knew.

Count me out for that. Convertibles scare me, no way I'm getting on a motorcycle.

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

Can't say it would be my cup of tea at all. To me, it's kind of like the difference between riding a horse or being a passenger in a carriage. I would probably be ok if I were the one driving but being the passenger doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun. Lots of people do it so it can't be all that bad :D!

The Good Cook said...

No motorcycles for us - not that my husband wouldn't die for one! We do hit the road for camping adventures which are beginning to feel, um, less than restful? I love the travel, I love to see this country, and seeing it from the road is really the only way to do it. So, be it 2 wheels or 4 - maybe we'll cross paths someday. Have fun, we are never too old for that!

Jo said...

You are one brave lady! I understand about phobias. I once got trapped in a falling elevator, and I now have a phobia about elevators.

You have a lot of courage to get on that bike again. Good luck, and I do hope you have fun. :-)

luksky said...

My ex cured me of ever wanting to get on a motorcycle again. He wrecked everything he ever drove.

Joanne said...

Years and years ago when we were dating, my husband had a Suzuki 400 which I occasionally rode on. But he sold it way back then, and I haven't been on a motorcycle since then. Wishing you many happy rides together!

Hilary said...

Ah I'm not a fan of them. My ex was kind enough to decide to get his motorcycles after we split up. I still tease him about his Honda MLC (mid life crisis). He takes it good-naturedly because I let him store the bike here for the winter. ;)

Phoebe Miriah Kirby said...

You and my mother are total opposites on the subject of motorcycles! She is OBSESSED with men on motorcycles, motorcycles themselves, motorcycle trinkets and jewelry, and motorcycle magazines.
I think it's awesome that you try to participate in your husband's moto hobby. Some hobbies are just hard to jump into if they are not your own.

I'm sure you're a lovely grandma!

California Girl said...

HI! I rode motorcycles with friends as a teenager. Loved 'em. Won't get on one now for love or money. Too dangerous and scary and I mean the OTHER drivers out there over whom you have no control. As for the seat? Well, it's bigger than a bicycle seat but that's not saying much.

Minka said...

It's interesting how the same story can come out in two (or more) quite different versions!

Have a safe trip!

dragonflydreamer said...

It is a beautiful bike! When I was 18 years old (another lifetime) and living in Ft. Bragg, N.C. with my best friend for the summer, I had my first bike ride and rode all summer. Both guys were responsible, careful drivers. I loved that feeling of freedom. I also learned about respecting the space around a motorcycle when I learned to drive. I've wanted to ride again for all of these years, but I haven't met anyone I trust enough to be their passenger. Be safe and have fun!

Spiritual Journey said...

Have fun...and also be careful! I've tried it one time when I was a teen, but won't ever do it again. I need to have all my bones and sanity intact to raise up my kids.

Pat said...

My husband and I always talk about getting a bike. We're full-time RV-er's, meaning we travel and live in our fifth wheel all the time. So we'd have to concoct something to haul a bike with us. I just fear something would happen to us like the couple we saw when we were stopped at a fast food place. Everyone was sitting outside at the picnic tables enjoying their lunch when a fancy yellow motorcycle pulled up with two riders on it. They were dressed in yellow/black leather full body suits. Pretty cool looking until they stopped the bike and the bike tipped over while they were sitting on it! People ran over to help them up. Nobody was hurt. Then I saw the couple remove their helmets - both gray haired individuals. Aahh, recapturing their youth? That was an embarrassing moment! LOL! My husband's 64, I'm 53. We're not gray-haired (thanks to a bottle - LOL!), but was this deja vu?

At least you guys have experience! Have fun and be careful out there!

susan said...

Maybe you should get a bike of your own? Or, you could buy a pink Vespa and ride behind him on that. You might get some enjoyment out of thoroughly embarrassing him :-)

Marlene said...

My husbands dream is to get a small honda to ride around our town, and I have to admit I am scared of them..you can be driving very safe, but its the others that you have to worry about...again..when its your time..its your time..so why not live your life with passion and do the things you love, not deprive yourself and not live..I also think if its his passion and not yours...and you still do it for him only and not enjoy it,resentment will sometimes rear its ugly little head...so when my hubby gets his I'll ride a little but no long rides for me.

Mental P Mama said...

I am in the same boat. I don't want to ride with him anymore. I am going to listen to my intuition. We all should.

nurturingwisdom said...

Beautiful bike!

I've only been on one in a rural area in Bali, Indonesia-no traffic!

I don't plan to do anymore riding on a motorcycle.

Please be careful.

Beatriz Kim said...

It's too bad your husband scared you to death. That makes it hard for you to "support" him by riding on that huge piece of metal! I hope he won't do that again!

I rode motorcycles when I was in my early twenties. I had a boyfriend who was a dirt-track motorcycle racer. He was an extremely good rider. I felt completely safe with him, even if he went fast!

I dream about buying my own bike to ride for pleasure, but I don't trust my balance...I can barely ride the one without a motor! So I will have to buy a convertible instead!

I guess I would ride with someone I trusted, but if they scared me, I would think twice before getting back on that vehicle.

Perhaps your husband will let the desire to keep you riding, overcome his natural male tendencies to go faster!

Let us know how this venture turns out!

Have a great weekend!

CndyKthy said...

When reading your blog , I felt as though I wrote it . My husband is an addicted motorcyclist . We don't plan a vacation that doesn't include a motorcycle . Helmet Hair is becoming my permanent look . I too have episodes of panic on the bike . Some days it is ok and then the next it is real panic time . My husband is a very responsible driver and I know this . But the panic happens . My husband can not understand this . We have been biking for over twenty years , you would think by now I would be use to it . But I am finding that the older I get , the worse it is . I am really getting tired of the whole thing . I don't know how to share this with my husband because every time I try , he gets upset . So I just keep plugging along . I am really to point where helmet hair , feeling dirty , not being able to stop and shop and wearing long pants in 90 degree weather is really getting to me . Where is the fun ??

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