was Saturday; hot, very hot and humid as Florida is in
July and August … the “peak” of God’s
“preview” of eternity for us sinners. I had
left out early in the morning to catch any, if any was
to be caught, of any of the less than 99.9% humidity that
encroaches our Gulf Coast anytime after 5:00 am. I had
put about 175 miles on the wing, and estimated I’d
lost at least three pounds of water, and maybe, with luck,
a half-a-pound of fat. I had dressed lightly … denim
long sleeve shirt … (let my prominent five or six,
still dark, chest hairs poke out by leaving “all”
three buttons undone. Later found out this to be a mistake,
as I have the pattern of the white tail of a deer embroiled
on my chest from windburn, or sunburn, or combination
I rolled the wing back into the yard
around 11:00 or so, having surprised several “Harley
Types”, and felt pretty smug knowing I was the “man”.
It took a couple of tries to get the right leg swung over
the seat of the wing … but I made it on the third
or fourth try, and nobody was around to witness what I
considered to be the final “test” of the day.
Everything was wet … and thoughts of “crouch
rot” passed briefly through my imagination …
but I reminded myself … I’m a “biker”!
Bikers don’t get no stinkin “crouch rot”!
I reminded myself several more times as I scratched what
I knew could not be “crouch rot”.
I had visions of a cold beer …
a very cold beer … the coldest beer in the whole
United States of America … no … colder …
the coldest beer in the United States of America and Canada!
I was three feet from my “privy stocked fridge”
… when it happened. The door opened, and Dee stood
there with helmet in hand!!! What was she thinking?? Its
hot out … hotter than hot! She hates motorcycles
… scaird to death!!! I want a beer … she wants
to “try it”? You don’t “try”
a motorcycle … especially a “Gold Wing”!
You might try a Harley once or twice … but not a
Gold Wing! You “bond” with a Gold Wing. You
become “one with its essence”! Besides …
I wanted a beer?
The beer would have to wait. Dee had
pumped herself up to “biker chick” …
and I knew deep within my hot and beer-needing bod …
if she didn’t ride now, she might never want to
ride again. My mind raced for an excuse. I was pretty
drained out from my earlier escapades, and I knew if I
floundered the “leg over the seat” at all,
Dee would have “doubts”?????? My “crouch
rot” seemed at epidemic stage … but I knew,
like all men, what a man … this man … had
Got Dee hooked up to the intercom thing … should
not have taken 25 minutes … just one cord to plug
in??? But there was the confusion of “does she turn
clockwise, or counter clockwise to have the cord on the
left side of her body??? Than to make matters worst, I
had parked the wing facing north north west, which I think
contributed to the magnetic pull of the intercom device
to want to twist around her body and thereby make her
unable to mount the wing in the appropriate feminine manner
as to distinguish her from just a “biker babe”
versus a “wing feminine rider person”? Is
there really a difference??
I was exonerated when Dee climbed aboard
… or tried to climb aboard … several times
if I remember correctly … only to find she could
not without stepping on the left side running board first,
somehow putting her right leg directly into my spine just
above my belt line, with considerable force I might add
… to move me forward, up and on top of the fuel
tank … to allow her room to climb on … climb
being the appropriate phrase here, as I have the claw
marks on my back, neck and helmet as proof. And it should
be noted here that at 5’6” tall, when I am
laying “spread eagle” on the “top”
of the fuel tank, my feet, nor my toes, not even my imagination,
is touching the ground. And Dee being a very “womanly
women” (and mind you I’m not complaining here)
… when she stepped on the left running board …
lets face it … the wing had no choice but to want
to give up the fight and lean over left!!!
But being “the man” …
I held it firm! With my tippy toes mind you, but firm
nonetheless. I am “biker man”!! Course if
I hadn’t had the side stand extended, it could have
been ugly? Having gotten Dee perched … all that
remained was for me to collect myself … set the
volume of the intercom … and just once more, scratch,
what I knew was not “crouch rot”.
I pumped up the suspension. I started
the engine. I leaned left and than right. I was amazed
to see how much power my little ole windpipe arms had
as to controlling the lean of the wing … even with
a rider ... some Honda Engineering may have helped here
… I am the man!!! I am “Wing Man”!!!
Darn the crouch rot … lets ride!!!
The intercom proved to be a non-essential.
Thirty feet into our “ride”, I stopped and
informed Dee, we would now turn left. She did not have
to lean left, and please do not lean right, but simply
“look” over my left shoulder. She “squeaked”
something back to me, and I assumed she understood. About
a quarter of the way into the left turn I noticed the
rear wheel was no longer trying to follow the front wheel
around this “left turn”? After making the
widest left turn even I ever made … I tried to figure
out what happened. I asked Dee if she was okay, and she
replied by asking me if it was okay for her to open her
eyes … and how fast were we going??????
One hundred and fifty feet into our trip,
I convinced her she could keep her eyes open, as that
was why she was wearing a helmet with a face shield. Her
continued obsession with “how fast are we going”
left me with a little apprehension of her readiness for
the title of “biker babe”? I decided to cancel
out on the next turn and go straight for another 200 or
so feet. I noticed the back of the back acting squirrelly,
and asked Dee if she was okay again. After shouting at
her several times I heard what sounded like an “inhale”
… and she again asked … how fast are we going??
I told her thirty miles an hour, and after slowing to
twenty-five, she stopped screaming hysterically. Having
reached the end of the road, another left or right turn
was in order. It was either this or back the wing to our
house some now two or three thousand feet away?? We made
this turn pretty well … I don’t know how,
or what Dee did or didn’t do … I was just
concerned with getting back home. In the intercom I told
Dee I was planning on getting into 3rd gear and up to
forty miles per hour so she could feel how that was and
get comfortable with the bike and ride. I think she mumbled
something to the affect, “can you sleep with your
eyes open”, but I had already cranked the throttle
up 1.3% off of idle and was burning up the neighborhood
two lane at, under the circumstances, was a mind boggling
(for Dee) 42 mph.
It still amazes me today that a grown
woman can make such “guttural” sounds while
not breathing and keeping her eyes closed. I think there
were several threats to my personal well being, again
questioned as to how fast are we going, and do we have
to lean anymore to get home was one of the main questions
of this portion of the ride?
We got back to the house, drove up the
driveway, and Dee got off first, … which is the
preferred order of events. I’m not sure if she actually
“kissed” the ground or not … but the
intercom cable was stretched to its limit. I felt good.
I felt darn good!! I am “Wing Man”, and now
there is “Biker Woman”!
Dee on the other hand just kinda stared
… no, that’s not it … more like “glared”
at me. But as the color came back into her cheeks, and
her hands unclenched from holding on the seat handles,
she kinda half smiled … and I got to tell you, that
really scared me, that half smile thing … and said
… “this is going to take some getting use
MOTORCYCLE MOMMA!!!!!!!! I do believe
she will get use to this! Of course I don’t know
if she realizes we will have to break 45 mph eventually,
or be limited to our driveway … but I do believe
she will get the hang of this. Motorcycle Momma!!!
Dee is now an accomplished co-pilot and enjoys riding
to and for any reason. We have logged only 8000 miles
on the 2001 Wing in this hot Florida summer, but are planning
many outings end of August and into the cooler months.
Considering both Dee and I are in our late 50’s,
I feel we do well. Riding is always fun … riding
with your wife makes it also, interesting?