Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A Passing, of Sorts

Erma, my daughter-in-law, stopped by yesterday with her nephew Matthew in tow. Erm was on a mission, as it’s said. The Mission: pick up SN1’s “new” bike and haul it back to Salt Lake City (Layton, actually. But if I said “Layton,” you’d say “Hunh?”), by way of Albuquerque. Her visit was brief; we caught up a bit while Matthew and I muscled the bike into the back of SN1’s pickup, which was harder than it sounds, due to the fact that SN1’s pickup sits about, oh, four feet off the ground. I exaggerate, of course, but it was a bit of a lift and we had no ramp. No matter; it’s a small bike. And Matthew’s a big boy! Matthew and I secured the bike in the back of the truck, I passed the key over to Erm, we said our good-byes and she was gone. Fifteen minutes, tops. Short, but sweet!

So. I am bike-less for the first time since 1978. There have been periods of time when I didn’t ride for quite a while, but there was always a bike in the garage, waiting. And now there’s not. This particular bike, while not a crotch-rocket by any means, nor is it a “looker,” will always be sorta special to me. The bike was special in the sense that we went a lot of places together: it was my sole-source of transportation (aside from the RV) from November of 1999 until October of 2000. We covered a lot of ground during that time: from Upstate NY to Florida’s Panhandle; from Brownsville, Texas to Seattle Washington; all over Yellowstone National Park in very early spring; navigating rush hour in Houston; zooming up the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park; down Main Street in many a small town. Good times.

The bloom was off the rose, however. I hadn’t been on the bike for a year; I just quit riding it, for whatever reason. When SN1 was down to visit last month I told him he could have it if he wanted it. And so that diminutive little Yamaha is now on its way to Layton, even as I write. I do have visitation privileges, though. A few pics:

Bobby (SN3) and the Bike

In Yellowstone National Park

Point Blank! (Texas)

The Rio Grande. Near Brownsville, Texas

Boca Chica Beach. On Padre Island, Texas

And about these pics…as I was going through the photo archives last evening searching for visual material for this post, I was struck by the fact that nearly all my early digital pictures are, uh, crap. It’s a poor workman that blames his tools, and all that, but… It’s amazing how far digital photography has come since I bought my first d-camera in 1998. The resolution, color balance, and creative options of my current Canon PowerShot G5 are simply worlds away from that ol’ Kodak DC-100 grabshot I carried around in 1999 – 2000. But, hey. That DC-100 worked (sorta), and that’s all that counts.

In other news… I’ve been off the news for the last few. Which, come to think of it, is probably a good thing for you, Dear Reader. Worry not. Something will irritate me, or otherwise catch my eye, sooner or later. And then I’ll be back in the pontification business.


  1. From South Padre to Yellowstone National Park and lots more - you lead quite the exciting life. Giving up your bike was probably like I felt when we sold our old Dodge truck. You know it is the right thing to do, but it is like giving up an old friend.

  2. All can take heart...I promise to appreciate this wonderful gift and believe me when I tell you: I can't wait!! Always good to have a bike in the garage!!! Dad and I were actually discussing all sorts of self-abuse and motorcycle riding. Up next (possibly) pics of this bike in San Diego! Although, to be perfectly honest, I have no intentions of riding it ALL the way down there...maybe just the last couple hundred miles or so...
    We shall see...


  3. What the Captain said: Dad and I were actually discussing all sorts of self-abuse and motorcycle riding.

    What the Captain meant: "Dad and I were actually discussing the self-abusive aspects of motorcycle riding." As in, small single-cylinder dual-purpose bikes are a pain in the a$$ to ride for long distances.

    Thought you should know, Dear Reader.

    You're mostly right, Lou. But keeping it in the family ain't exactly giving it up. It's giving up the riding itself I regret most...an admission of defeat, of sorts. Again.


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