Goodbye Bike

Almost a year after the accident, I finally sold the motorcycle. To an Apple employee, no less (WebObjects team). Cool guy. At least I know it’s going to a good home. Not sure why it took me so long. It’s been out of the shop for ages. Just couldn’t bring myself to do it, even though I had already agreed that I wouldn’t be riding it anymore. The guy came to check it out last night, test drove. Offered me a fair price, money for the housing fund. Tonight after work I drove it into SF for him (he was a bit nervous).

But when I got on the bike I realized it was just 35 miles shy of turning 10k miles. No way could that opportunity slip through the fingers. Warm summer evening. The final hurrah. Headed the opposite direction from the highway, up into the Oakland/Berkeley hills, straight for the Grizzly Peak ride. Taking it easy at first, hadn’t done any serious riding in a year, slowly building back up toward the old speeds. But not pushing it. Once bitten and all that. Just felt so good, that time of the day when the light is all golden, everyone is inside eating dinner and watching jeapordy and the hills are on fire with sunset light, smell of pines and eucalyptus, distant ocean smell, the twisties all to myself.

Got really contemplative about it. Of course a big part of me wants to keep the bike and enjoy summer on two wheels. And this other part of me, this new part, that knows so viscerally what happens when you blow it once for a split second, and this other part that’s like genetic programming, self preservation for the sake of the kid (the kid is, after all, the rhetoric I used to sell the bike – “gotta do the dad thing.”) Anyway, I made my peace then and there, leaning into a left hander. Enjoy it this once more, and say goodbye. I feel okay with this. It’s fine.

Gassed up for the buyer and timed it just right – 10,000 miles rolled over on the Bay Bridge heading west into the dusk, the sea all purple on either side, summer night sky coming down, getting cooler. Patted the tank and thanked the bike for the life lessons we took in together, and for all the fun. Got kind of choked up. It was good.

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