Monday, July 7, 2014

Been there, Done that

Bill used to own a motorcycle, back in his earlier days, late 70's early 80's. It was a 1980 650 Yamaha.  I don't have a picture of him with it so posted this one instead. Vavavoom! The point of this is that apparently, once you have owned/rode

a two wheeler with this kind of power, you can't go back to life fully, without an itch to ride again. It was always in the back of his mind that he'd like another bike some day.

I had only ridden on the back of one (maybe two) in my life and they weren't that memorable for me. There was no real itch for me until................on the side of the road one day in 2005, on a co-worker's front lawn sat a nice looking blue Honda Goldwing 1000, 1979. Asking price $1200. Hmmmm. I told Bill about it and lo and behold he started scratching the itch. It was certainly a price that we could afford and once we discovered that this bike was considered a classic, and that the insurance was a mere $240/year, we bought it.

This was a new experience for me and so I was a bit fearful and stiff for the first few rides. After all, this was a big honkin' bike! 750 lbs without us on it. It didn't take me long to trust that my husband knew what he was doing and could handle the Wing very capably and professionally. I relaxed and soon we were taking short trips in cool evenings and longer trips on hot summer days. Our first year, without official bike gear, we had helmets, regular winter gloves, snow pants and winter coats. We must have looked a sight! I discovered early on that I did not enjoy riding when it was cool because I would freeze and come home an unhappy rider, chilled to the bone.
Not only did we like to ride, but our cockapoo was small enough that he got to tag along with us. His crate very easily fit onto the trunk and he was secured down but good! 
Clemson didn't care where he was basically, as long as he was going where we were we put on his goggles and into the crate he eagerly went. Our first and only big trip was to Montgomery, New York for a week during the hottest June week in 2007. Or maybe it was remembered so easily because we were decked out in leather chaps, jackets, gloves, boots and of course helmets. Yes, we had decided that we were going to do this bike thing right and safe!
The home of  OCC (Orange County Choppers)

As we rode through Letchworth State Park in 32C weather, we changed our tune. Still safe, but without the chaps and jackets. Clemson was the cool cat, in all aspects of the word. Look at him! He never touched the goggles as long as he was in his crate but the minute we stopped and set him on the ground, he pawed and pawed and slipped them off easily. Too cute! My son just had to buy him a leather collar with spikes after that!

At Letchworth.
Below is our ride to Port Dover in 2007. Riding with friends, before our bike broke down in Simcoe. We weren't all smiles then. We had to leave the Wing parked for the day and we hopped aboard their bikes to take in the experience. Sad, but sadder still when we discovered on our return trip that it was a mere electrical shortage. Anyway, it was a fun day and our first day in the crazy town on Friday the 13th!
Since it was an old bike, things broke down on it. We were caught a few times in the heat in a stall (once was our NY trip just lined up at the border) and had to push the monster to get it to turn over. Another time it was a flat tire and a couple of other things that I don't remember......which guaranteed a trip home in a tow truck. Oh yah, I remember that gorgeous young man whom I sat beside in the truck......didn't have an eligible daughter at the time though. Shucks!

We even joined the London Chapter of the Goldwing Club but after a few years of attending meetings, the thrill was gone for me. We couldn't go on the big trips they always talked about and although Bill got a lot of 'free' riding tips and we took in a few evening ice cream runs, we decided to let it lag. Again, the rv'ing had grabbed hold of us and that's what we wanted to be doing instead of riding. 

Bill had taken the time one winter to strip it down, remove all the paint able pieces and take them into a shop for a new paint job. What a great job they did on it and the Honda looked like new! We found a bike radio and a fearing on ebay and had them shipped over from California for Bill to install. Since the bike had tumbled a few times by one or more of the 9 previous owners, the fearing was all banged up and the windshield a bit of a mess. We didn't spend a lot of money on the parts but still we kept an eye on just how much it was costing us. Once we got back into our camping with the new Cougar, the bike was pretty much neglected except as a cheap means of transportation for Bill to go back and forth to work. Filling a tank for $15 was great!

A few years ago, 2011 maybe, something major went on the bike. Bill could tell you exactly what it was but to me it didn't matter. With a repair cost of $1200.........the decision was easy, sad but easy all the same. We posted it on Kijiji and watched a bike enthusiast for older model Goldwings come around with his son and load it on the trailer. They are happy, hence the smiles on their faces!

 We have days that we miss riding, a hot summer day down to Port Stanley along Dexter Line to Port Bruce and even to Long Point was a fun afternoon. But if there was a chill in the air and we had a 30 min. ride ahead of us, you couldn't talk me into going for a spin. We still thought maybe someday we'd get another one.........but now I'm not so sure. 

Rv'ing is the life for me! I don't have to ride behind Bill and peek over his shoulder to see what's going on.  Instead I sit right up there in the front of our truck cab beside my sweetie, holding his hand and watching the view.

Thanks for peeking in today, keep wheelin' no matter how you do it!


  1. I still get the itch to ride again, but will stick with the RV lifestyle, something we both really enjoy.
    Keep having fun.

  2. I'm not surprised, George, it is such a great feeling to be out in the open air with the sun in your face and bugs in your teeth! ;) I preferred my no visor helmet when it was a hot sunny day.