As I mentioned earlier on this blog, I decided to sell my 2008 Harley Road King. Why? And what am I going to do next?
To recap, I was not riding my Harley much during the last half of 2020. I did not want to risk injury to myself when my husband was dealing with pancreatic cancer and I was his only caregiver. I could not risk “taking myself out” if I had a crash. My husband needed 1000% of my attention, care, support, and love.
Because I had not been riding very much, when I did, I was making rookie mistakes, which frightened me.
Most of all, though, that big heavy bike was getting much harder for me to handle, especially mounting and dismounting. Further, I have a long-term intestinal illness that while under control of medication, fatigues me quickly. Riding when fatigued is dangerous. The fatigue was exacerbated by stress of caregiving.
After my beloved husband died, my motorcop friend who was helping me with the sale of my Road King asked if I still wanted to sell it. After thinking about it, I still said “yes” because of the grace-less-ness of my age in riding that big heavy bike.
My friend found me a buyer who agreed to my listed price. The buyer came to my house on February 12, evaluated the bike, confirmed it was in the condition I said it was, and completed the deal. I signed the title, accepted the check, and watched sadly as my old trusted ride was hoisted into the back of the buyer’s truck and taken away.
I went inside and into the room where I have a collage display of my favorite photos of my husband, and had a good, long, cry. It’s done.
So what’s next?
My family and friends who know me well know that riding a motorcycle is deep within my soul. I am and have been a biker.
Now that the first reason — caregiving requirements and fear of taking myself out of being able to support my husband — is moot, and with encouragement of my family, friends, and my compassionate motorcop buddy, I have decided that I will buy a new motorcycle in the Spring once the weather breaks.
I got to thinking — I bought that touring class Road King with a big back seat with the dream that my husband would be able to ride with me again, as we did on so many rides from the time we met in 1993 until he developed a physical disability in 2005 that made it painful for him to sit on my 1994 Harley Low Rider. My husband tried to ride with me on the Road King, but never was able to do that, so dreams of long touring rides on that bike never materialized.
Further, my Harley riding club fell apart in 2018, and I no longer had friends to ride with on organized rides. I was riding more solo, and decided that a touring class bike was too big for solo riding that I was doing more often. Riding solo often means shorter rides (that is, when you don’t have a group going on long, all-day rides anymore).
At a motorcycle show in 2019, my husband and I looked seriously at a trike. We sat on it and soon realized that neither one of us liked it. It was harder to mount and dismount than my Road King. Plus, it was damn big. I would not have adequate space in our garage to keep it. That kind of settled it. A trike was not under further consideration. Too big and much too expensive.
I will test ride some new models I have an eye on. A motorcycle that is lower in height, weighs less, is smaller yet well made, is what I am looking at. Not a touring class bike, but a cruiser designed for the kind of riding I do — putt-putt around my home state of Maryland for fairly short durations — not all day and not 100s of miles.
Newer Harleys made for smaller, less tall people, are available now. Harleys available in 2008 were made for men at least six feet tall and younger (that is, those with hip flexibility and more nimble than I ever was.)
For now, “BHD” is in a state of bike-less-ness. But it won’t be forever.
I enjoy the freedom of the open road, and look forward to riding again within my skillset and health limitations.
Life is short: continue to pursue biker dreams on a bike that is a better fit for my preferred riding style.