If you thought this was going to be about sex, well, it’s not. You might still enjoy reading it.
My husband is a biker. He has no tattoos, he doesn’t wear much leather, he doesn’t drink or hang out in strip joints, but he’s a biker all the same. His ride is a Yamaha Royal Star with a fancy paint job and all kinds of chrome and leather accessories. It used to be a show bike, but he got a great deal on it 3 years ago. He loves to ride. He’s gone to Bike Week and Biketoberfest a couple of times, and he loves doing charity rides, just for the chance to ride with lots of other bikers.
I am not a biker. Eons ago, I dated a guy who tried to teach me to ride. I kept stalling the bike, and I was a mere slip of a girl back then – unable to kick start the thing. Poor guy gave up on me after having to chase me half a mile down the road to restart the bike.
Sunday morning after a marathon cleaning session, we went thru the usual “What do you want to do?” “I dunno, what do you want to do?” He said he wanted to ride the bike to his folks’ house. I knew that didn’t mean “Honey, you can have an afternoon of peace and leisure while I ply the highways and byways.” He wanted me to accompany him, but he wouldn’t ask. I’m such a good wife. “OK, honey, I’ll go with you.”
“REALLY?!?!?” He looked like a little kid – all happy and excited. Heck, I owed him that much – he’d spent many, many hours helping me in the yard, even though he hates yard work more than anything.
I have two legitimate reasons for not liking to ride. First off, there’s the vulnerability issue. My husband’s bike is a big one, 1300cc I think, with three headlights for added visibility. Plus he usually has a little dragon on the back of his bike – I need to find a picture and post it. Anyway, despite the fact that it’s a big bike, I feel exposed - imagining all the worst that could happen. Even if I wore full leathers, wrapped myself in bubble wrap, and added another layer of leathers, I’d still feel vulnerable.
We can be riding down a perfectly lovely stretch of road, no traffic, no potholes, nothing to spoil the ride, and I envision myself flying thru the air, landing on that concrete culvert, or becoming entangled in that barbed wire fence or being impaled on all those steel spikes hidden in the grass along the shoulder. I’d be OK, I think, if the medians and shoulders were lined with those big air mattress thingies that stuntmen fall into. Then I could envision myself flying in a graceful arc, landing with a comforting “poooosh”… unless, of course, someone landed there before me and was lying there holding a large knife point up.
So, that’s the first reason I don’t like to ride.
Then there’s the comfort issue. Now, the Royal Star is equipped with cruising seats. They’re wide and well cushioned – if your back end is of waif-like proportions. However, if you carry as much assage as I do, the seat leaves a bit to be desired. One would think my ample natural padding would more than compensate. One would think. One would be wrong. The rear seat is shaped to cradle the backside of the occupant, unless the occupant is me. As it happens, the sides of the seat that curve up to contain an average size rider instead curve up and cut into my legs, reducing blood flow and pinching nerves.
The effect is exacerbated by the placement of the foot pegs. They’re too low for me. And too far back. And too narrow. I can have my heels on them, or the arch of my foot, or the toes. None of these offer any comfort or relief. You see, my preferred posture is slightly reclined with feet elevated. Think La-Z-Boy. I could ride in a La-Z-Boy. But my husband won’t install one on his bike. So we have to stop periodically to allow the blood to flow to my legs.
But back to the trip. We live just south of Jacksonville. My in-laws live in Ocala. It’s over 90 miles. One hour and fifty minutes, if the traffic isn’t bad. So I figure I’m earning major wifely points. I better have…
It’s really not a bad drive – most of the trip is along US301. We left Orange Park, went thru Middleburg, past Camp Blanding and Kingsley Lake, and into Starke, where we stopped for gas. I cleaned the windscreen. Bug guts all over it. It’s love bug season again – scroll to the bottom of the page. Them suckers HURT when they hit you at 70MPH. Reason #3 to dislike biking. I sat higher than Steve (that’s my husband, BTW) so the air stream went over the windscreen, over his head, and into my head. I took at least two of them evil critters on the forehead between my helmet and my safety glasses. Dunno how many hit my arms and legs. It was weird, tho – at one point it was like driving thru a blizzard of black snow, and we encountered them all the way down.
On the road again and on to Waldo. You may or may not have heard about Waldo. The American Automobile Association designated Waldo as a speed trap. Frankly, I thought they were being whiny crybabies about it. Yes, the speed limit goes from 65 to 45. However, there are signs warning “Reduced Speed Ahead” and it goes from 65 to 55 to 45. And the local cops enforce the limit. So what’s the big deal?? Whatever.
We stopped again in Citra for some orange juice (and to get rid of my butt-numbness) – I was pretty dehydrated so the drink was welcome. By then, we were less than 30 minutes from the retirement community where my in-laws live. So we saddled up and finished the trip. Going across FL200 was the worst part of the trip. By that time, it was nearly 90° and when we had to stop for the traffic lights, we roasted. Yep, racking up some major points…
We had lunch and a swim and a nice little visit, then got back on the road again. He attempted to buy my affection when we got to Starke again – with ice cream. Came close to working too. But it was well after 5 and I was sunburned (yeah, I know – shoulda worn sunscreen) and I still had to figure out what I was going to make for dinner.
So, close to 200 miles in a day. Maybe not a lot by serious biker standards, but for me, it was amazing. And if it wasn’t for the torture seat, it would have been a very pleasant day. The traffic was mostly light, it wasn’t humid, and I had my sweetie all to myself for a few hours. He wants me to learn to ride. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that. This wifely-duty thing only goes so far…