I’ve been spending alot more time working on the Mississippi Trip, but just to let you know that I am still here – here’s an old ‘growing-up’ motorcycle story that might be worth a smile……
My buddy Hobbs never had the best knack when it came to keeping his motorcycle clean and lubricated, his knack was also similar when it came to choosing a girlfriend – as long as he could ride it – this was good enough (and this of course was similar with the girlfriend too).
At the time riding dirt-bikes was our passion – ‘Hobbs owned a pretty powerful dirt bike (MX 250) and one of his girlfriends during this period was named Kay. Kay was new to the area, real spirited and extremely confident; to the point of being cocky. We had only known her a short while, but had yet to find a ‘chink’ in her armor; she was adamant and firm with her demeanor, always – needless to say, riding her new boyfriend’s motorcycle (Hobb’s) was meant to be.
In those years I shared a Pine Manor apartment with Hobbs and another friend ‘Locke,’ the two apartments (a duplex) paralleled each other with a long common area between. One end of this common area was where we parked our cars, and the other end was open, this was our area of frequent conversation, much like southern folks use their front porches. So on this particular Saturday morning during conversation in the common area, Kay interjected her ability and expertise of riding a motorcycle – none of us had ever seen her ride, and being that she was Hobb’s girlfriend; the bike of choice was his.
We all watched intently as Hobb’s pulled his muddy yet powerful enough bike from the rear of the apartment. Too good to wear the nasty helmet that went with it Kay eagerly threw her leg over the bike and settled onto the seat. She then kicked started it with male-like authority and even though the dirt bike lacked proper maintenance, it fired right up. “Rat a tat tat tat,” smoke poured from the exhaust as it idled like a pent-up animal – dried mud fell from both sides. Kay was a picture of oozing confidence, she sat upright with ‘El-Cid’ like posture, arms outstretched to the handlebars – I think at this point we were kind of impressed at Tom’s choice of girlfriend; Might he have picked a winner this time? Kay looked every bit the part of a dirt-rider – I’m sure there was an instant when we each felt like ‘she just might fit in.‘
The bike made a small lurch as she put the vibrating motorcycle into gear; she then idled around the rear corner of the building to turn around. In very short order we heard the motor BRRRUUPPP! and the bike and Kay came bolting around the corner of the building. Just like in a magazine, the motorcycle was on its rear wheel spitting dirt everywhere – an awesome wheelie in motion! We were downright impressed as she never let up on the throttle. It could have looked like the crowd at a tennis match as our heads moved in unison when she roared passed us.
That impressive wheelie lasted from around the rear of our apartment, the distance of the common area, between us, and right onto the hood of Hobb’s parked red Oldsmobile Cutlass.
The motorcycle continued to run as it lay on the ground and Kay with her face bleeding slid from the car like a rag-doll – we all ran for the bike.
The reality of the situation was that the throttle (with no maintenance) had STUCK wide open and when Kay had passed us she was hanging on for dear life; right into the parked car.
After the motorcycle was taken care of Kay was assisted onto a mattress in the rear of Locke’s pickup and taken to the Hospital. I had heard that she suffered no broken bones but can’t confirm this for I never saw her again; I think she moved back to Michigan.
* and we learned Hobb’s secret to having always been such a competitive rider – a sticking throttle!
– A Sea of Rabbits!!
Pine Manor, S Fort Myers @ 1973