Sunday, April 13, 2008

School Marm to Motorcycle Mama!

School Marm to Motorcycle Mama!

One year ago this month my husband bought a motorcycle on EBay. Sight unseen! I am still in shock about that in itself. This is the same man who stands in one spot of the grocery store meditating on a can of soup for 10 minutes while I run around collecting 6 other items to throw in the cart! A big truck arrived at our house & out came a beautiful black & chrome Honda Shadow Spirit 1100. I admit that it was really pretty to look at but the first time he revved it up in our garage, I had to duck back into the house because I was so freaked!

But I did not stay in the house very long. I refuse to allow fear to make my decisions any more. I have a long history of disappearing whenever something even slightly risky is put before me. It has taken years for me to be comfortable just being on a freeway in a car! I used to choose going through 50 city stoplights rather than take the quicker, but riskier freeway! So here is this huge roaring thing in my garage, and it has no doors or roof or seatbelts! I decided to let Curt (my husband) ride it for a few weeks without me so he could get “used to it” before I joined him for a ride. (That was pretty clever wasn’t it?) Meanwhile I’m praying, “Oh God, oh God, oh God!”

About a month later I knew it was time to be the supportive wife & trust my hubby to keep me alive even though we had no seatbelts whatsoever. I had a shiny new red helmet from eBay that looked pretty cute. But the dilemma of what to wear was an obstacle for me. Think about this, ladies. You cannot carry a purse on the back of a motorcycle, at least not this one!
It just would not look right at all! I am not used to leaving the house without my purse full of life’s necessities; my comb (helmet hair!), lipstick, wallet, gum, camera, keys, make-up, paper & pen, cell phone etc. What if we get somewhere & I need my stuff? Even my more casual favorite bag would not really look right. After a few trips with my pockets & Curts’ pockets stuffed, I now quickly grab just my camera, phone, gum & gloss & I am good to go!

Flip-flops do not work on a bike & a regular jacket just looks silly so I found a really cute black leather jacket at the Goodwill store that I love & I wear some lace up boots that help me keep my footing on the foot pegs. Oh, didn’t that sound like I know what I am talking about? Foot pegs! Hey, I know a lot about stuff that I never knew would be so interesting; extended forks, chrome exhaust pipes, sissy bars, buying a new gas tank (with red flames!), baffling, ape hangers, cable clamps & air cleaners. Actually it is not all that interesting but I am hearing a lot about these things lately anyway! Oh, and tripping over lots of these now too!

The first motorcycle ride with my husband was tough. I was dressed correctly, but my heart was jumping around as if I had decided to take a flying leap off a mountain ledge. I got behind Curt & grabbed his waist with all my strength & off we went around the neighborhood. I was literally facing a huge fear & not backing down. I had the option of listening to the voice in my head that was telling me that this was extremely unsafe & foolish. I was very familiar with that voice; it had been with me all my life.
"Don’t approach that person, they won’t like you. Don’t sign up for that class, you will fail. Say that you are unavailable for that mission’s trip, it’s too far away. "

It was time for that special prayer again, “Oh God, oh God, oh God!” It was not an eloquent or carefully crafted prayer, but it was entirely & deeply sincere! And God heard it. I think He was proud of me & tired of the silly little fears that had handicapped so much of my life. I can honestly say that those fears have melted away to a great extent. The motorcycle freak-outs are definitely gone. (I still do not like the freeway on the bike though!)

I absolutely love riding the bike for hours & hours with my husband. We go out in the country & up to Lake Berryessa & will eventually try some more distant rides. We’ve ridden through Napa & Yountville & I have been snapping lots of amazing photos from the back of our Shadow! Did you read that? I am taking pictures while flying along at 50 – 60 miles an hour, not holding on to my husbands’ waist! I am smiling the whole time!

There is something unexplainably peaceful about roaring along the countryside, even though we are scaring the cows & sheep everywhere we go!
The beautiful flowers & hills & various aromas are captivating. The temperatures change by the minute according to where you are. If you are passing an orchard it gets wonderfully cool & refreshing. When we are crossing the many country roads that are being tilled & dug up it gets hot & dry. I wear a visor because it helps me breath easier & I’m just not okay with bugs hitting my face! Another peaceful thing about our rides is that we cannot talk so we don’t have to & even if the laundry is not done, I cannot do it when I’m out flying around the countryside!! I stop my mind from dwelling on problems while riding, but sometimes a solution just randomly pops up without any provocation from me! I love that!

What if I had chosen to keep my fear? I love my quiet times at home alone when Curt goes on a ride by himself, but I would have missed the total joy of being out there with him & God enjoying creation & each other. I would have given in to the old habit of fear & been held captive by it until I was too old try anything new at all. I am free & the only thing that holds me captive now is the love of my God who hears desperate prayers!


  1. Nice bike! Congratulations & Happy Trails! I'm so glad you let go of your fear, for there's no greater way to enjoy the countryside than from the back of a bike. Born to be wild... :)

    My husband has a Honda Steed. We ride that bike everywhere, even to church on Sunday. -Often not easy for me to manage in a skirt.

  2. Thanx Lydia, you are a rider too? Yay! I too am so glad that I let go of my fear, there is so much fun beyond my couch that I was missing! Leaving for a week in the Phillipines on Monday for a mission trip! Yipee!


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