The Many Meanings Of 'Bike Blog'
Sitting atop a Ducati Multistrada 1100.
It may have been my best Christmas present ever.
When I was around 15 years old, I woke up on Christmas morning to find a brand new motorcycle under the tree. OK, it wasn't under the tree. It was downstairs in our living room/basement, but it did have a red ribbon on the gas tank, as I remember.
It was a Bridgestone 100cc. At the time, I'd never heard of Bridgestone and neither had any of my friends. I'm not sure where my parents found it. I knew Kawasaki and Suzuki and Honda. I must admit I was a little disappointed that my motorcycle was a Bridgestone, but I couldn't maintain that feeling. After all, I had my own motorcycle, for crying out loud.
I never did get a license to ride it on the roads, but we lived out in the country, and I had a lot of fun riding it through fields of corn stubble.
I hope readers of this blog won't consider it heresy for me to admit that I've always wanted another motorcycle, and that this hankering has turned into something of an obsession as of late.
There are only four problems.
1. I haven't ridden a motorcycle in 30 years (a rented moped on Santorini doesn't count).
2. I don't have a motorcycle driving license.
3. I don't have $5,000 lying around.
4. I don't know the first thing about buying a motorcycle.
I'm determined to overcome Obstacles #1 and #2, in due time. I'm hoping to sell the movie rights to this blog, which would solve Obstacle #3. And I'm already making progress on Obstacle #4.
Back in March, I met a friend of Stewart's named Guy. I haven't seen much of Guy lately, but we both turned up a few Thursday nights ago at one of Stewart's regular get-togethers at his local wine shop, where they will open six or seven bottles for you of an evening. I'd forgotten that Guy is an avid motorcyclist himself -- a Ducati man.
He immediately promised to put me in touch with his local Ducati connection, a company called Moto Robert in the little village of Brandysec, not far from Okoř. In fact, about a week later, I found myself in Moto Robert's repair shop and show room, and sitting on a few bikes. I immediately took to the Ducati Multistrada, which allows the rider to sit in a more upright position, as opposed to the lean-forward posture of the racing bikes, which Guy favors.
It was fun, and also a little humbling, frankly, to be sitting on a motorcycle again after all these years. It was a far, far cry from my Bridgestone 100!
It was also great fun to talk -- and later to share a few beers -- with Robert and Jarmila, who run Moto Robert. They're delightful.
They're on the lookout for the right-sized Ducati for me, but I think I need to first get a motorcycle license before I go ahead and spend that kind of money for a machine that I wouldn't be legally able to ride.
I promise not to give up my bicycle, though.