Monday, June 09, 2008

for sale

for sale
Originally uploaded by rod lewis
Several years ago, I was riding a 1985 Honda Shadow 500. That’s a tiny bike for a rather large fellow like me. I’m the guy who causes everyone to think my 1100C2 is a 750 until they see it apart from me. All my students ask me why I play guitars with such short scale length. Fact is, my green guitar is nearly a full inch longer than standard.

But, I digress.

On the 500, the grips hit my knees before I turned it all the way to the stops. My bottom ached after 40 miles and my back after 90. Nevertheless, I rode it as much as 500 miles in a single day several times, and put 18,000 miles on it in 2 years.
Allison didn’t just give me permission to get the 1100 when a bargain opportunity came ‘round, she practically made me upgrade. I’ve been extremely happy with that bike. It has taken me through the mountains West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee and NC, Texas hill country, along the coast, through cornfields of central Pennsylvania and Western New York, through the bayous of South Louisiana, and the Vineyards of Ontario, and all points between.
It is a musical instrument at any tempo, but at 70mph, on an open country highway, it plays all the parts. It’s the soundtrack to real-time, live action film in 3 dimensions, and a G-force theme park where you don’t stand in line for 90 minutes for a 90 second coaster ride.

In July, it will take me the length of Tennessee, across the river and into the Southwest for a week in Santa Fe, before carrying me across Arizona, and north to San Francisco then turning back east, through Yosemite and toward home.
I’ve been planning this trip in my mind since early spring, first thinking through proper, most-likely-successful approaches to getting permissions not to be places where I’m supposed to be at times when I’m supposed to be there. Then maps, itineraries, travel needs, etc. What things made me stop last year at Wal-marts in obscure little towns after dark, and how can I anticipate those things this time?
All this background thinking and planning and dreaming and imagining obtaining an actual touring bike rather than taking 6000-mile trips on a cruiser. My dream is an R1200GS and that’s what’s been playing in the back of my mind all week. I mentioned it to fellow who was admiring my Shadow at the top of the driveway, and he told me the State Patrol had switched to Hondas and there were some R1200s at the State Surplus.
Ha! So I got online and looked for those bikes. A simple surplus search turned into 90 minutes as I browsed about the world looking for affordable un-affordable BMWs.
By Saturday, I’d become so obsessed that I’d made it my primary (read, “only”) vehicle. Gas is projected to be over $5 by august, and I can’t afford to drive my truck anymore. If I could sell my truck…
… I was acting like a child dreaming.
Saturday night I dreamt about it all and by Sunday morning, I was doing budget calculations as to how to make it work. I’d sold my truck, a couple guitars, my Shadow 1100 and two of the kids by the time Jack banged on my bedroom door to wake me. When I heard his voice, I was still working out a calculation, and said, “hold on a sec, Jack.” He persisted. “Just a minute, I said.” A third shout, and I realized that I was dreaming and he needed me to take him to sound check.
When I did get up, I realized I still had my red truck, green bike, both my silver and green guitars, and all three kids.

Sheesh, what kinda guy would sell his kids to get a motorcycle?
Not to mention that I’ve been trying to acquire Sienna from Hippyhappyhay!

No wonder I need to get away.