Sad day today for me, yet jubilant day for another. After nearly seven years, almost forty thousand miles, many dozens of charity rides, and literally tens of thousands of curves, the Mistress has left the garage for the last time. Backing her down the driveway and putting the ol’ girl on the sidewalk to bask in the sun one more time was a little tough.
Fueled up and ready to go...
It’s a machine made of cold steel, plastics, wires, fiberglass, and leather. Building attachments to such an inanimate object sounds stupid…but the memories the Mistress provided for all these years will never be forgotten. I vividly remember the anticipation as I stood at the dealership to pick her up…the virgin machine waiting for the owner to mount it and ride her into the wind. The dark blue pearl beauty only got prettier as many thousands of dollars of chrome and aftermarket accessories found their way to adorn her majestic being…and bringing about many, many compliments and words of envy from many strangers during those fuel-ups or rest stops we occasionally found ourselves at together.
The look of concern on my mother’s face was unforgettable when she first saw it due to the size of the beast…but she never said a word about it and simply always wished me a “be careful” whenever I went out on it. My mom lived here for the last several years of her life as she fought one illness after another, and we had lots of good conversations when I’d reminiscence about the latest journey the Mistress and I had taken together.
The many miles for charitable causes. Helping raise funds for the local animal shelter, domestic violence victims, the various cancer and multiple sclerosis causes, and helping children and families in need. Can never forget escorting the 9/11 World Trade Center beams to their new home or running presents to the so many deserving children at the local children’s hospital.
The Blue Ridge Parkway was tackled multiple times, as were world famous roads like The Dragon and the Cherohala Skyway. She’s towed camping gear down south and taught me the world of going into the woods to find a campsite. We did the 25th anniversary of Rolling Thunder in Washington DC together with some of our riding acquaintances and with two million other people who took some time out of their lives to pay homage to those that served…and those that never came home. Her old POW/MIA plate now hangs on my Vstorm, lest we forget that freedom comes with a heavy price.
We were together in 100 plus degree heat…and in the freezing cold. There were days that the thunderstorms were so bad I could barely see past the front tire…for hours….many miles from home. Some of the world’s largest potholes were surmounted by the Harley yet she never allowed me to lose my grip of her. Even in those times that bad gas went through her veins, she still always managed to get me through that next desired mile.
In all those years, she never left me stranded. Sure, we had some rough times…but she always limped me to the nearest dealer when she had to get me somewhere safe. The Mistress always safely got me back home…even when other bikes might not have. In my eagerness to push riding limits, the bike always found a way to make that next curve at impossible angles and speed and bounce back up to be leaned into the next one immediately afterwards.
So yes…a sad day today for me. But a very happy day for a young gentleman named Colin, who worked all day long watching the clock on the wall barely moving, to reach the time in which he could could come over to the end of my driveway and walk over to touch his new machine. My sorrow was quickly replaced with happiness knowing that the Mistress would once again bring immeasurable amounts of joy to somebody that would appreciate her.
Ride safe, Colin. If you find only half the joy that I did with the Mistress, you’ll drop a tear when she leaves your driveway for the last time as well.
Been on many camping adventures...
...and sat next to many a sign for a picture.