One of the best rides of my life

mybike4I spent the better part of my adult life riding Harleys and hanging out with a bunch of misfits. I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. I have a thousand stories, all of them are true. Most are beyond a normal person’s comprehension or ability to even imagine people doing the shit we did, but sometimes it’s the simple things and the little things in life that make it all worth while, and that’s what this post is about. One of the simple things. One night.

It involves Dave “Crusty” Conrad. I wrote about him in an earlier post about riding in New Hampshire during bike week. Dave and I had another memorable ride once. It’s going to be hard to describe because where we went and what we did means nothing. Where we left from, where we went to, and what we did while we were there means nothing.

I have hand full of friends that I trust on the road. You get that way when you spend your life on a bike. You ride with hundreds of people, but only a few that you really, really trust….on the road. You ride thousands of miles and with every single mile you get to know someone. You get to know how they react to things. Like deer jumping out, an oncoming driver, a crosswind, a plastic bag blowing across the street.

Real bikers ride side by side, elbow to elbow, handlebar to handlebar and they ride fast cause it ain’t no fun if you ain’t leanin. You get to know your true friends well on the road if you spend enough time with them and push the limits with them. Trust me. I’m telling you the truth.

Dave and I were just bar hopping one night. I can’t tell you the year, the month or the day. It didn’t matter back then. We were just out on another night like so many other nights. But this night, we went for a good long run. We went from Dauphin up to Halifax, then to E-ville, bar hopping all along the way. All mountain roads. Winding twisting mountain roads. It was cool on the way there but nothing special. Just another night of bar hopping on the Harleys. The ride home was amazing.

Everything was just right when we left the Washington Hotel. The temperature was probably about 75 degrees, no wind and the moon was full and bright. We were both in a good mood and we had a great night of partying with old friends and new. The mood was cool. We were happy. We were both young and free and living a dream. We fired up the hogs, an impressive sound, even though we heard it every day and night of our lives, and pulled out. There’s a stop light right there so we saddled up side by side and waited for the green. It wasn’t a race mind you. We were just sizing up and positioning for the ride home. The next twenty miles would be some of the best miles I ever rode.

Like I said earler. Everything was right. There was new blacktop for twenty miles, and it was beautiful summer night air and there was a full moon. There was a strong long-time friendship between us and there was a few hours of just having a damn fine time with the evening. Most of all there was trust. I knew how Crusty rode and he knew how I rode. I liked the yellow and he liked the white. (For those of you who don’t understand that, it refers to the color of the lines on the road and the side of the lane that you prefer to ride when riding a motorcycle….side by side).

Crusty and I hit the throttle and off we went, me on the left and him on the right. We both had the right amount of beer in us. Everything was just right. We rode from E-town to halifax, about 20 miles of beautiful winding freshly blacktopped mountain road at an average of about 20 to 30 mph over the speed limit, handlebar to handlebar, side by side. There were so many times that night that our bikes threw sparks from steel hitting road that I couldn’t even keep count. Kickstands, frames, exaust pipes and rubber blasting down and testing….gouging the highway. It was beautiful. It was as if our bikes were one. One bike, two riders. It was that tight. But there were two bikes and two riders that night. It was a ballet. A symphony. It was a beautiful thing. I’ll remember it as long as I live. It was one truly one of the highlights of my life. I trusted Crusty with my life. He trusted me with his. We rode way too fast for way too long and everything went right. Handlebar to handlebar, elbow to elbow, side by side. It was a beautiful night.

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