by Linda W. Curtis
Not being a spring chicken, the first time I tried to get onto my husband’s Harley as a passenger, it was an ordeal of the clumsy sort. My approach was all wrong. Jumping on one foot along side of the Harley, I struggled to lift my right leg high in ballerina style to place over the seat.
Husband, who was patiently waiting astride his seat, both feet anchored, said, “There’s a peg for you to put your left foot on.” Sure enough, it was there. So I put my foot on the peg and hoisted myself by pulling on his jacked collar, nearly strangling him. “For Pete’s sake, woman, don’t hang on me to get on.”
So, ok, I get it. I grabbed his seat rest instead to hoist myself but this time managed to wedge my boot on the passenger seat and couldn’t move, stalled, and the bike was then off-balance.
“For Pete’s sake, hurry up, you’re tipping us over.” I retracted my self and backed down again. Husband was not happy. I thought then of an old western movie where the hero took a running leap onto his house. So I took that bounding leap and almost knocked husband and bike over. He screamed and then said, “Can’t you just get on?”
Well, I would have liked to just get on, but it took more agility than I apparently had. However, with wiggly moves and grunting noises, I made it.
The worst was over, I thought, as we Harleyed around enjoying the morning. Then, husband pulled into a restaurant parking lot, right in front of a plate glass window with three booths filled with people watching. Oh, no. Husband cut the motor, placed his feet securely to anchor the bike and said, “Get off.”
The restaurant patrons watched with interest at my inept attempts to struggle off. I put my left boot on the peg, and lifted my right leg only to have it wedge at the knee on the seat. I was trapped midway. Although husband was shouting, I had to wrap my arms around his head for leverage to dislodge myself and begin again. I could see his facial anguish in the window reflection. “Can’t you just get off?”
The watchers inside the window were now smiling, but most placed one hand along their face as if to shade their eyes, probably to ease my embarrassment. I finally lowered one leg on the ground and hopped backwards with my right leg straight until off the seat. We walked rider -style into the restaurant, a saunter that means your butt is sore. I still was embarrassed and wore my helm and managed to eat by raising my face shield slightly. This was a true lesson in humility.
copyright © 2014 Linda Curtis, botanist