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Saturday, October 18, 2008


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!


IHG said...

I'm sure it's hard to have to hop on the back again after riding your own for so long. I think to myself all the time...once I get my own I'm never going back.

It was fun reading what you wrote because I find myself doing the same things to entertain myself on trips. And yes...that seat on the Street Glide is super hard on the ass after about 100 miles non stop. That's what my butt was on all the way to Sturgis and back.

Hopefully the road gremlins leave your Glide alone for a while.

Ann said...

I have posted on my blog in the past my tale of woe while riding bitch. I've gotta tell ya...I would have appreciated the Street Glide. I have been riding bitch on a '72 Triumph Bonneville chopper (rigid) and an '88 Sporty for years. My ass is just about done with riding bitch on these bikes!

Now, I will NEVER ride bitch on the Trumpet again. I'm done with rigids. But once my Caveman put a different sissy bar on the Sporty, I was much more comfortable. After that long run we did on Saturday/Sunday last week, I had no pain at all in the hips and knees, and my butt was only a little numb!

I still can't wait to ride my own up front, though!

Hope those gremlins didn't cause too much havoc with your baby! :)

Willy D said...

No self respecting biker should ever have to ride in that terrible rear seat position. Hope your ride leaves the hospital soon.
A change in meds will stop those shadows from waving back.

Allen Madding said...

not much will tighten you up more than a deer in the middle of the road. Glad y'all made it home safe!


fasthair said...

Ms. Lady R,

As I'm reading along and get to the night fall my first thought was deer. Sure enough there they are, just like I was riding next to you folks.

I don't know if I could ever ride on the back seat. I've only done it a few times in my life and every time I can feel myself trying to control the bike, leaning all wrong an screwing up the driver. I would have to learn "are you done screwing around back there yet?" that I say to antsy passengers.


Lady R (Di) said...

IHG... you can never say never! I'll hop on the back of Harley's bike in a heart beat if I want to enjoy a few beers. I always laugh when I say, "I don't have my drinking and driving license yet." LOL! I love to ride my own, but I won't drink and ride. Sometimes, if we're just going to bar hop, and hang out, riding bitch can make for a wonderful day!

BTW... I went and got my old girl Friday. Sweet! She runs like a dream. I may post about my improvements. We'll see.

ann... Let me bow down in humble adoration at the iron butt queen! I don't know how you do it! I guess I'm old and spoiled. I love riding, but why not be comfortable doing it?

Here's to Ann... one tough ass biker chick!

Willy D... I got her back Friday. We had them put in a Power Commander and got it in tune. They said they did 4 hours on the Dyno machine, and with my Mackie 500 cams, she's running mighty sweet right now!

As far as my shadow friends? Well, let's just say, I saw that stealthy bitch yesterday, and I'll be darned if she wasn't riding her own too! What a Copy Cat!

Allen... who said motorcycles don't come with seat belts. They're just disguised as ass cheeks!

fasthair... not having that control was an adjustment. It's hard to turn off the "up front" attitude. I don't mind on short spurts, but for nice long rides, I'll be on my own as long as I'm able. I had a nice long 200 mile reunion ride with my Glide yesterday. Ahhhh! No gremlins!

Anonymous said...

The very first post I wrote for Jay's blog discussed the topic of riding upfront vs in the back. (You can catch it here if you missed it before http://roadcaptainusa.com/2008/02/08/to-ride-bitch-or-to-ride-my-own/)

I love to ride my own, but it is always nice to hop on the back with my favorite sexy biker every once in a while too. It's funny b/c in our HOG chapter there are many women who ride their own bikes, and every now and again you will see them on the back with their hubbies. One ride we had a few months ago there were actually more women riders than men, and another ride this past spring every woman was riding bitch! Who'd a thunk it?

Glad you got a chance to remember some of the benefits of riding passenger (other than the drinking one)! Ah the memories......

Mr. Motorcycle said...

every time I hear Aerosmith's Back in the saddle again, I'm gonna think of you and this post!

Tighten up those as cheeks!

Lady R (Di) said...

mrs. rc... For some reason, I don't share the same feeling you do as far as riding bitch. I guess I'm too much of my Dad's daughter, (he made sure I was fiercely "independence"). I love my hubby, and I love the fact that we share this passion for riding together, but I would rather be on my own. After this long, it's a more natural comfortable feeling to me, to be up front than on the back.

mr. m... I had that song in my head too! That's okay, I'm getting ready to post another story that will make you think of Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis. (I think I got their name right.)