Wheels

Step­ping up to a new ride should be a happy event... so why the guilt?

Our Canada - - News - By Ann Casey, Mid­land, Ont.

It has been an ex­cep­tion­ally long and cold win­ter in On­tario. Or is that merely my per­cep­tion due to the sep­a­ra­tion from my first and only love? Each win­ter, I, like so many oth­ers, walk the halls of mo­tor­cy­cle shows and deal­er­ships in an ef­fort to feel a con­nec­tion to our rest­ing bikes. My Kawasaki Vul­can is parked, safe and se­cure, just wait­ing for the highly an­tic­i­pated smell of spring and the al­lure of the open road.

Upon en­ter­ing the hall, I catch my breath as the bril­liant flu­o­res­cent lights cas­cade over the hun­dreds of mo­tor­cy­cles on dis­play at this par­tic­u­lar show. The chrome sparkles as if tiny di­a­monds adorn each bike. My heart quick­ens, blood pul­sat­ing through my veins with the rush of adren­a­line.

I run my fin­ger­tips gen­tly across the sad­dle­bags of a brand-new Suzuki S50, the sweet smell of leather pen­e­trat­ing my nos­trils. I throw my right leg over the seat and grad­u­ally bring my feet to rest on the foot pegs. My hands wrap around the han­dle­bars, gen­tly squeez­ing the clutch and firmly twist­ing the throt­tle. I imagine the roar of the en­gine and feel the gen­tle vi­bra­tion. If I close my eyes, I can see the out­stretched road and in the distance, the twists and turns that are call­ing to me.

I take note of the sales tag in­di­cat­ing that this is a “Show Spe­cial” and that the price is re­mark­ably rea­son­able. The black gas tank with tiny flecks of pur­plish blue is the com­plete op­po­site of my Kawasaki Vul­can, which, over the years, I’ve come to lov­ingly re­fer to as my “Blue Storm.” My mind wan­ders to the happy times spent on my Vul­can, and years be­fore that, on my very first ride, an orange 185-cc Suzuki that I pur­chased used at the age of 19.

I quickly walk away from the sparkling new Suzuki S50, which, in the back of my mind, I am al­ready think­ing of as “Black Beauty.” You see, I’ve been down this road be­fore.

The bus­tle of the crowd, the mo­tor­cy­cle ac­ces­sories dis­played promi­nently at the booths, and the smell of cold pizza are all wel­come dis­trac­tions, but only for a short while. Once again, I

find my­self lost in my thoughts, and my heart lusts for that breath­tak­ing black beauty of a mo­tor­cy­cle. I shake my head to clear away the reverie and re­mind my­self that it is just a few short weeks be­fore I will be re­united with Blue Storm for an­other fab­u­lous sea­son. Alas, I find my­self gaz­ing long­ingly to­wards Black Beauty again. Per­haps just one more look. Up close. As I turn over the flashy sales tag list­ing the specs, I re­al­ize that I’m do­ing the math. The pay­ments are low, the amor­ti­za­tion short, de­liv­ery is free and my hap­pi­ness end­less. Is my love for Blue Storm wa­ver­ing? She has been good to me and I have proudly taken her to places I had never seen be­fore. But it ap­pears that the pull of my heart­strings may be too much for this mo­tor­cy­cle en­thu­si­ast to re­sist. Could it be time? I sup­pose a trade-in could be ar­ranged. Shall I let her go? She would have a new home, and new ad­ven­tures, and some­one new to love her. I can­not re­sist the temp­ta­tion any longer. Pen in hand, I sign the pa­pers.

So, I now have a new love—my Black Beauty, 800 cc’s of per­sonal free­dom. To­gether we will go on ad­ven­tures and ex­plore new roads. I will love her for years to come... un­til next time. Be­cause I know there will al­ways be a next time.

Left: Ann astride her trusty Kawasaki Vul­can, which she even­tu­ally traded in for a brand-new Suzuki S50 (above right), nick­named “Black Beauty.”

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