My love affair with motorcycles started when I was a teenager. I bought my first bike, a 1967 Triumph Bonneville T120 with a 650cc engine, with money I earned mowing lawns and shoveling snow. A year or so later I bought a 750cc Norton Commando. I rode both of those motorcycles everywhere I could until my father caught me riding to high school on snow-covered roads one morning. After that, the bikes stayed in the garage and I drove my car until spring.
Over the years I’ve had all kinds of motorcycles, my last one being a beautiful Yamaha V Star 1100cc. It was probably the best motorcycle I ever owned, and I loved it. But after ten years of not riding, then switching to a much bigger bike than I was used to, and several million fools texting as they are driving down the highway, I decided that it was time to hang up the helmet.
But that last motorcycle did lead to some fun and games. This was during our fulltime RVing days, and we were going to spend a week or so in Quartzsite, Arizona, the Mecca for RVers every winter. Before going to Quartzsite, we stopped for a week or so to visit with some friends along the way. Among them were Smoky and Pam Ridgeley, and when Smoky saw the bike he said he had the perfect accessory for it. He went inside their fifth wheel and came back with a do rag decorated with big white stars, with long gray “hair” sewn inside it. When I saw that thing on, I just knew I was going to get some laughs out of it.
I can’t tell from this picture if Miss Terry is saying, “that’s the man I love” or “what the hell am I doing with this idiot?”
I started losing my hair when I was overseas in the Army, and anybody who knows me knows that I’m pretty much bald. At that time, we were carrying the motorcycle on a rack on the back of our MCI bus conversion, and before we pulled into a camping area in Quartzsite where a bunch of Escapees RV club members that we knew had gathered, I made a point of putting the do rag on. To say I got some odd looks from people we knew would be an understatement.
I wore the skullcap for the rest of that day, and while we were sitting around a fire ring with a bunch of people that evening, I overheard someone behind me saying, “What’s up with Nick? He bought a motorcycle, and he now thinks he’s a Hells Angel or something?”
I didn’t let on that I heard him, but the next morning I saw him walking his dog on a leash past our bus, and I went outside without the do rag to say good morning to him. He stopped and stared at me and asked, “Where’s your hair?” I told him that I had heard what he said the night before and that I didn’t realize I was making a spectacle of myself, so as soon as we got back to the bus, I had Terry cut it all off.
That poor guy started apologizing up, down, and sideways, saying he didn’t mean any offense, and I kept telling him no, he did me a favor. I didn’t want people laughing at me behind my back. That just made him apologize more, and I really felt sorry for him. But not sorry enough to let him off the hook.
I waited until later in the day when he was sitting on his lawn chair soaking up some sunshine, and I put the do rag back on and walked over to talk to him. He stared at me with a confused look on his face, and then it hit him, and he called me a few names that I would have taken offense to if we were drinking in a bar. Well, not in a biker bar, but you know what I mean. We all got a good laugh out of it, and that was pretty much the end of my biker phase. I gave the do rag back to Smoky, and just the other day, his wife Pam told me they still have it somewhere. I wish I had it, because I could still get some fun out of that thing.
Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an RV camping journal donated by Barbara House. Barbara makes several variations of these, and they all have pages where you can list the date, weather, where you traveled to and from that day, beginning and ending mileage, campground information including amenities at RV sites, a place for campground reviews, room to record activities, people met along the way, reminders of places to see and things to do the next time you’re in the area, and a page for notes for each day. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with U.S. addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.
Thought For The Day – If you have an issue, get a tissue.