Some years ago, I would have laughed at anybody who would have suggested a motorcycle ride. I had never been fond of motorcycles or bikers and only thinking about the dangers I would have to face on a two wheel kind of a vehicle, made my hair stood up. I am, and have always been a big fan of cars. I feel protected from the elements, I feel safer and I can always leave the house with half of my make up on, only to arrive at the destination with a perfect face. Try to apply lipstick while riding! in a car, you can also listen to music, enjoy the rain from a very warm and dry place and even live in, if need be. Last, but probably the most important reason: your hair will always look good after the longest drive. So, you see, travelling by car has its advantages in my book. And yet, at 45, I was buying a motorbike and the week after, I started my riding school. How did I get there?
The year before my husband turned 50 and he had his first serious health scare. I was terrified to say it the least. And, in a moment of weakness and also pure adoration I did the unthinkable: said yes to one of his few requests I had never even slightly considered. He wanted to buy a motorbike. I regretted almost immediately but he was turning 50 and I really could not think of a better gift. I tried to convince him that maybe at 50, he might want a red, fast convertible! Heck! I even agreed to give him a pass for an extra marital affair. I researched mid-life crisis for men and offered in a very “subtle” way almost all the items the magazines, blogs and scientific articles were listing up. In the end, we bought the motorcycle: a beautiful 1999 Honda Valkyrie.
It took me a few months to warm up to it. I had a couple of set backs, I threw a few temper tantrums, freaked out on the bike, cried and even laughed a few times. All this time, my husband was a monument of patience but also undeterred in his wish to make me feel comfortable riding with him. I have always been judgemental; I call it a cultural difference as where I come from, we judge first, then eventually attempt to know you. All I knew about bikers were the stereotypes: heavily tattooed Harley riders with a criminal past or future, dressed in leather, rowdy and ready to party hard or to throw a punch at the slightest change of the wind… With this picture in mind, it is easy to understand my reluctance to meet any of them, let alone to spend time with them. The truth is that we met a nice group of people, welcoming, warm and easy-going.
In life, never say never! Sooner or later it will prove to be true! One thing I am very sure of, though: I will never jump out of a plane! Or, will I?