Well, my wife and I stole ourselves away for a weekend in the big city….Atlanta. While there I had two life-changing experiences…

The first, and by far the most important. I have always regretted the fact that life has gotten so complicated. Me with work. My wife with our daughter, her mother, and her volunteer work. While I do not regret the relationships in our lives, especially the one with our child, the complications that all of our concern for others creates along with our various responsibilities, require a great deal of time. Time that, when we were first married, some 27 years ago, was filled with just us. Sometimes, we did nothing, that required leaving home. Other times, we went off on adventure. Picking a direction and proceeding just to see what was over the next hill. Those days are mostly gone. But, it is nice to know that when we are left alone, left to our own devices, we fall together again to frolic just like in days of old. Like many of you, I know too many couples who no longer frolic, heck they barely look at one another, speak, or acknowledge any remaining affection. Fortunately, for us that is not the case. Although I do believe that my daughter wishes it were more the case. She has constantly reminded us that we “did” have a couple of days alone, and now we “need” to talk to her….not just each other. Eh, what does she know??? Oh yeah, the life-changing part, well, maybe it didn’t change my life…merely reinforced what I thought to begin with…. Our relationship is the axle upon which these lives revolve. Without a solid axle the whole machine stops running. Too often couples allow other things to weaken their relationship, never realizing the fact that the erosion of that relationship endangers everything…..

Ah yes, the second experience. I have ridden a bunch of motorcycles over the years. Many of them were scary. Some were fun. Heck, some were even mine. In all of these years I had never ridden anything with a Harley-Davidson engine. But, like many others I had read the derisive remarks of the magazines, websites, and fellow riders. But, also like many of you I have been intrigued by the devotion of the Harley faithful. And, since Buell has recently begun to produce Harley-powered sportsbikes I thought I’d give one a try. So, while we were in Atlanta, we went to Stone Mountain Harley-Davidson, just to give one a try. I had read with great interest about the Buell Blast. So, that is what I chose. I figured it wasn’t that much larger than my Ninja 250 and shouldn’t scare the crap out of me.

When I asked could I ride one the sales lady quickly agreed. I was surprised how easy that was. Most Japanese motorcycle dealers won’t let you test ride anything. So, I put on my gear….she was surprised that I had all of my stuff….body armor and all. It was 28F outside, but I was toasty warm. While I was donning my gear, she readied the bike. I was so excited. She reassured me that I would be fine. I attempted to start off…killed it. Killed it again. Killed it again. Killed it yet again…..aaaarrrrgghhh. What a touchy clutch. Finally, I got going. Had to stop and check my fillings. OMG, this thing almost rattled the boys loose….eeeeegggggaaaaaddddd. I have ridden thumpers before, but this was crazy. It never seemed to get better. I hated the riding position. I hated the vibration. It was slow. It had no power. It was terrible. My 250 is much faster, much sharper, and has more usable power. Sorry Eric, the Blast is a bust.

While I was getting ready to ride the Blast, the saleslady suggested that I try a Sportster. I really didn’t want to. I knew about Harleys. I figured it wouldn’t be any fun. I am such a left-brained guy that I am almost never surprised. I research things to the point of adnaseum. I spend hours and hours on each little detail. So, I knew about Harleys. But, I figured why not??? So, she got a Sportster ready too.

After I vibrated my self away from the Blast, I went inside to regroup and tell my wife how much I hated that thing. Then, I went out to the white Sportster sitting quietly outside. It fired right up…very little vibration. Then I eased away….I mean literally eased away. No problem. I gave a bit of a twist…off we went. I rode around and around and around…..and…..and….and….well, you get the picture. Yes, there was some vibration, but it was nice. What a smooth motorcycle. I had a Yamaha 650 Maxim, years ago with an inline-4, that was smooth, but nothing like this. No, it wasn’t overpowering….just smooth. What great brakes. Hey, wait a minute…this is a Harley…isn’t it???? Have I been wrong?? Maybe this is why….maybe this is the mystique. I am shocked. I don’t have words to express how I feel…other than I really want one. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the Ninja, but this was different. I have never had a machine induced life-changing event, but I think I just did. I have been concerned lately that if my daughter goes off to grad school my bike might not be the best choice for the interstate between here and there….so, I have been looking for something a bit bigger. I think I found it…in the most unlikely place of all. Now, I think I understand why they are selling as many as they can make…wow.

So, what do I take from this weekend….I need to get my wife on the back of that Harley. We’ll go adventuring. I know we’ll frolic.

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