I am known rather well in a senior living community which is located very near where I live. I sorta joke that I live on the “outside of the asylum looking in,” but perhaps it’s the other way around. When I go there, frequently I am on my Harley. All of my friends and neighbors know that I love to ride my bike, even in cold weather. I just leather up and go!
I received a phone call about a month ago from one of my senior buds who lives over there saying that his friend was turning 90, and had been talking about wanting to do something “outrageous” on her birthday (which was yesterday). The last thing she wanted to do was go to some lame birthday lunch “with a bunch of old biddies” (her words.) She wanted to go skydiving. She wanted to try bungee jumping. Her doctor and her children promised her head on a platter if she ever did those things. Lacking the permission to jump from on high, she wanted to ride with a “bad-boy biker on his Harley.”
Well, I don’t know how “bad-boy” I am, but I am a biker, and I have a Harley. On the appointed day at the appointed hour, I showed up in the parking lot of her church on my Harley, decked out in leather from head to boot (helmet was fiberglass, but who’s counting?) This is the place that my friend who was arranging this surprise thought would have the most “dramatic effect.” We were fortunate because rain was predicted earlier in the week, but we were graced with a sunny and pleasant (55°F, 13°C) day.
My friend’s friend came out of church surrounded by several of her friends. They parted the way, and she saw me idling at the curb. I revved the throttle. The Harley roared and returned to its grumbly growl.
She lit up!
The only problem was, she was wearing a dress. It wouldn’t quite work for her to crawl on the back of my bike for a ride. However, anticipating something like this might happen….
I put the sidestand down and opened the TourPak. I pulled out a jumpsuit that one of my sisters let me borrow. The birthday girl jumped into it, zipped it up, then hopped (literally) onto the back of my bike! Spry as a Spring chicken and ready to rumble! It was all I could do to get the spare helmet out and help her put it on before she was coaxing me, “come on, let’s go!”
I put my helmet back on, restarted the engine, revved it for effect, and off we went.
All I could hear for the next few miles was, “let’s go faster!” By the way she was grabbing me (especially at first), I thought I was going fast enough. I picked out some nearby less-traveled back roads with curves and nice scenery, so I couldn’t go that fast anyway. We rode for ten miles, which I think was plenty. She loved it.
Happy Birthday, M! What sheer joy that you brought to MY life!
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