For those of you who follow my blog on a regular basis, you know about my recent string of bad luck with the road gremlins. Well, one of these such occurrences allowed me the pleasure of riding bitch again with my sweetheart of 28 plus years. When my Electra Glide Classic had to stay parked in Panama City, after Thunder Beach, due to a severe gremlin attack. Harley and I loaded up his Street Glide and headed home to Montgomery, which is a nice three and a half hour ride, and I'm... back in... the pillion... again!
I'm instantly pleased to hear Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Double Trouble" CD come blasting out of Harley's speakers and I think to myself, that it will be nice to listen to this while we ride up the road. For the first few miles, I kept peeping around Harley's helmet, trying to see everything that was going on. This is a rider, to passenger, adjustment hazard! It was at that moment, I realized that I need to sit back, and switch gears in my brain to passenger mode. This is hard to do when your used to being in control of your own. I'm sure Harley appreciated it when I quit causing unbalanced wind drag by poking my big melon out around his trying to see what's up front.
Several miles later, it dawned on me, that enjoying the scenery as passenger again had it's definite advantages. It was nice to be able to actually gaze at something pretty as you rode past it, or fixate on a flying bird trying it's best to keep the pace with it's iron adversary. Cotton fields, old barns, curious livestock and the smell of fresh mowed hay filled my senses with a plethora of awareness. The luxury of not having to dart curious glances, between natures beauty and the unforgiving road, was a nice change of pace and reminded me again of our early days of riding together (before I rode my own).
I told you that we had Stevie Ray Vaughan playing in the CD player, and Harley likes his music loud enough to hear it. Before I knew it, I was bobbing my helmeted head, tapping my hands on my knees and really getting into the rhythm of Stevie's "Say What!". After we turned off of Hwy. 231, just past the Florida and Alabama state line, we were on a nice little country road. I realized, after mile or so, I was staring down and gazing at the lines on the highway. Well, as I was fixating on the lines, all of a sudden, it dawned on me, that these lines were keeping time to the music! You know how the "passing allowed" broken lines jump sides, so each lane can have a chance to pass other vehicles? Well, here I am, staring down at the rapidly moving pavement, listening to the music and watching these lines till I'm mesmerized. Line... line... line... line... jump! Line... line... line... line... ect. Every now and then, we come to a spot that does not allow any passing, then it goes something like, line... line... line... jump! Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnneee.
That nice little country road, which is one of our favorite short cuts, spit us back out on Hwy. 231 just north of Dothan. By this time, it was around 6:30 p.m. The sun was to our left, and getting low in the sky, which allowed a perfect angle for shadow riders! I noticed the pesky little followers and watched them jump around a lot, but they never left our side. No matter how Harley adjusted our speed, the shadows riders stayed right on our ass. I kept my eye on them for awhile and I decided to make a gesture of friendliness so they wouldn't keep following us. I tried to wave, but it took a few tries for me to notice the shadow riding bitch wave back. When she did I giggled out loud at what I sight I must have been to other vehicles, riding down a major 4 lane, with my left arm stretched out, trying to make friendlies with the shadow riders. When Harley leaned back to ask me what I was laughing at, I knew this was one of those perfect opportunities to f*#k with him, as he does with me as often as he can. I answered, "I waved at my shadow and she waved back! Woo Hoo!" He just shook his head from side to side in surrender. He often wonders what goes on in my head.
Three and a half hours later, we were only a few miles from home when we turned onto a small county road to complete our journey. It was nearly completely dark by now and we had woods on either side of the road we were on. I was leaning forward to warn Harley to watch for deer, when I saw two of them right next to the road. I couldn't even finish my sentence, "Be careful, there may.... DEER! DEER! DEER!" Harley must have saw them the same instant, because he moved over to the far side of the road and slowed, to give us more room if he needed to maneuver quickly. Luckily, the deer stood frozen until we past. Whew! That'll tighten the ol' butt cheeks!
Since I've become a rider up front, my time riding pillion has been very limited. The seat on the Street Glide is firm and narrow, and proves comfy enough for a fun afternoon of bar hop riding. But, there is a significant difference in those short little jaunts, and a three and a half hour long ride without a nice touring seat under your ass. After sitting on those damn, rear end pressure points for that long, it felt like I was straddling a 2 X 4, and about as soft! Every railroad track or rough patch of road, just magnified the discomfort. When we purchased Harley's Street Glide, we set it up for two up riding, but not necessarily for long distances, whereas my Electra Glide's touring seat was so comfortable, when we would ride double on it, I could almost fall asleep on the back. Harley knew something was up, cause I was getting more squirmy by the mile, trying to get relief to the buns. My being on the back caused his back rest to be more forward than he was used to also, so he was having just as hard a time trying to stay comfortable during our last few miles. We finally made it home, much later than we anticipated, and I hate to admit it but, my ass was more than happy to get off the bike!
This trip home really made me appreciate the fact that I ride my own! I revel in the absence of stress, when I ride, and the joy of being one with the road. Harley supported, albeit a little slowly, my decision to ride my own, and then followed through with constant assistance and advice to get me where I am today. I'm very fortunate to be able to share this passion for riding motorcycles with the love of my life. But, until I get my old broken girl back on the road again, all fixed up from her tangle with the gremlins, I guess I'll be... riding bitch again!