Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tag Tuesday - Friends, and a Story: Graceful Rider

How was your Valentine's Day? We had a great time here. Our daughter Tabitha made a tasty lunch and then we exchanged cards. My husband had a book of poetry for me, of John Greenleaf Whittier. I recently rediscovered him when I included a line from one of his poems on the tag I made last week.

This is my second post for the today. I posted earlier with the results of one of the lessons from my art class. This post is for Kard Krazy, where the theme is Friends.

(click for details)

I used some rubbing stamping, and distress inks, buttons and a ribbon bow. The image is another copy of a early 1900's postcard. It reads "Oh well, we has sweet tempers anyhow". I'm sure many of us felt a bit plump after eating chocolates and more yesterday!

(Eighth in a series of Tuesday Stories)

I have often felt in my life, especially when I was younger, that there were new adventures waiting for me if I didn't let the "norm" restrict me from trying. In the 1970's, that was true about motorcycle riding. If you were a female, you were usually classed with Hell's Angels types if you showed an interest in bike riding. And even then, most of the women rode on the back as a passenger, not as the driver. I, however, thought riding a motorcycle would be something that was great fun and as soon as I was able, I purchased my first bike. I've had three in my lifetime, all Hondas - 2 450s and the last was a Honda 600. I absolutely loved driving those motorcycles! I quickly found out that the most dangerous things were other drivers on the road, they either did not see you, or they did not care. I never "laid my bike down" (had an accident where I was thrown from the bike) but I did have a few close calls. The only accident I did have was when a large produce truck stopped quickly in front of me, and I ran my bike up under his truck and damaged the headlamps and the front wheel.

There was such freedom in riding a motorcycle. During my early years of riding, our state had a helmet law (which is a good thing) and when they repealed that, I took every chance to ride without one. I will say now that was very dumb, and in another story I will tell you of a very close call I had without a helmet. But at the time, I enjoyed the wind in my face. I wore sunglasses of course because with the wind came bugs, and being hit in the eye by a bug at 50 miles an hour can cause real damage!

The above picture was taken by a friend as I was getting ready to dismount the bike. To be honest, I also enjoyed the attention of seeing double takes from people when they realized that the motorcyclist was a female. I rode my bikes to classes, to church and to work, and enjoyed the cheap fuel economy. It was less enjoyable when it was raining, or very cold, but I usually had a car to switch to when that happened. 

When I met my husband, he had moved in next door to me on the Isle of Palms. My roommate and I had become friendly with him and one day he wandered over into our yard while I was oiling the chain of the 600 and doing some other maintenance. We chatted and after I was finished, I said "Hop on - I'll take you for a ride." He sort of backed away, shaking his head and mumbling something about riding being dangerous. "Oh, it's easy" I reassured him, "Just act like a sack of potatoes and lean into the curves as we go around them. I promise I'll drive slow and we won't go far." He very hesitatingly got on the back, put his hands at my waist and we took off. Very shortly I realized that he was as stiff as a 2 by 4 and all tensed up. I began hollering back "Relax! Relax! You're going to make us fall over if you don't lean in!" He tried, but he seemed not able to let himself go. 

After we had returned, I learned two things: 1. That was the first time ever he had consented to ride a motorcycle (and never rode one again) and, 2. He had always hated motorcycles! He only did it because he liked me.

I had been saving to trade my bike in for a Harley, but when I started dating, and then became engaged to John, I gave up my motorcycle willingly. He was more important to me and it wasn't a hard decision to make. I have missed it from time to time, but as I have gotten older it's just a pleasant memory. Earlier in our marriage I had told him I was going to get a Harley when I turned 60, but instead that year I became ill with the ME/CFS so even though I am slowly improving I don't think my reflexes are as good as I would like. Maybe there are motorcycles in heaven, and I will be able to ride with no fear of laying my bike down! 


  1. Such a fun Tag! I love the background too!

    And such a wonderful story!

  2. great tag, I love that image so cute and what a great love story giving up your bike for him

  3. Hello Rebecca, I love your chubby little friend on your tag. She reminds me of the Campbell soup kids. I enjoyed your story too. Your a gutsy lady and your hubby sounds like a sensible man, a good team.

  4. I love the tag! And I rather felt like that yesterday after a few pieces of chocolate!
    Great story about riding your motorcycle...I worked with a lady years ago that loved to ride her motorcycle...her own and she was no Hell's Angel lady either! Diann

  5. The tag is hilarious! Very fun and colorful! Love your stories.

  6. It's such a fun cute tag! Great colors and I love the little saying. I wish I could say I never laid a bike down. I never got the hang of it like you did, so was content to ride behind. I love your stories and your courage, and John's sensibility. Love you!

  7. The tag makes me chuckle! It's so cute! And your story is fascinating. I tried to learn to ride a motorcycle one summer when I was waiting for my sister to have a baby....my brother-in-law had a bike. It's a wonder I didn't kill myself! That was my one and only motorcycle time!

  8. That's really a cute one, looks beautiful.

  9. Adorable tag!! Love the little vintage girl. Have a lovely day, Kim

  10. Lovely cute tag, looks beautiful.

  11. I love your tag, and enjoyed your story very much. I had a motorcycle when I was a teenager, a Suzuki 50! Hee Hee! A scooter compared to your bike! It wanted to be a Harley when it grew up!!

  12. Such a darling tag and I really enjoyed your story about you and your motorcycle and Johns first ride. LOL
    hugs Lynn

  13. What a beautiful tag, Rebecca! You have a romantic hubby. So do I. He gave me a dozen red roses for Valentine's Day. Your motorcycle story was intriguing, though I have to admit, I shake with fear and trembling when I'm behind the wheel of my car and I am behind a motorcycle. I sure give them lots of room. My fear is that they will fall over and wind up in the middle of the lane.


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