Saying goodbye to an old friend?

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The husband disappeared for a few hours yesterday and since him being quiet is usually dangerous, I investigated.

After searching the house, grounds and barn to no avail, I found him in the garage… where he’d pulled out one of our motorcycles.

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It’s a Kawasaki 1500 Vulcan which we used to ride all the time. Or rather, as much as Maine weather would allow. We bought our first bike back in the 90’s when we lived in North Carolina. Much longer riding season there, though I did hate wearing a helmet.

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We’ve had a parade of different bikes over the years, like this custom Harley the husband just had to buy …

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You know, the one that’s currently covered, buried in the back of the garage and collecting cobwebs.

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We’ve enjoyed them all and have toured New England from the mountains to the coast.

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We’ve taken scenic day trips and hit the annual rallies. Down south it was Myrtle Beach, up here it was Laconia.

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Where parking can be a wee bit tight.

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We’ve done countless charity rides and poker runs.

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And supported the Toys for Tots Run every September.

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Hundreds of big bad bikers…

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Coming together to make Christmas morning a little brighter for underprivileged children.

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Yes, that’s Senator Angus King. He was Maine’s Governor for years and rode with us quite often.

We’ve loved our bikes and enjoyed riding for decades.

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But in 2017 my husband had triple bypass surgery and things changed. It’s a dramatic as well as life altering procedure which I don’t recommend. Not one little bit. The recovery was a long emotional roller coaster and though he eventually came through it, physically he wasn’t the same man. He lost a lot of weight, which was good…. but a lot of muscle mass went with it. Motorcycles be heavy. So the bikes were covered and garaged.

Oh, we took them out now and then… but just for short cruises. And in the past 2 years? Nothing. Nada. Not one single ride. To be honest my knee injury makes it uncomfortable, but mostly it’s just getting to be too much. My husband is 75 and I’m fine with him hanging up the leather. Last year I suggested selling the two we have left and buying a sweet little convertible…. but he’s having a hard time letting go.

Aging is hard. And admitting you might have physical limitations for a retired Marine? Even harder. I understand, and don’t push. But when I went out to the garage and found him washing and polishing the Kawi I was hopeful.

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He asked about the registration sticker not being current and said we’d have to renew it if we planned on selling her.

Saying goodbye is a process.

This might be the first step.

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40 thoughts on “Saying goodbye to an old friend?”

      1. I’m thinking it’s more like “Dangerous? What’s that?”
        I’ve never had a motorcycle, though I wanted one. If I was to get one, I would like a Norton Commando but, failing that, the Harley in your post would do nicely. Even I have to agree that sixty one is probably a bit past time to start. I see lots of bikes because you have to ride past my house to get to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Honda Gold Wings, as well as anything with a stereo, a cigarette lighter or forty pounds of fiberglass, don’t interest me. Any amount of chrome, however, is acceptable.
        I’m not gonna tell you how to write your blog. I will, however, say that a long post, or a series of them, chronicling your life on two wheels would be a great read.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I used to post about every big ride we took, but that in the Blogster and Multiply days. You kind of make me wish I’d made copies now. And if you’ve lived in your house more than 19 years? You probably saw us cruise by. We did the Blue Ridge many times. Gorgeous ride.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow. Transitions like this are complex, and I can’t imagine what’s going on in his head/heart. Admitting that one chapter of our lives is over is emotional.
    So thankful that you both have so many good memories together on those bikes, but I think a sweet convertible might be the place to make new ones.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Nothing is as simple as you think it’ll be. I’d be emotionally invested in that motorcycle too. Yet when it’s time to bid it farewell, you’ll have done right by it. Still… condolences.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My wife and I have sporting equipment from our younger days we’ll never use again. I think we keep it just because it reminds us of our younger i.e. healthier times. It is a transition, but those riding memories are good ones to have as consolation.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Everything (good and bad) has a beginning and an end, I have learned. One of the downsides of living a long life is realizing the endings of enjoyable things from our youth that we just can’t do anymore. I’ve seen many of my friends and family have to go through this and I’m starting to go through it as well. I wish I could say it makes room for more fun stuff in the future but we know that’s not the case. Still, I’d rather this than have my life cut short while I still could do “all the stuff”. Good luck to your hubs with “the process”, Rivergirl.

    Deb

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s sad saying goodbye to a bike. I sold mine when I moved to New England. I took it out in the spring, dumped it in an intersection that hadn’t yet been cleared of winter sand. Then when I started riding with the folks on the roads around here (I bought the bike in Seattle, where mountains were close).I decided to hang it up.

    No need to be sad, it was a Honda 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s a beautiful bike, and I’m sure the memories you all made on it are as well. And I get that it’s hard to let go of stuff that made you happy at some point in your life. It’s also saying goodbye to things we can’t do anymore. You all looked happy as hell in those pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There are little things about getting old that people don’t know and/or understand–they understand about heart surgery but not what that entails in one’s every day life which is why I want to slap someone when they age is only a number or you are only as you feel—both are BS!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If you have Amazon Prime you might enjoy the multi-part travelogue called Himalaya Calling. It follows 2 German motorcyclists making their way through Central Europe and China to India. It’s really interesting and fascinating to see how they handle some of the unimproved “roads” in very remote areas. Scratches the travel itch and, I presume, the motorcycle itch.

    Liked by 1 person

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