Memorable Motorcycle Ride



Down To Yarmouth
June ’77

We put my bike in the truck, and I climbed on the back of Lenny’s
motorcycle while Butch, Herb’s 7 year-old, climbed on the back of his
dad’s motorcycle. Oh, and before I forget, there was one other thing
that helped me decide to go to the Pow Wow. When Herb was trying to
get me to go with the family, I told him, “I can’t afford to spend
much money since I was running short on cash.” Without hesitation,
good old Herb shot back, “Don’t worry about money, just get on board.
It’ll be fun; you’ll see.” Anyway, things began to look a little
tilted when Herb took off on his motorcycle at 80 and 90 mph. Lenny
and I were right behind.

At our first stop, Mrs. Herb was not happy. She made Butch get off
the motorcycle and back into the truck. She told her husband to slow
down. Herb, now upset, took off at 110 mph. Lenny stayed with him up
to 100 mph and then backed off. Thank-you Lenny. We left the truck in
the dust, as we careened around the winding curves on the two-lane
road at 45-degree angles. I was now having second thoughts about
wanting to go to the Pow Wow. Apparently, I had put to much faith in
that coffee Herb was drinking when he convinced me to ride along;
after all, when I met him, he was stumbling around on the side of the
rode. When Lenny and I caught up to him, he was coming out of a
roadside party-store. In his hand was a brown paper bag, which turned
out to be cheap whisky. The bottle got passed around before Lenny and
I could even dismount. I had two drinks before the empty pint had to
be broken against some rocks (Indian superstition I guess). Once we
took off again, I became very irritated as I watched the same scenery
that had taken me three wet, depression filled days to bicycle, move
past me in the wrong direction. At least we had slowed to a reasonable
speed, 60 mph.

Our next stop was when Herb had to get gas. Both Lenny and I watched
in horror, as he was too drunk to keep his bike balanced. It fell to
the pavement, almost hitting the gas pump. All three of us struggled
to upright the bike. The shiny, new bike quite literally lost some of
its color after that. Herb told us he was too high to ride. High was
not the right word. Stone drunk would have been more appropriate.
Lenny looked at me and said, “Let’s get him something to eat.” There
was a restaurant across the street, so after Lenny parked his cycle in
the parking lot, and then came back for Herb’s cycle, we all went
inside the restaurant.

Up at the counter, after we finished eating our meal, Herb realized he
didn’t have any money. I ended up paying for his fish and chip dinner.
Outside the restaurant, Lenny assured me Mrs. Herb would pay me. He
said she was carrying $350 cash. After lunch Herb still couldn’t
ride. He wanted to lie down and sleep. As Lenny and I scouted out a
place for Herb to lie down, Herb got on his cycle and took off.
Careening down the highway after him, I longed for the feel of my own
bike underneath me rather than this vibrating monster that went 90 mph.

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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One Response to Memorable Motorcycle Ride

  1. Mèo Lười Việt says:

    … rather than this monster that went 90 mph. 😉

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