Friday, April 12, 2013

Life is fragile

Stopped by the memorial for the Fallen Four today. As I'm reading the plaque, I start bawling like a baby, all of a sudden three fellow bikers were hugging me. I didn't even hear them ride up. So many memories hit me, this happened the same day they confirmed Wayne had Leukemia, something that devestated us all that day & have changed our lives forever. As we were waiting for results, I received several text messages from people checking to see if we were in the crash, not knowing where we were. My fears for my son & if I knew anyone on those bikes.

The reports of 10 bikers hit/ran over from behind by a dumb truck. Seeing the images on the tv, the burned area of pavement, a lone boot in the middle of the road. The Walgreens employees who offered comfort & aid the best they could. The crumbled piles of chrome & steel. The meth head responsible was aquited on the first trial, but was found guilty the second trial & is now serving I think 20 years.

I've seen Ernie so many times after this, he is walking & riding a trike, but struggling to speak correctly, seeing his body twisted from being so broken. But alive & riding again.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Screaming in the wind

Couple weeks ago, went on a ride to benefit a local food bank. Close to 500 miles, a great route with less traffic.

But for over 100 miles, with temps in the low 40's, we were hit with massive wind gusts. It's scary to see a Road King in front of you wobble & wibble. I gripped my bike with my thighs, using my entire body to keep the bike upright & even leaning toward the wind.

The cold coming right through the leather, my fingertips numb & frozen to the grips. With each wind gust that could knock over a semi, I screamed probably every curse word I knew.

We stopped for gas, it was hard to get off the bike, I was so stiff from tense muscles & from being so fucking cold, I'm a lizzard rat, I wear a sweater when it's 70.

20 of us raiding the gas station for all the hot coffee they had. I'm sure we were a sight, most had face warmers, ski masks or scarves wrapped around our lower faces.

Full tanks, empty bladders & slightly warmed by the coffee, we all took a deep breath before heading out into the cold wind again, not sure when the wind would stop, knowing we had 100 miles till the next town.

Sure enough, that fucking wind was relentless, blowing us all over the highway.  Still screaming every curse word I knew & starting to wonder if the others were too.  But I did manage to notice the desert starting to wake from winter, wild flowers starting to bloom, the mesas & hills covered in green.

Pulling into the next stop, still stiff & frozen, fearing I was too stiff to put the kickstand down, but I was able to park it safely. Once again raiding the gas station for coffee & so happy to see an A & W inside. We all ordered lunch & more coffee, I wondered over near the cash register & bought a large pair of fleece gloves to go over my leather ones.

The wind had died down & rejuvinated, we headed out again. Enjoying the ride now, jamming to the music from the earphones plugged into my i-pod. Riding, riding, riding. Heading back down into the valley. & Then starting to warm up & then getting hot dressed in the leathers, two layers of gloves & scarf. Finally a signal to turn into a parking lot, we instantly started shedding layers.

Riding to the last stop, now in just jeans, t-shirt & vest. Going past the memorial for the Fallen Four, I gave them a wave & touched my heart.

The tripometer said 497.5. I do confess, I was so stiff & sore the next day, Papa Bear laughing at me, teasing about when he leaves me stiff & sore.