I shook like a tree in a strong wind the first time I wheeled my Honda 360 Custom motorcycle out of the garage to ride solo. It was a bit bigger and a lot heavier than the one I’d learned on. I wondered if I could pick it up if it ever fell over. It would fall over. The way my life was going, it could happen any minute.
What did I have to lose? Besides my life, that is. I hopped on, kicked it into first gear, gently twisted the throttle, and tasted the freedom and power of riding my own motorcycle for the first time.
We rushed through pockets of cool and warm air – my bike and I. I breathed in the scent of pine and grass and was grateful for my full-faced helmet when we encountered an occasional quick whiff of skunk. We flew around curves and climbed into the hills, past fields and forests. A motorcycle ride is a sensory experience unlike any other. Each bank into a turn is like flying on the ground.
My bike took me over train track bridges, wheels in the air for a few precious nanoseconds of flight followed by the satisfying thump of two wheels firmly on the ground.
We explored side roads, mountain roads and even gravel roads. We discovered a tiny airport with grass landing strips for glider enthusiasts. I’ve flown in one once. All I heard was the flap of the wind in the fabric as the pilot kept us aloft, soaring over German hills dotted with castles. I imagined how it would be to have that silence on the motorcycle. Dreamer.
We came face to face with a stag standing right in the middle of a narrow road leading somewhere. My bike purred, and perhaps it was that sound that mesmerized the majestic creature — head heavy with antlers. We stared at each other for several minutes, neither making a move, until he regally strutted into the woods.
I would drop my bike one day, and pick it up with a great deal of effort; but not until long after the shaking had stopped and the fear was gone.
My bike and I weren’t alone on those rides. God was with us. Each time I took one of the kids along, God was there, too. I imagine He enjoyed each ride as much as I did, and one day, He’ll be the One I see, face to face. He says so, in Psalm 84:5-7.
“And how blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become roads you travel; they wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks, discover cool springs and pool brimming with rain! God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and at the last turn – Zion! God in full view!” (The Message)
That’s one ride I’ll be happy to take.