Zen .. and the art of ……
Friday lads .. lovely init. Thought I would give you a ‘nice fuzzy’ to get the weekend started.
I don’t know why I wanted to buy a bike. I just knew I wanted one. Mum of course was against it, but strangely Dad backed me up, and I was allowed to get one. I was 14 going on 15, and that’s the age you needed to be to get your licence in New Zealand. It never entered my mind to get my car licence first.
Like a lot of guys my generation, I’m a bit farked up (no kidding ..hahaha), when it comes to my old man. Ya see, he’s from the generation where you just don’t tell people you love them. As he would say ‘Ah, ya bloody dickhead, you know I farkin do, what do I need ta say it far’ …. Just imagine that in a strong scottish accent lads and your onto it.
His nickname for me, is dickhead. I can’t think of a time when he has ever called me David, or Dave. Still, he’s the farkin business and I reckon if I’m half the man he is when my time is up, I’ll be all right.
Anyway, he backed me up, and we went to the local bike shop one morning to check them out. You just have some memories that will never fade, and this for me is one of them. It’s 1985 lads. The ‘next big thing’ is a VF500F, it was fully faired, water cooled and a v-four, and they had it on a stand at head height …. It was something else. There was also CBX400F’s .. I think that’s what they were called, and I thought those were just brilliant too.
Still, this was not what I needed. It had to be sub 250. The old man, he wanted me to get a road bike, but no, this was not the image I had in my mind of what a bike was all about, and we both compromised on a Honda XL125S, second hand. Couldn’t tell you how many owners, or how many k’s it had done. I just know it was mine and paid the deposit from my own hard earned dollars.
I couldn’t ride it of course … I didn’t know how … just bought it on the spot. It was wheeled onto the shops trailer and delivered later that day.
Long story short, Dad and I are outside, and the bikes on it’s side stand, and Dad’s explaining the clutch and brake and gear and stuff, and it’s all going over my head but it sounds farking wonderful. He starts it up and he goes round the block, and he’s got this daft grin on his face when he gets back … and says “Well go on then, you wanted it, ya better ride the bloody thing”.
So I get on, shit .. It was tall. I pull in the clutch, and put it in gear, the green light for neutral goes out, and I slowly release the clutch lever …. And I’m moving, I’m actually riding the thing …. I had a go-cart before, that Dad and I built together, and he let me have a go in the car on his lap when I was real small … but THIS was different.
Where we lived, the street was called a cul de sack … which is a huge bloody round about, with a park in the centre, and only one way in and out. I went all the way round in first gear. As I came past Dad I was signalling to him if I should change up, and he was nodding like one of those dogs you see in the parcel trays of Nissan Sunny’s.
So I try it … and I get my first ever ‘neutral’ .. I look down and see the green light … so I try and change into second again .. and again .. and again … and I’m still fixated on this green light ….. finally I get second .. then I realise I haven’t looked up for a while …. So I do, and I’m heading straight for a parked car …..
If you have read Twist of the Wrist …. You will note I experienced about 7 of his 10 ‘Survival Reflexes’ moments…. Target fixation, stiff arms, clenched hands .. you name it. Result .. the bike accelerated, I fell back, twisting the accelerator more, which pushed me back more ……. And I kept going where I was looking, straight at the parked car.
I hit it doing about 40 kph. My left foot peg caught the rear bumper. I went over the handle bars (still didn’t let go till my arse hit the front wheel), and ended up beside the car, on my arse. The car owner saw it all and came running over to see if I was ok. The old man walked over, said something like “Dickhead, if you want keep riding, don’t tell your mum about this” then proceeded to check to see if the guys car was ok. I sat there feeling like a complete idiot, but still couldn’t remove the massive massive smile from my face.
My first big ride, shortly after getting it was into ‘town’. A 35 plus kilometre ride, to go see my mum at her work. I can remember this like it was yesterday. The freedom of being able to get there, on my own, under my own power. This trip took me on the motorway for the first time, and I remember all the cars, lanes everywhere, and trying to find turnoff’s. Somehow I made it there. The ride back was just as much fun. Mum was amazed I did it, Dad expected no less.
If I think about it, I can remember so many other moments like this…..with bikes … and with my Dad.
I’m sure more than a few of you are wondering what the hell Legend is on about now. Well, I’ve been having some fun with the R1 forum guys (they are lifeless idiots) and it got me thinking about our club, you lot, and the fun I’ve had over the last 8 months or so because of it.
Something as simple as a 1982 Honda XL125S gave me a lot of memory’s of my Dad and me just hanging out together. That was his way of showing me he loved me.
Since joining this club I’ve experienced my first ever track day, and my first ever bike race, and at the end of them, when I got off my bike, I’ll bet I looked just like I did after that first ever ride.
My old man is still around. He has come close to actually telling me he loves me a few times. He won’t be with me forever and that is a painful thought. I do know though, that as long as I have bikes in my life, I’ll be able to remember that day when I first rode one … and I’ll be able to remember my old man.
It’s ironic that when you’re young you can’t wait to get older, and when you finally do, you realise that you knew what life was all about all along, you had all the answers …. a long long time ago. Life is not anywhere near as complicated as some would make out.
It’s about the people your lucky enough to hang out with.
Last edited by Legend; 11-29-2002 at 12:32 AM.