“One Day”

Courtesy of the love and generosity of my spouse, and the caring friendship of a motorcop I befriended 20 years ago, I fulfilled a personal bucket list item yesterday. See more photos after the jump…

For years, I have muttered, “one day I will…” do this or do that. One of those “one day I’ll” things was renting a Harley and riding on the Big Island of Hawaii. Such a lovely place, but has hazards that a caring cop helped me avoid.

Here’s the back story.

20 years ago, a motor officer from Hawaii County was riding a rental Harley in my home state of Maryland. That day, I was riding with my spouse on a local adventure astride my first Harley.

We came upon this man standing next to his bike. He had a breakdown. This was years before the ubiquitous cell phone. Neither this cop or I had one.

However, I had a cousin who lived nearby, so I left the spouse with the cop and rode lickety-split to my cousin’s house. Thankfully she was home. I called the place where the cop had rented his Harley, reported the breakdown, and then headed back to where he and my spouse were waiting.

We had a pleasant conversation for about an hour until a truck arrived to pick up the cop and his broken down Harley. We shook hands and parted ways.

But through the magic of that presently ubiquitous social media platform, the cop “friended” me several years ago and we kept in touch.

Fast forward to four months ago when the boss asked me to conduct a series of field investigations in Hawaii. As I made arrangements for that work assignment, I mused with the Spouse, “wouldn’t it be great to rent a Harley and ride with (KR, my cop buddy)?” One day…

Well, thanks to the Spouse, he found a Harley rental for me and contacted KR to ask if he would be available to ride with me.

“Absolutely” was the reply. So yesterday, KR met me at the motorcycle rental place and led me on a ride to areas of the island that I can manage. That is, I cannot ride or breathe near active volcanoes due to vog. That form of air pollution almost did me in last time I was on Oahu. This time, I was on the “Big Island” — the home of Kilauea, an active volcano — so it was important to ride where the vog wasn’t.

KR knew precisely where to ride to avoid it. So we did. Expertly led on a spectacular road hugging the coastline, to an amazing ocean lookout, then through twisties in farm country in the middle of the island, then back to the motorcycle rental location to turn the bike in. Seven hours of riding fun and smiles.

Do I feel guilty having so much fun while the Spouse stayed at home? Well, I really wanted to have the Spouse with me, but until he has surgery, he cannot sit in an airplane. Spouse knows that I will give up all of my leave time to care for him during his recovery — so this “one day” special day was his idea. Thus, no guilt. (Not much, anyway.)

Life is short: realize your “one day I will…” dreams. (Subclosure: one never knows how a favor will be returned some 20 years later.)

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