Two years ago I would have laughed at anybody who had suggested a bike ride. I have never been fond of bikes or bikers and only thinking about the dangers I would have to face on a 2 wheel kind of a vehicle, made my hair stand up. I am and have always been a big fan of cars. I feel protected, I feel safe and I can always leave the house with half of my make up on, only to arrive at the destination with a perfect face. I will not disclose here that there were a couple of times in my life when I had to change my outfit while driving but I was young and it was way too hot outside! You can also listen to music, enjoy the rain from a very warm and dry place and even live in the car 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 have just bought a motorbike and in a week I start my riding school. How did I get here?
Last year 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 the only request my husband had probably since I met him. He wanted to buy a bike. I regretted almost immediately but I had said yes, 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 convertible as most of the middle aged men going through that infamous mid-life crisis. Heck! I even offered to close my eyes if he wanted to go for the 20 something blonde with long legs and big boobs. 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 bike: 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 my 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 the nicest group of people, the most welcoming, warm and easy-going I have ever met. Now, I had not only my husband helping me open up to motorcycles but a whole group of people and within it some amazing ladies. Without their example, support and lots of pushing I would be still terrified of being even close to a bike but secretly wishing I would be braver!
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 with a parachute! Or, will I?