Haiku My Heart
March 15, 2013
Willingness to live
Taking life’s chances in stride
It does my heart good
By last count, the tally of motorcycles on the list that follows this post, I have owned over my lifetime. There are sixteen bikes listed. A few of these I had stabled in one garage or another together and owned more than one at a time, but most were just stand alone bikes, that is, I owned one motorcycle and rode it.
I had that first one in 1970 when I lived with my folks in Westchester, IL. I bought it right after I got out of the army when I got home from Vietnam. I was riding to work the first day I had it and I slid down on a shady stretch of slick dew covered pavement when the car traveling in front of me hit their brakes hard in an attempt to avoid hitting a family of ducks that were crossing the road. I was an inexperienced rider and although I don’t remember the details, I was probably following too closely and/or riding too fast.
No one was hurt, not even the ducks. The jacket I was wearing, an olive drab green army field jacket, took a black asphalt stripe from the wrist to the elbow on my left arm and to this day, I have had trouble with that left shoulder. I reinjured that arm twice more in non automobile accidents over the years when I crashed snowmobiles, once hitting a log and another time hitting a large chuck of ice. Both of these motosport mishaps took place in the 1990’s. Oh yeah, there was also the time I rolled a Polaris ATV when I drove sideways on a steep hillside.
That last bike, the 2011 Triumph Bonneville, is what I was riding when an oncoming car came over the double yellow lines and forced me to the ditch last September on a quiet rural Wisconsin highway. That bike was a total loss from damage sustained in the wreck and I have not owned a motorcycle since that day, September 16, 2012.
|The morning after my accident, September 17, 2012|
That is, until last month. I briefly had money down on a new 2012 Triumph Bonneville, but decided not to follow through with the purchase and asked the dealer to refund my deposit. In fact, I had thought about not every buying another motorcycle and giving up riding bikes completely as I took into account the fact that I have severe heart matters that compromise my overall health.
|November 11, 2012, a little more than two months after the accident|
I ended up thinking that I want to live until I die, not just be alive, and that getting out in the fresh air on a motorcycle is something that I don’t think I’ll ever lose the desire to do no matter what physical condition I’m in. As long as I can still do it, safely, I will ride motorcycles.
That “Safely” is a strong important word here. That means safely for myself, but more importantly, safely for others using the Nations highways and byways.
I had a friend tell me once, when I had an old Jeep that I rode up into the Black Range Mountains of New Mexico, that vehicles like that are “Death Traps”. He suggested a long time ago that it wasn’t safe to have such vehicles and ride them on or off road. I guess for that matter, with statistics showing almost 40,000 deaths on our highways every year, it is never totally “safe” to be in a vehicle of any kind. For that matter, no one is ever totally safe and no one gets out of here alive anyway!
I decided that 40,000 was a very small part of the 313 million people that live in the United States and that I would chance the odds.
Introducing the newest member of my stable, this 2009 Triumph Bonneville T-100.
I’m scheduled to drive down to New Mexico in early April with my pickup truck and bring it home. Hopefully, this time frame will have me riding as soon as the snow melts and the roads are dry.
The Haiku I penned this morning speaks to the idea that I will ride again and my heart soars thinking about it.
1970 Honda CB 350 Gold
1967 Yamaha MX360 Silver
1976 Honda 400 Four Blue
1976 Honda 400 Four Red
1978 Honda CL450 Blue
1982 Yamaha SR 500 Black
1993 Harley Davidson Fat Boy Black Cherry
1986 Honda CB750 Four Brown
2004 Harley Davidson Sportster Silver
2004 Harley Davidson Dyna Glide Silver
2008 Triumph Tiger Orange
2008 Triumph Scrambler Orange
2010 BMW G650 GS Black
1973 Honda CL 350 Red
2005 Moto Guzzi Nevada Classic Black/Red
2011 Triumph Bonneville SE Orange
April 2013, Number 17
2009 Triumph Bonneville T-100 Green