Part One: Eat your hearts out, couch potatoes
Okay, just to let all you skeptics and doubters of senior-citizen capabilities out there know—I made it!
Yeah, it was about 300 miles to North Myrtle Beach according to the odometer in my 1300cc Viagra-blue chopper, a 2010 Honda Fury. I stopped twice for gas, both times in South Carolina, during which time I sipped some home-brewed coffee from my small thermos, took a few puffs of a Honduran cigar kept safely stowed in a metal tube, and enjoyed the interesting clientele come and go. One was dragging, no make that pushing, her tailpipe as she came in for a noisy landing at the here-to-fore quiet Corner Mart. After buying a large soda but no gas she went on her metallic, who-me-worry, merry way.
Another old fellow, obviously a connoisseur of fine motor sports said, "Nice bike," as he limped back to his car and almost in the same breath asked the lady in the car, "Do you want a soda?" I could watch this all day, I thought, but the call of the open road beckoned me to saddle up and move on. But first, I also had to go inside and ask for my receipt since the pump said, "See attendant for receipt."
"What, no soda?" the mustached clerk inside must have asked himself after I got my receipt and used the restroom. Since I did buy two and a half gallons of gas, good for another hundred miles, I hoped I was now entitled to be considered a "customer" so I could use his precious "For Customers Only" restroom. What? Has this been a problem? Does the neighborhood come in to use his restroom rather than at their own home? Do they take their Saturday night baths in there? Well, at least there was no customary sign saying "Out of Order," for which I was grateful.
Anyhow, I know you are dying to hear how bad the trip was and how I suffered, but you won't admit it. Yes, I heard the jokes and all the prophesies like, "You won't get to the county line before you'll be wishin' you had towed your bike to the beach in your trailer," or better yet, "Why not take your car, listen to the radio, eat snacks, and be comfortable?" and "You better hope Myrtle Beach has a chiropractor." These loving comments were always followed by various guffaws, grins, and glances, as they were invariably made in front of an appreciative and responsive audience.
Shall I humor you? Okay, I will confess this chopper-style bike is aptly called a "street bike," not a highway bike. There is only one position for your feet. They must stick out in front of you like you’re trying to stop a bobsled. This does get old, at least that's what my calf muscles were telling me. But I tried to get creative. Even a slight change of position was a godsend and soon the cramps subsided and the violent trembling moved on to other body parts.
End of part One. More to follow when my fingers straighten out.
|I could have stayed here all day.|
I dodged a snake along about here, barely missing it as it hot-bellied across the highway in front of me. It made it to the other side, along with the chicken who had already crossed, I suppose.
I haven't mentioned the word yet, but it needs to be said at least: anticipate. This is true wherever you are, regardless of the mode of transportation. I think this is why I am still alive today. Use the five wonderful senses God has given you, including your brain, to help you anticipate and predict.
Then I would think how marvelous is the internal combustion engine. I'd think about the RPM of that V-twin-cylinder 1300cc, 67 horsepower engine; those hefty pistons doing their job, the valves working up and down in perfect concert, the oil and liquid coolant somehow keeping up with the immense internal heat; the lowly drive shaft swimming in heavy black oil relaying all that energy to the rear wheel. Think of all those moving parts. The engineering. The genius.
|Sarasota, Florida, where I bought the bike (Siesta Key 10/14/15)|