Thrill of a Motorcycle Ride
I have never been the adventurous one especially when it comes to transportation. I may be a prude but I kinda relish the idea of having four wheels underneath my two feet and plenty of sheet metal just in case I happen to crash. It could be my first experiences on motorcycles made me leery of any motorized vehicle that only has two wheels. For Christmas this year my grandsons received those little electric motorcycles and are enjoying riding them but as I looked over the one that came this week to my son's barber shop which he had assembled earlier in the day, I couldn't help but reminisce about my first experience at riding motorcycles.
I had been working for my uncle shortly after high school helping install a metal roof on a barn in what is now a gated community in our county. I didn't own a car so in order to get to and from work each day I would hitch hike. On this afternoon I had walked about a half a mile when a relative came by riding a motorcycle. "Want a ride, he asked as he came to a stop. "Sure do." I replied as I climbed on behind him happy I wouldn't have to walk the next 5 miles to my house in the mill village. I didn't know he was about to scare the living wits out of me as he took off in first gear with a jerk that almost left landing on my backside onto the pavement. We rounded the big curve known as the "top of Blue Ridge" where Jack McAbee's fruit stand was formerly located and the kickstand on the bike was scrubbing the pavement.When I got off the bike at the Community Store and our local Post Office, I was trembling, thanking the Good Lord above and my cousin Boots for the ride happy I was still in one piece. My next experience wasn't any better of an experience.
I was working in the cotton mill third shift and we always stopped at our local restaurant, Freeman's Lunch drinking coffee before going to work. We were enjoying our coffee and listening to country western music on the juke box when another cousin of mine stopped to show off his new Harley-Davidson. Now I didn't know much about motorcycles but this was the Cadillac and Mother of all motorcycles. "Come on out here, Ballard, he said and I'll give you a ride." I could see he only had one helmet but he told me,"You won't need one, it's like riding in a car on this baby." It was then I smelled beer on his breath.
I gave in and soon we were on the road. The ride was smooth and we went over the road about 3 miles through an area known locally as the Davis Place where drag races by the locals was held on Friday and Saturday nights. the stretch on road was a good quarter mile drag spot. When I looked over my cousins shoulder at the speedometer we were cruising at 80mph. I just hoped I survived the trip back to Freeman's in one piece.
Fortunately for me we made in just fine but I vowed then I would never again get back on a motorcycle with him or any other person. I hope my grand kids enjoy their new toys and learn all about safety on two wheels.
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