Thursday, May 20, 2010

But I Rode Her First

I always did love riding my motorcycles, I began on a mini bike that I shared with my brother when I was very young, we loved this mini bike so much that we made the mistake of pushing it into the house to keep it in our room so it wouldn’t get stolen, I knew it was not a good thing when we woke up sick next morning and Mom was trying to find the source of the smell of gasoline in the house, the look on her face was not a pleasant one when she came into our room and saw that mini bike sitting there, needless to say that was the last night we slept with the mini bike.

We wore the mini bike out pretty quick and moved up to a big time Honda CL-70 about a 1970 model that was supposed to be a street bike but we didn’t have a license so it became a trail bike pretty quickly, we were living in North Carolina at the time and the wooded area we lived on was perfect for trail riding, we and a neighbor kid who had a Kawasaki 125 took like in Alice's Restaurant “shovels, rakes, and implements of destruction into the woods and cut out trails, although Arlo Guthrie wasn’t cutting trails he was picking up the garbage and now I’m getting off the subject so I will get back on the trail, our most impressive trail was about a mile and a quarter in diameter according to the odometer on the CL 70 which included a steep hill in the middle that began with crossing a small creek at the base and also had a by pass for the street bike so it didn’t have to climb the hill the Kawasaki always made with ease, I finally got brave and made it all the way to the top once only to slow to a stop without getting the back tire onto flat ground, it is a long way back down when you are tumbling with a small Honda and to get up out of the creek to the laughter of the Kawasaki rider is quite humiliating to say the least, I had a little payback laugh myself as we were riding back home, I was following JJ and he would turn back to laugh at me and my smaller bike covered with mud every so often, my laugh came as he was laughing and didn’t see the small tree catch his handle bar that turned him into the brush and over his own handlebars. JJ and his laughter made me a better and more observant rider trying to keep up with him and his much better bike.

After I was grown I actually bought my first bike to ride on the street, it was a Yamaha 250 the largest bike I ever owned at the time, it was actually more of a trail bike but I drove it back and forth to work and never off road, go figure huh. This bike is where I learned to respect myself and to pay attention to everyone else because they were not paying attention to me, finances were limited and the muffler was out making it so loud that a police officer gave me a warning that I would be getting a ticket if he heard my bike again, after pricing the mufflers and looking at them I took a juice can and poked holes all in the bottom, cut the lid completely off and it slid perfectly into the pipe, a sheet metal screw and I was now legal to ride on the street, my Southern engineering was still working when I sold it a few years later.

My last bike was also a Honda it was a 1982 V45 Sabre that I did love to ride, I owned this one while Cindy and I were dating and many of our dates were on this bike, I had a lot of good times and a few close calls but no close calls while Cindy was with me, the one that scared me most was one night while riding on a dark highway I had just shifted into 6th gear which meant I was going “Highway Speed” can’t remember how fast to tell you the truth, when I saw something red on the road I am trying to figure what it is, had a truck dropped paint on the road? When into my headlights all of a sudden I see either a small calf or a very large dog laying in the road, I remember standing up and turning the throttle back as hard as I could before I hit it as I had no time to be turning, I felt like Evil Kenevil when I landed on the back tire and never slowed down, the next morning I was cleaning black hair off the frame of my bike when I realized that Cindy had turned down the offer to go riding with me the night before, it took me several days to get up the nerve to tell her the story you know I had to macho it up a bit with the Evil Kenevil bit but to tell you the truth I have never felt my heart beat so hard and to have struggled so hard to stop shaking after that one.

I have a very good friend in New Mexico who is still riding a Harley, he always wanted a bike that only he had ridden, not a new one that had been test driven or one he had ordered that had a chance of someone else’s a*# having been on the seat before his, he wanted to build one from the ground up, so Dennis bought another Harley and completely took it apart, rebuilt the motor and added new handlebars and all new wiring, ordered a new tank and fenders and painted it himself, he had the seat re padded and new leather added, new pegs and forward controls, this project took months and it turned out beautiful, the nicest Harley around I’ll give that to Dennis he did a fabulous job on this bike, he didn’t like the lights so he ripped them all off and ordered a new tail light and turn signals they came in and were installed, I was admiring his work while he was making adjustments and standing back to look them over, it was getting dusky dark when he said “Jimmy will you jump on and ride down the driveway so I can see how the lights look” I had no problem with this so I fired it up and took off down the drive, I got to the end and figured he should see the turn signal in action so I clicked on the right turn and made my way down Prince Street, this bike felt so good I didn’t want to come back but I did and Dennis was proud of the way the lights looked. Next time we were at their house the project was complete and Dennis had ridden his bike to town, he had a few buddies over and we were sitting around listening to everything he had done to this bike when he said “And my a*# is the only one that has ever been on the seat because no one else ever rode her” you should have seen the look on his face when I said “But Dennis I rode her first”


  1. Jimmy--I have a post coming up about my son buying a motorcycle. (Shiver.) Glad you were OK after the close call. (Shiver.) What's with your buddy and being the first? Oh never mind. I don't want to know. (Shiver.)

  2. Oh boy...this post immediately reminded me of my first mini bike! I thought I was the COOLEST kid on the block. My parents (for saftey reasons) only permitted us (my brother and I) to ride them in a corn field. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    Many years ago, I worked with a hairstylist who was a HUGE Harley lover, In fact, she and her husband built them. They were beautiful - like a work of art!

    She use to say the same thing...

    "I learned to respect myself and to pay attention to everyone else because they were not paying attention to me."

    I have found that people who ride motorcycles are usually much more aware and safer drivesr, then people who drive cars.

    Enjoyed this post, buddy!

    Have a great Thursday!

  3. Good one, Jimmy, you did ride her first!
    I rode a little bit when I was young, but never quite got into the groove where I HAD to have one.

  4. Great story Jimmy!. I also had a mini-bike. It had a little Briggs & Stratton motor in it. Lot's of fun tearing un and down the alleys.

  5. Love the blog title.

    I miss riding on the back of a bike, nothing like it.

  6. Good Morning Betty,

    I look forward to reading your post but I can see already you have a different outlook on riding motorcycles than I do by the (Shiver), that is the sign of a good Mom though.

    The best I can say is my friend is just that way :)

  7. Thank You Ron,

    Yes Sir I agree with you 100% people who ride bikes have a whole different outlook on sharing the road, not that people who don't ride care less it's just that they don't think to look for the bikes as they have never looked at the road from that perspective.

    A Great Thursday to you too Buddy

  8. Morning Joe,

    It was pretty funny actually the look on his face and then the realization that I was right, funny thing is I didn't think of it either until he brought up that he was the only one to have ridden it.

    I would love to have one now but would have to look at a trike if I got serious about it.

  9. Hey Pat,

    Yes Sir now that you mentioned it mine also had a Briggs & Stratton motor and it was a lot of fun, had kids from all over lining up wanting a turn Ha Ha

  10. Thank You Kristy,

    You are so right there is nothing like it, there is just something peaceful about being out there on a bike in my opinion.

  11. My uncles used to have bikes and they took me for rides. But once, one of the parked ones toppled over on me, one of the bolts punching a hole in my leg. I haven't been on one since. I guess I'm holding a grudge. Lol.


  12. I love riding. Unfortunately, all my loved ones and friends all have had accidents due to other drivers... Sheesh!

  13. I have been on a motorcycle only twice in my life. The first was with my first boyfriend and I was scared and excited all at the same time. We only rode on neighborhood streets because I was a bit freaked out. The next time with another fried and we rode all over san francisco...while I was in dental school. It was a blast. that was it for me. I guess I am just too afraid of the other crazies on the road. I am glad nothing bad ever happened to you!!

  14. Hahahahahahaha! That's hysterical! Bikes were a huge part of my childhood and teen years. I was raised on them.

  15. Hey Spot,

    "I guess I'm holding a grudge. Lol"

    Now why would you do a thing like that? Ouch!!

  16. Yep Trish,

    I too have seen a lot of bad things happen and although they don't out number the good times they are the ones remembered first huh :^(

  17. Hey Susie,

    Fear does slow down a lot of riding time for a lot of us understandably, I guess I'm still not scared the thrill still makes me want to ride just wanting the opportunity to come back around :)

  18. Being raised on them Ms A you and a lot of us can still laugh at the good times.

  19. Oh man does that post bring back the memories! My first bike was exactly the same thing, a little mini bike and then I graduated to a honda those were the days. It's funny Dennis was so excited about his lights he forgot and let you contaminate his seat

  20. Thank You Sir,

    Yes he was so excited making sure everything was right he let it get by him, I didn't think about it myself until we were sitting at the table talking after the fact Ha Ha, I think that was the only time I got to ride that one :)

  21. Enjoyed reading your biking experiences.

    Back in the hills I fancied riding the two-wheeler, long rides they were, usually on narrow roads that had unending sharp turns un and down the inclines.

    Several of my friends did not survive motorcycle accidents over the years, the roads were narrow and mean. Made me a very, very careful rider after I lost several of my friends to the road.

    The fear pumping up when one knows one's about to crash is scary.

  22. Wow this post brings back a lot of memories, I've got blog posts running through my head. Not that I have ever driven one, but I have been a passenger too many times to count. For awhile hubby's Honda Goldwing was all the transportation we had. Good times and a few scary ones too.

    So glad you made through those close calls.

    That was just soo mean of you to remind him that you was there first! LOL! That is the first time I have ever heard of someone totally redoing a brand new Harley. I guess if he can afford it, he can do what ever makes him happy. I would neva!

  23. Anil,

    Glad to have you stop in, I too have lost friends riding motorcycles but I suppose it would be the same for cars or any other mode of transportation, motorcycles are a lot harder to see if you are not paying attention and riding one just makes you pay attention more.

    Fear gives you respect for what you are doing and is a good thing as long as it doesn't keep you from enjoying life.

  24. Hey Heather,

    Nothing like the thrill and freedom of riding.

    I wasn't trying to be mean ;^) I just know if the situation was reversed he would do the same thing for me Ha Ha, he is that good of a friend.

  25. I miss riding on one. My husband had a Honda Intersepter. I think that's how you spell it and we had a blast when we were first dating.Then he had to sell that along with his other toys so that we could buy our first house. That was over 20 years ago!
    Thanks for sharing!!!

  26. Thank You Cindy,

    Yes you have to make changes sometimes for Home and Family but the memories of the joy you had will always be there.

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