So I’m driving all over God’s creation looking for a trophy shop to recycle these real estate and humanitarian awards (singular on the latter, I wasn’t that good of a do-gooder) because I’m trying to save the planet. But while driving around, I’m polluting the hell out of it and wasting a lot of high-priced petrol in the process. I finally pull in to a small strip mall in the light industrial part of my childhood hometown that has a dirt bike shop. I figure at least these guys will know what direction to point me in.
Cut. To. Next. Scene.
Two days later, I’m sitting in class for the technical in-class portion of the, yes, motorcycle course¹ I’m taking. Again.
Slight flashback—like eight years ago—at the start of this so-not-mid life crisis. I took the course with a co-worker/friend, Blossom, and passed the road test, scoring myself a 5.6 licence! Yay me!
Since I’d never been on a bike before the course, and since there was a six-week lag time between said course and the intimidating road test, I totally scaredy-chickened out and didn’t get a crotch rocket, unlike brave Blossom.
Like much of what I start, I didn’t follow through. Eh, shrug.
Back to present day!
I figured God was giving me a message and that message said, Anna Jorgensen! You, girl, would look uber duper cooleroni on one of these cute-as-everrr retro café racers!
(In my world, God totally talks like this.)
Well, who am I to deny the Big Guy?? I mean, really.
So, I finish the course, stalk the bike shop and fall in loooove with a 1982 Yamaha even though it’s a bit heavy and my feet don’t totally touch the ground and there’s no fuel gauge or speedometer or …
—but who really needs a speedometer anyway, right?
Wrong! Trick question.
I sit on several of the black-on-matte-black retro home-built bike jobbies but don’t ride them. I’m still a scaredy-chicken and, frankly, I’ve also still got some smarts to stuff into this brain bucket (read: helmet) I’m trying on. Plus, I’d kind of like a motorbike that actually has all its working parts and maybe even signal lights because even though I’m sure there are many a roadie who knows how to fix shit on a bike, um, I don’t really like to get my hands dirty.
(Side note: All of the motos are built by the bel-esprit bike dude who knows how to build ones that I’m sure are probably totally safe and comfy for those who’ve ridden for a good portion of their lives, or at least more than just last Saturday and Sunday morning in an empty high school parking lot with a group of other anxious course participants.)
My BMFF (best male friend forever), CWAD (chick with a dick) rides into town with his buddy who, CWAD says, knows bikes and meets me at the bike shop to check out the new love of my life—the Yamaha.
They rip in on what I can only exclaim are Oh my God, those are big-ass bikes, you guys are sooo cool!! Will I look that cool?? (Squeal, clap, giggle.)
(Side note 2: I’ve actually never seen CWAD’s bike before so I’m duly impressed—whatever it is.)
Truth: I will look like a dork with this goofy expression, and no one will want to ride with me—I’ll be the last one picked in gym class again. Fuckers! But I’ll be wearing a helmet so no one will see my animated face! Ha!
Anyway, they look at the bikes and tell me that unless I can tell them what a carburetor is, I’m not allowed to buy a custom bike (with no speedometer or signal lights). I know for sure a carburetor isn’t anything like a carbohydrate, but that’s about as much as I do know about mechanics of the modern motor world.
I whine, But it’s only three grand. (Wasn’t I just frugally scraping mold off a furry lemon, like, yesterday?)
They look at each other and CWAD says, You’ll feel more secure if you pay a little more. (Meaning: Get a more suitable/potentially reliable motorbike for my novice ass.)
I frown, But this was supposed to be a way to save on petrol.
(Reality Land: I stumbled on a how-did-I-miss-this-part-of-my-mid-life-crisis opportunity and need to redeem myself pronto.)
They remain silent.
I get on the bike and start it up, trying to convince them it runs. It rattles momentarily. They raise their eyebrows at each other as if to confirm their suspicions, and I rev it into a low rumble that isn’t obnoxious and goes with the Angelina Jolie leather pants I imagine myself wearing. I look at them pleadingly.
CWAD reaches over and flips the ignition key to off.
I sigh, Fiiiiiine. I’ll look around. But I need a bike a-sap before I chicken out again.
I pay them for their services with fish and chimps. (Radiation poisoning or not, Dick’s Fish & Chips in Campbell River is the best!) While I’m picking through my fries, the gents are on their iPhones looking for alternative rides for me. Time is of the essence, people!
CWAD’s biker buddy, Leather Vest, finds a brand new Yamaha Bolt R-Spec that’s pretty much the retro bike I want only brand-spanking-fricking new and located one town over in my adulthood hometown! God, you little devil, you. *wink*
Okay, so it’s a little over my budget … Let’s see, by the time we get taxes and handling and insurance and gear, oh well, that’s only four times what I was willing to pay just this morning! Fack. But, apparently Dude wants me to be safe. (And to be able to pick a custom colour, hehe.)
I thank the boys, ne, men—a guy simply cannot be on a Fat Boy-esque beast and look juvenile, even if they are—and they head home.
Discouraged by the lofty price of the new bike, but not defeated, I go straight home and spend the next sixteen hours shopping the internet for less pricy motorcycles.
CWAD does the same thing, sending me less costly but now so-less-worthy used options.
Here’s a little secret for you about real estate: If they can afford the nicer home, show them the damn nicer home first. Nothing else will compare.
The next day, MLM and I drive all over Hell’s Angels’ creation looking at motorcycles, finally arriving back at the motor sport shop in my adulthood hometown. CWAD meets us there. I suit up, hop on and away we go! I test drive the Bolt. He drives his Jeep in front of me in case I become roadkill. MLM waits at the dealership and prays for my safety.
The Yamaha Bolt is 900cc compared to the 250cc Virago I was on in the course, which I thought was all-powerful enough. This slight 650cc difference rumbles between my nervous and trembling thighs. (If I wasn’t so damn scared, I could’ve had a happy ending.)
I stall it twice but manage to get back to the shop feeling exhilarated. Then I try out the black-on-black 750cc Honda Shadow. I don’t stall it, but I almost drop it—once. But it’s sooo sexy. The bike, not me. No, I just look like an idiot with bugs in my teeth and fear in my eyes.
At the end of the day, I tell the salesman: I’ll think about it. (If I had a carburetor for every time I heard that line in my real estate career …)
Um. So. Anyway, my graphic designer is customizing a logo that will fit on my way-over-budget-to-be-an-excuse-for-saving-gas-$ new motorcycle that I haven’t found, never mind bought yet!
But—I will so have one day!
Then I’ll be a branded bad-ass, sexy, swass²-clad cruising mama …with a hard-to-see matte black helmet to match my hard-to-see motorcycle. But the logo will be made with reflective material since I am a safety gal after all. Oh, yeah!
See you in the parking lot!
What have I (re-)learned?
1. Priorities change as we get older. Sideways glance.
2. Buyers are liars!
3. I may like living in my sister’s travel trailer in her backyard, which I will need to do for the rest of my life to save enough to pay for a fucking motorbike.
4. Leather pants = skanky snatch³. Don’t do it. Unless they’re crotchless. As in chaps.
5. And finally, sometimes a hard-core mid-life best-times-ever crisis is exactly what a woman wants—and needs. (For, like, eight years. And counting …)
Homework: Ride Sally Ride!
Also, here’s my dream bike (drool) Triumph Thruxton (custom):
Triumph Thruxton Custom – OMG Love it!
¹ Comox Valley Driving School: an absolute must-do for new—and used—motorbike riders (as in new/used bikes and as in experienced/inexperienced riders). Ninety percent of motorcycle accidents occur with self-taught drivers. True story. CVDS knows their shit and have voices that carry over the drone of ten thundering scramblers. Plus, they offer one-on-one on-road after-class training. So worth it. (Thanks Wendy and Justin!) Note: If you live in Australia or Argentina, you might find it’s more affordable to choose a safety and skills course closer to home.
² Swass: Redneck slang for sweaty ass. (Thank Blossom for this one!)
³ Skanky-snatch. Redneck slang for rotten crotch, which is slang, too. Kind of like swass only of the va-jay-jay (yes, also slang). I hope I learned these potty words from someone else and didn’t just make them up all by myself. Though, really, if I did, that would be kind of impressive, no?