Monday, January 19, 2015

Surviving Stupidity - Part 3

Wisdom is the reward for surviving our own stupidity
~Brian RathboneRegent
Twenty-five years ago I'd never ridden on a motorcycle. Never wanted to, for that matter. Then into my life came a man who did like to ride motorcycles. He bought a new one and I discovered I enjoyed being carried along on what I came to feel was the "catbird seat."  Right, left, front and overhead, nothing escaped my vision. 

He'd come home from work on a warm summer evening and ask, "Want to go for a cool-out ride?" Sure, why not? I'd pack some sandwiches and a couple of beers and off we'd go, usually out of town and away from traffic. Back roads carried us for an hour or so and then we'd stop and have our picnic. 

You do not need a therapist if you own a motorcycle, 
any kind of motorcycle!
~Dan Aykroyd

Soon we two were taking longer and longer bike trips. At this time there were no laws about wearing helmets and ... we didn't. I never thought about it. Goggles or glasses to ward off the wind and keep the bugs out of our eyes, yes, but no helmets.

The inanity of not wearing helmets never crossed my mind. I felt secure on my perch and supremely confident in my partner's ability to keep us upright. 

We took a 600-mile trip out of state and when we returned to our home city we were stopped by the police because we weren't wearing helmets. As it happened, in the three weeks we'd been gone our state had passed a helmet law. We were given a warning and bought helmets the next day.

So, we don't sound so stupid, right?

However, later on, and maybe because the helmet made me feel so very safe, I'd actually fall asleep on the back of the bike as we traveled long, straight country roads or on the freeways at over 80 mph! Supremely confident in my partner's ability, as always. 

Now when we talk about those days ... those rash, caution-to-the-wind times of 80 mph-plus motorcycle rides, we both wonder, "What were we thinking???" 

Motorcycle drawing Wikimedia Commons Public Domain