Monday, September 9, 2019

Living it up in the Golden Years!

Allen and 'motorcycle Mary' ready to ride.

I didn't always do as I was told when I was sixteen or so! 
Did you? 
Come on, confess, you know you sometimes broke the rules
 when you were a teenager.

My parents always said, "no riding on motorbikes, far too dangerous."
In the 1950's English boys couldn't afford cars, even my parents never owned a car.
But motorbikes were affordable and a good way to get about town, to work, to play!
Girls queued up for a boyfriend with a motorbike, the bigger and snazzier-looking
 the better the bike. . . . . . . 
. . . . . . . . . not necessarily the boy!

My downfall happened on a summer Saturday night when in town with my girlfriends.
 We would walk along the seafront and stop at a coffee bar to listen to the 
jukebox before heading for the last bus home at 11 o'clock.
Motorbikes would line up outside, engines revving, leathers gleaming, extra helmet
 at the ready for a willing pillion rider. Boys with bikes were show offs - I wonder what
 they drive today, or even if they are able to drive today!

With a little cajoling I hopped aboard Mike's bike - he was nice and I'd known 
him a while. His bike was a powerful, brand new, silver Triumph. Before I
 could change my mind, I was holding on tight and we roared off into the night.
Less than a 10 minute exciting ride home. I told him not to stop in front of my
 house but to drop me in front of another house up the road and I would walk down.
All went perfectly. . . . . . . .until the following Monday when my mother heard from
my French teacher, Miss Taylor, a rather dour spinster who shared the house up
the road with her sister. Her serious comment went something like this.
"Mrs. M. . . . . . .I saw Mary get off the back of a very loud motorbike right outside
my house on Saturday night and just thought you should know."
French class was never the same after that. I was grounded for several weekends.
Later, when I did have a serious boyfriend, I made sure he had a car!

I'm a big girl now, an old girl, and things are different.
Bob and I stopped in at his American Legion Post when in Manchester, NH
 last week. I usually give those places a wide berth, however as it was a dreary
 Saturday afternoon and a local American Legion motorcycle club of mostly 
veterans were cooling off after a run, I went in and we chatted with them for a while. 
A special run coming up in September is to raise money for medical expenses
 for the disabled grandson of a rider named Allen. As we wouldn't be there I gave
 him a donation. . . . .then he offered to take me for a ride!  

I had noticed the bright yellow Gold Wing 'trike' when we arrived and when
he said it was his I thought what the heck, it's now or never - perhaps one last 
chance to ride, and this was safer than a two-wheeled motorbike! 
Bob almost dropped his beer, but didn't try to stop me, and there were
no tattle tale French teachers around!!!


What can I say except that it was interesting and great fun! 
Many people waved to us, including local Police officers!  
Allen must be well known. 
Seeing the city this way was certainly a treat, much
 different than from the inside of a car. 
We even headed out on the highway, south toward Boston for a few
 miles, and Allen opened it up to 65mph, music playing, wind whistling,
 and that 
was
really
exhilarating! 

Would I do it again, you bet I would!  I can add this to my list of what we
older women do for fun, such as zip lining, crossing churning oceans on
 tiny ships, walking with penguins on Antarctica, African safaris etc. etc.

Have you done something exciting recently which took you out of your
 usual comfort zone?
Do tell us about it please.
P.S.  I really wasn't going to share all this nonsense with you, however I see
 my daughter has already posted about her "crazy motorcycle mother" on FaceBook,
and I needed to clarify a few points!


10 comments:

  1. How fun! I have not done anything crazy in quite a while.

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  2. I don't think you're crazy at all for doing that, Mary - I would in a heartbeat, too! My grandpa used to let me ride on his motorcycle with him when I was a kid. In fact, me and my sister and a few neighborhood kids would line up on the sidewalk waiting our turn to ride around the neighborhood with Grandpa Herbie. And none of us kids had helmets!! Can you imagine an older guy doing that with kids now, especially without helmets?! I go back and forth on my feelings about that one: "those were the days when everything was so carefree" and "what the hell were the parents thinking?!"

    Anyway, I haven't done anything that exciting lately. Last exciting, adventurous thing I did was back in 2000 when I flew to England alone.

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  3. I love that first picture! And the story about you when you were younger! Comfort zone...well, I haven't done that in a while. I'm pretty comfy lol...though I've ridden on a motorcycle quite often when I was younger, I prefer cars!

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  4. What fun! It takes me back to my first ride on the back of a Lambretta, way way back in the 1950s.

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  5. I can see you are having fun, and it was in a good cause. That bike looks very comfy. I rode on a motorcycle on the cobble stone streets of Istanbul, now that was a bumpy ride.

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  6. I thought you said there were no tattletales around! LOL! Good for you, Mary. Sounds like great fun!

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  7. I love this story so much. Yes, a few years ago, when in Thailand, I did love zip-lining. Not a bike ride, but recently I got an email in the mail about a new writer and her book. I thought it sounded interesting so I went online to order it, well I saw her book launch was going to be in Portland one evening in a part of town that I wasn't sure was safe to go alone at night. I decided to go anyway and I had the best time doing something just a bit out of my comfort zone and meeting the author of a book I had just enjoyed reading. Now I would love riding that bike, especially at 65 on the highway. What total fun!

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  8. How fun! I love that you are going into old age enjoying everything! The bike looks like a fun things to take a ride around town on.

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  9. How fun! I had a tattle tale 6th grade teacher that lived down the block from us right across from the school. My mother got some calls from him from time to time.

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  10. Life's for living Mary!
    When such opportunities as a motor bike ride presents itself - we have to grab it!
    I loved your story about your french teacher!
    When I was at boarding school and lucky enough to visit the city, it seemed there was always an old girl on the lookout for a gal in our school uniform.
    At assembly one week, the Headmistress relayed a phone call telling of a disgraceful girl...seen on the back of a motorbike clinging to the rider.
    We all knew who the girl was but she didn't say a word and neither did we!
    That busy body "alumni member" was taking loyalty to her Alma Mater too far!

    ReplyDelete

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