It was November 26, 2022. I was drinking apple juice and biting into the first of three leftover Easter eggs – the little ones wrapped in various colours of thin aluminum foil – when I heard it.
I paused mid-bite. My ears perked up. Yep. It was definitely a motorcycle. And it was on my street. Maybe I can catch a glimpse of it as it goes by. I was nose to front window before you could say Black Friday, which it had been the day before.
Sure enough, it was a bike. A bright-yellow, adventure-type-looking one.
Hey, it’s slowing down. Oh my God. It’s STOPPING! Then it did. Stop. Right in front of my house.
The rider turned, looked toward me in the window and waved. Then she, he or they (I had no idea who it was at this point) honked the horn. I thought I must be in some kind of alternate reality. Someone on a bike had come to visit me. Early Christmas present. Or very very very late Easter treat.
I went straight out the door. By the time I reached the driveway, I knew it was Ron Ryan on his new-to-him V-Strom. The yellow gave it away. I’d seen the pics on his Facebook page.
We chatted in the street for a bit. He let me sit on the bike. We chatted some more. He showed me where he’d mended it with Gorilla Tape after he dropped it when he and Chuck Warnes had been out on a little off-road adventure. We commiserated about that. The damage I mean, not the adventure.
“You wanna go for a ride?” he asked.
The answer to the unexpected invitation was a no-brainer.
Some riders don’t like riding pillion (aka bitch). I’m not one of them. That said, I wouldn’t get on the back of just anybody’s bike. Ron is a good rider. I know because we’ve ridden together – several times just the two of us and once in a group. He’s steady, road savvy and sensible and he’s accustomed to carrying precious cargo: he normally takes his wife or his adult children when he rides two up. I feel safe and secure with him either pillion or each on our own bikes.
I was back in the house in a flash trying to find my gear. It was scattered hither and yon because TheFox had been taken to her winter den the day before (it had been Black Friday in more ways than one), and I had not expected to ride again until spring. I retrieved my gloves from under the bed. I couldn’t find my helmet. Should I wear my chaps or ski pants? How cold was it? Where was my quilted vest? Arggh!
Ron waited patiently.
When I was finally ready, I skipped down the driveway, climbed on behind him and we were off.
I had ridden two hundred kilometres solo ten days earlier on what I thought would be my last ride of the season. But you would’ve thought I’d never been on a motorcycle before. I whooped, literally, as we rolled down the street to the first stop sign. Yippee! I felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest.
We turned right at the second stop, then left onto Martin Street North to head out of town. What a thrill to see stubbled corn and fallow fields. What a pleasure to snake through Blakeney and go over the rapids. What fun to take the 29 to Pakenham, cross the five-span bridge and return home via the ‘backroad.’ (See the two-minute video below)
I’ve done that loop both clockwise and anti-clockwise dozens of times. But I always see it with new eyes. Nature is a fine, if occasionally fickle multi-media artist. The seasons deliver a constantly shifting tableau of kaleidoscope colours, crazy quilt patterns and rich textures. The weather, on the other hand, is a roll of the dice – sometimes brilliant, sometimes brutal. Despite the grip warmers on my bars, my fingers have been numb with cold more than once. Still, I am relentlessly delighted. No chance of ever being bored.
This short-and-sweet surprise ride was no exception.
And lucky all of us who have great memories of the 2022 season and now have spring to look forward to.
P.S. I still had two leftover Easter eggs to eat when I got home #bonus
© 2022 Susan Macaulay. I invite you to share my poetry and posts widely, but please do not reprint, reblog or copy and paste them in their entirety without my permission. Thank you.