Monday, September 24, 2007

The motorcycle diary

It's about time I published the full story behind my return to two wheels. Here it comes...
On Friday 9/14 John's car had a bit of a sideways adventure courtesy of a flat tire, wet weather, poor American road design, lack of roadway maintenance and many other factors other than driver error. Unfortunately, the adventure was cut brutally short by a crash barrier. I emerged unscathed and surprisingly exhilarated. Mostly I was happy to have not collected any other vehicles, having traversed two traffic lanes. The other good news is that no friendly state troopers stopped by to decide I deserved a trip to court.

I called Kristal, and she and her housemate Sara came out to pick me up and call a tow truck. This 21 year old comes out, reversing 200 yards up a on-ramp shoulder to reach us, and jumps out of the truck wearing flip-flops. It turns out her ripped a toenail off while riding a quad-bike barefoot, and shoes are too painful. Despite all this, he does a good job of getting my car back to Kristal's place, whereupon Sara (who is a paediatric nurse) jumps into action to re-bandage his toe so he doesn't have to work in flip-flops in the rain. Kristal gets some hot cocoa on th go, and soon the drama of the night is behind us.

I had to go into work on Saturday, so didn't get a chance to take care of my car. In any case, I've had my eyes out for a bike ever since I got my license (well, really since I arrived in the USA!). I took a ride on a BMW F650 but it wasn't really what I was looking for, and had too many problems. On Saturday at work, I found a Honda Nighthawk posted on the Norfolk Craigslist. Having already missed out on some good deals, I immediately fired off an email to register my interest. That interest was piqued when I saw a picture of the bike. I arranged to view the bike straight away. On Sunday, we drove down to a place just outside Williamsburg. The owners of the bike were selling everything to go travel in their RV for a year, so I got a great deal. The bike has only seen 6000 miles in 12 years on the road. It rides exactly how I want: not too sporty, but with enough power to be comfortable on the highway, and unlike American cruisers, it has been designed with some attention to handling.

I'll want to find a windscreen and some luggage for it, then I'll be off on some adventures (in a strictly forwards direction) while the weather is still fine. Kristal has a helmet so she can ride on the back. Pan Am anyone?

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