What Ever Happened To That Motorcycle Story?

It would seem like the news of the Fed Chair selling $1 million in stock just prior to the stock market crash due to covid lockdowns or the 131 federal judges who passed judgments in cases where they or their families owned stock, would be good reading. But guess what, I’m sick of it. Are you?

Like every teenager, I thought I had to have a motorcycle. I bought a Honda 160 Scrambler. It was the smallest bike allowed on the freeway. Maybe pushing the limits was in my blood. Four hundred miles from Oakland to Newport Beach seemed pretty doable in California weather. Soon I was out of the chaos of on-ramps and only had geezers and hotrodders (auto corrected to potholders) to deal with. I just stayed in the right lane (slow drivers take note).

On Saturday afternoon my throttle cable broke as I was riding past Santa Cruz. Any farmer knows the curse of Saturday afternoon. I parked the bike on the side of the freeway and walked to the Honda dealer. “With no VIN number, I guess this one should work,” said the nice man as he dreamed of the fine south swell he had heard about.

Well, it didn’t fit. I was able to drive the bike off the freeway with the cable telling the carb to be wide open by shutting the bike off and coasting until I needed another boost. I was sure glad that thing started better than the one I have now. I might have noticed people pointing and laughing but I had to concentrate on my attempt to not emulate Evel Knievel. I left it on a big vacant lot with scattered oleander bushes and walked past the closed dealer to the beach. I imagine I was watching my parts guy surf out there.

I slept under one of those oleander bushes and was woke (just had to throw that in there) by a cop in the morning light. He said I wasn’t in trouble but it was dangerous to camp out like that. No fear allows for great adventures. He wasn’t a pretty girl and that was pretty disappointing.

I trucked on down to the dealer that Sunday morning just in case. And like most under-appreciated bosses, the owner was there. I could tell by the Lincoln parked out front. He found the right cable right away. And I was on my way.

This is a little embarrassing but I can’t remember where I camped that Sunday night. I do remember zooming along in the dark with the exhaust pipes glowing as bright as the headlights. The chrome turned blue permanently.

As I approached Santa Barbara I saw on the map Highway 192. I was good and tired of major traffic. Highway 192 looked a little shorter and went over a pass to bypass Santa Barbara. It was typical coastal desert up there and warmer. Hardly a car. Then I saw a big shadow coming my way. This is so cool. A condor flew just a few feet over my head. This was not long before they were declared extinct in the wild. Since then they have been reintroduced and are slowly gaining population. Seeing roadkill is sad until we think of the meal.

I didn’t appreciate at the time how much grief I caused my mom. I was heartless. Getting south of Santa Barbara is entering the gauntlet of Los Angeles traffic. I will never be a road bike rider again and I’m sure my mom wished I never was. I outlived her nonetheless. Here’s to hoping there’s nothing in the news to write about next week.

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