(Famous Last Words!)
So, after abandoning my Single-Boatie-Chick Lifestyle and becoming (ultimately) a married landlbubber, I sort of had an "Identity Crisis!" I didn't realize - until after I'd left 'em - just how much of "me" was linked (almost inextricably) to the boats.
I deeply feared becoming (gasp!) UN-COOL!!!
Roger was a former biker - and I'd always had an interest in riding. In fact, one of my all-time favorite TV shows was an episode of 'Northern Exposure' where RuthAnne 'borrowed' Chris' Harley and ran away..! Can't *quite* describe it - but there's a sense of 'escapism' that goes with Harleys (as well as boats, actually - a definite correlation when you think about it). The whole "I probably WON'T do it - but I know that I *can*!" mindset (but I digress [so what else is new?!!])
So during our first summer together, I campaigned *heavily* for us to buy bikes. It was a full-fledged conspiracy, actually - including our neighbor, Angie (who rides a Fatboy), and an ePal, NavyJohn (who had a full-on Custom bike built - from the ground up). Well, I'd never actually *ridden* before and Roger was adamantly opposed to the idea...
Toward the end of the summer of 2001, we made a trip back to Connecticut - to "meet his family" and all that. While we were there, Rog and I hooked up with his childhood bud, Brian. Brian had a Softail Standard and offered to let Rog take it around the block. Rog climbed aboard, zipped around, and had *the* biggest smile on his face!
From that point forward, Roger was hooked (and I've been known to say - on more than one occasion - that "I've created a monster!!!").
Within a week of coming home, Roger rode home on his new bike - a 2002 Red Pearl Softail Deuce. While I was happy for Rog - and I *did* ride on the back a couple of times - I quickly came to the conclusion that "This sucks!"
Now - Wait just a MINUTE here!!! Getting Harleys was MY idea! So where the hell is *my* bike??? Thus, we began our search for a suitable Starter-Bike.
Rog (initially) was pretty dead-set on me starting out with a smaller (read: Japanese) bike. I was equally adamant about it being "Harley or Nothing!" The closest we could come to a compromise was a Sportster 883. Luckily, Sportsters tended to be pretty cheap - but - IMHO pretty "ugly!" (and the general concensus still remained that a Harley - even an 883 - was a bit much for a "beginner"). Anyway, I surfed and researched extensively. I'd decided that if I got a Sportster, the first thing I would do would be to swap out the tank for a fat-bob 'cuz I thought Sportster tanks were just too ugly for words!
The search lasted a few weeks - and had it's frustrating moments. I ultimately reached a "Zen Mindset" and decided the "right bike" would present itself when the time was right.
Sure enough... After a nasty encounter with one local Harley Dealership (I'll "Take the High Road" and not vent my concerns - nor name the dealership), we did go to another "not-so-local" dealer - who turned us on to a Private Seller. He had a heavily-customized 883 Sportster for sale. Red, with a stretched fat-bob tank! PERFECT!!!
Long story short: We bought her! Of course, I couldn't ride her! But Roger brought her home and a couple of weeks later, we signed up for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course...
I took to Harley riding like, well, a fish takes to water! Passed the MSF course with flying colors and we spent the rest of the summer putting miles behind us! It was AWESOME!!!
After a couple of years riding Magnolia, it was time to move up. Magnolia is great as a twisty backroad bike - but was a bit too "rough" for some of the long-range riding we wanted to do. So in March 2004, I purchased a brand-spankin' new 2004 Heritage Softail Classic in Lava Red Sunglow (orgasmic metallic candy-apple red!). Phoenix is a WAY-COOL bike and *very* smooth on the highway!
On Magnolia - if I exceeded 60 mph, I felt like my teeth were rattling out of my head - but Phoenix is so smooth, I can hit 90 mph (Shhh! Don't tell my mom, okay?) and not even realize it! The downside is: Phoenix is *very* low and SUCKS on the twisties (can't tell you how many times I've scraped the floorboards!)
For now (much to Roger's dismay), I've opted to keep *both* bikes. Kinda like having your mondo-huge (and "practical") SUV (or Winnebago!) - and your *very* fun (very STIFF) Sportscar!
Depending upon the kinda riding we've got planned, I've got my choice of bikes!
Over the course of my riding years, I developed a habit of chronicling our adventures for NavyJohn (who, at the time, was stationed on an aircraft carrier in Japan). Our adventures came to be known as Vicarious Biker Thrills - or VBT's for short. NavyJohn (a *very* good friend whom I've lost contact with since all this bullsh*t started in Iraq - As of Sept '04, he's back!!!! Yayyyy! And as of Sept '05, he's disappeared again - Booooo!!!) was a very appreciative audience, and often referred to me as "Hunter S. Nan." My hope (More "Promises, Promises!" I know!) is to edit some of the VBT's down and post them here. Actually, I *am* a pretty good writer (stated humbly!) - so I don't mind sharing!
I just need to take the time to remove all the esoteric references - but I *swear* I'll post 'em!!!
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