A few evenings back my wife, Lori Beth, and I were preparing tee shirts to be shipped. I had printed the labels and Lori was stuffing the envelopes and the packages. It was getting to be late and my type II diabetes was beginning to talk to me. I mentioned a few times that I needed to get something to eat. She was focused on her task.
“It’s almost eight o’clock.”
“I don’t want to interrupt what I’m doing.”
“Did you want me to just go get something by myself?”
“Sure. You go get something to eat.”
It has come as a surprise to me that people don’t always mean exactly what they say. I went out, mounted my machine, and rode away to dinner. I chose the Spin Neapolitan Pizza. I eat there quite a lot. I’m more interested in the people around the meal than in the food that is served. That having been said, I tend to order the exact same meal almost every time.
This evening I ordered a light dinner, a cup of minestrone soup and a Sonoma salad. Diagonally across from where I was seated were some seven or eight ladies apparently out on a girls’ night. I learned later they were celebrating a birthday for one of the ladies. I took my time eating a casual meal. I considered adding a chocolate gelato for dessert but chose not to do so.
As fate would have it, when I got up to go the ladies were also finished and leaving. When I was walking to the door a few of them were still inside and some were already outside and conversing around the doorway. My bike was parked just outside and making my way toward it I overheard just a couple of comments.
“Yes. Yes, it is.”
“That’s what I thought.”
I mounted the bike and one of the girls called out to me, “Hey, could we get a picture with you?”
One of the ladies, the birthday girl as it turned out, came over to stand next to me and a few of the girls prepared their cameras to take a picture.
“We tried to get her to put on the helmet.”
“Sure. That’s not a problem.”
“Oh! Could I?”
“Sure.” I picked the helmet off the right mirror and handed it to her.
“Is this right?”
“Yes. The bill goes in front.”
“There’s no passenger seat.”
“It’s a solo bike. It’s the first solo I’ve owned. It’s not that I carry a passenger very often but I do like to have the option.” The birthday girl leaned into me and we posed for the picture.
There were several pictures taken and then I fished out my own pocket computer/phone/camera. I handed it to the nearest lady that had taken the picture.
“Oh! He wants a picture of all of us.”
Before I knew it there were four of them gathered around me with the rest holding up their phones to record the moment.
“We love your bike. That’s creepy isn’t it?”
“No. Not at all.”
That exchange actually occurred a few times over the next few minutes as we talked about motorcycles and stuff. In a short while the group of ladies headed down the sidewalk to a place where they could continue to celebrate and I donned my equipment and rode away.
I have become somewhat accustomed to getting a lot of attention over the custom bike from young men and other motorcycle riders but it was the first time I have been the recipient of such attention from a group of ladies, at least the first time in recent years.
I was part of the way home before I put together a couple of the comments. Trying on the helmet and noting there was no passenger seat. She had wanted a picture of herself on the bike and I had not provided that for her. Sometimes I’m a little slow on the uptake.
It’s good to ride. It is actually good to get affirmation and acclamation for what I ride. It’s good to feel the wind.
When I got home Lori Beth was a bit upset that I had gone off to eat alone. Apparently my correct response would have been to turn down the suggestion to do so and wait around until she was ready to depart. I chose to wait until another time to share my adventure with her.