June 6, 2022 – Riding Motorcycles

My oldest brother weighed around 220 pounds, most of his life. He saw himself as a “motorcycle rider” but he only ever had a 125 Vespa as far as I know.  He loved that thing.

He drove it everywhere until I blew the clutch out coming down a hill too fast in neutral and shifted into first gear instead of fourth. Sorry brother.

We lived out in the country so the rules and laws of decent civilization, were seldom enforced. I learned quickly from those opportunities.

I hunted often for rabbits when I was a youngster with my .22 long rifle without parental oversight.

My neighbors saw me out in the fields and on the dirt roads and knew that I was a free range child.

They gave me chances to do things that most boys my age would never get. One of those chances came when my mechanic neighbor yelled at me from his yard to “come over right now.” He had had a few beers, I think.

I walked past his 1932 bright orange Chevy dragster with a straight front axle and giant rear slicks and asked, “What’s up Bob?”

He smelled of grease and smoke.

He waved his hand at his pride and joy from his dirty old chair that he always sat in when he was in his tool filled garage and offered me his 250 BSA to ride at twelve years of age, with a wink and sly smile.

“Do you want to take my baby out for a run?”

He thought I might refuse the offer. He was wrong.

“Hell yes,” was my instant reply.

My neighbor saw me on my brother’s scooter and thought that I had the skill set for a larger bike but wasn’t sure if I had the courage to match. He was right about my skills and I was unafraid and unwise due to my youth.

“No helmet needed,” I said as I kicked the large bike to life.

Luckily Bob lived on a little hill and the pitted driveway sloped down and away to the Star Route 74, the main highway from Oceanside to Fallbrook back in the day. His yard was left in its natural state. That is to say that he never mowed it or cleared it and it had turned to tall grass and weeds.

I rolled down the driveway and up to the road, looked to my left and quickly pulled on the back on the throttle and released the clutch at the same time before I lost my momentum. The road was clear as far as I could see, as always.

I left the driveway in front of a massive cloud of dust and turned right quickly with a little slide and and loud roar of the powerful engine. I headed for the San Louis Rey bridge where I planned on making a u-turn.

I went through the four gears smoothly and hit seventy in a few seconds with water rolling out of the corners of each of my young hazel eyes.

I had no license of course and no permit either, but I had a motorcycle between my legs and I was on my way.

I made it to the bridge and made my u-turn back to my young child’s life, but I would never be the same. That bike felt like a part of me as I hunched down and sped back to my neighbor’s house. 

“Great job R.C. I didn’t think you’d take me up on the offer.” “Any time Bob,” I answered.

My parents were never the wiser. They were busy working as always.

If you liked this story, you’ll love my other personal stories here on my website and my novels on Amazon.

Don’t miss, “A shot in the dark” here on my website.

The first Monday of August I return to Malaineys Grill to compete against all of the monthly winners of the six minute true storytelling event. It should be fun.

Watch the fun six minute video on my Instagram at R.C. Hand.

Thanks and be nice to each other.