Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Laughing in the rain

My buddy, No Problem Pete called around with his little 400 sporty Honda yesterday. I forget the model, but kinda like a CBR 400, an early R45. A Jap import. Cute little bike, 1985, a bargain buy on eBay.

“Take it for a spin”, he said, so I did. Couldn’t go far, as the alternator wasn’t charging the battery, but I couldn’t resist the temptation to run her up the blacktop and back. Haven’t been out on the bike in a few weeks, for various reasons, not one of them being all that good, but there you are. No matter. Got my lid and gloves and off I went in just my workshop overalls under the black rain clouds and soaking wet roads for a quick blast on this cute little number of a bike.

No, not this one, but one very like it.........

You fit in this little bike, as all good bikes, like you were born as a part of it, like you always were a part of it, like you’ve known it for years and not just been introduced. Everything fits, she feels good under you. Feels like she approves of you right off, and you feel just the same. It’s an instant thing. Like women, some bikes are introduced to you, unexpectedly met or whatever, and there is a polite time when you are more than aware you are strangers, but some, oh boy, some feel like they were always around, like you knew them before. Familiar. Comfortable.

Doesn’t happen all that often, but, bike or chick, when it happens it feels real good. Real special, and you know it’s going to be good from the get go. It’s a bang, crash, wallop love thing, and you can’t wait to get together. Wanna forget all the getting–to-know-you protocols, and get stuck right in.

Know what I mean?

If you don’t, I sure hope you get to knowing before you grow old and die, because you can live years out in a few seconds when you gel like magic. I’ve had moments in life when I’d sacrifice all that was to come for another second of it.

This bike felt like that good. We went off, me and this little gem of a bike. She was old by today’s standards, but even so she felt so damn good. Revved clear to the red line at fourteen thousand without a hesitation and would go past it eagerly given half a chance. So light, so small, so agile. Wet roads, old tyres, but she was as eager to please me as could be.

Hungry for me. I felt suddenly alive within yards, and the years dropped away, like they always do when I go down the road on a good bike. Hell, it happens on any bike really, but on something so cute and special, it really kicks in and the world beyond the bike and the road just vanishes. Like magic I’m not fifty-bloody-seven any more. I’m a young greaser on a motorcycle and once again free of the years that age us. The willing engine revved up and I shifted her through the gears in split-second clutchless changes, with barely a slight off and on flick of the throttle.

The old magic returned and I let her run free. She was loving it. What she was created for, what we were born to do together. Slipping off the side of the seat into the bends, wary of the old tyres on the wet road, and hugging the bike up real close, we gambolled together down the road as one in the spray we kicked up behind us. Laughing together at the fun of it all, the world stripped away to the simplicity of the moments flashing by second by second.
The only way I know to be a boy again, at least momentarily, free of all the crap the years have heaped onto my once free and wild spirit.
We hit a huge downpour and I was soaked through in seconds, the rain hurting my naked skin under the thin blue overalls. I was laughing out loud and screwing her open wider, making her wail harder, and she was so alive under me, urging me to whip her harder.

"Harder, big boy, harder, and fuck the rain."

It was real hard to turn her around and go home again.

On her back, I was just a boy on a bike, ....... laughing  in the rain.

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