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In the high-pressure major-responsibility career that I am living I have grabbed on to a few activities where my mind can detach from the weight of leadership. One of those relief moments was climbing aboard the Silver Dragon and roaring down the pavement of a quiet road. But the days of motorcycle riding have come to a close in my life.
The harnessed power of a powerful 1600cc 70hp perfectly blended highly tuned machine was as slick a ride as I have ever enjoyed. It felt good, looked great and handled like a professionally trained quarter horse handling range chores. A simple twist of the throttle and the ribbon of asphalt would turn into a blur under my feet.
I remember long rides in the beautiful state of Michigan that soothed my soul. Good friends would share a day ride or an annual pilgrimage to a distant destination to fill up our memory albums and deepen our friendships. Facing threatening storms, surprised by stunning vistas and laughing over silly adventures bonded us for life.
The entire United States and Canada were fair game for our annual ride. We would invest our personal vacation time and be drawn toward adventures with good friends. Cameras were a must to record great stops and memorable introductions to places that others could only dream.
It was the open road and the constant testimony of God’s creation that enveloped each of us into His watchful care. Safe miles and final destinations marked each year with splendid rides and moments of serenity from demanding jobs. Motorcycling was a sheer delight.
Now, my doctors agree that my body can no longer safely negotiate the rigors of motorcycle riding. Even if these learned physicians did not collectively give me the diagnosis, my aching back reminds me each time I try to throw a leg over the saddle of my trusty stead. When the traffic light turns read or a massive 18 wheeler slams on its brakes, my body wrenches in trained response but my back screams out in agony.
The Silver Dragon has been a fantastic ride since 2007. It was my dream bike. Each time that I polished this gleaming combination of glistening paint and generous chrome, I sensed the joy and pride of ownership.
She made me proud. Each ride filled me with satisfaction. Our friends along the way will always be buddies for life.Thank you and farewell, good machine. May your future miles be smooth.
Have you ever had to say such a sad farewell to something so special? Life moves on and sometimes we have to simply accept that seasons come to an end, don’t we?
photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography