When I was a kid my parents bought me a stingray style bicycle that we called a muscle bike. With a can of cheap green spray paint, a leopard patterned banana seat, and high handlebars, I went to work updating. Attaching handlebar streamers to the hand grips and playing cards with clothe-pins to the frame, the streamers flapped and playing cards blade slapped the spokes as the wheel moved. In my imagination, my muscle bike sound a bit like a motor.
After graduation from the university, I toured through India with a music group. Before going there, my mentor had given me the name and address of a good friend from the time he lived in Long Island, NY, and asked if I’d stop by in New Delhi to say hello if I had a chance.
One night in Delhi, I borrowed a Royal Enfield Motorcycle and drove to where she lived. I didn’t have a motorcycle license and hadn’t ridden a motorcycle. It’s dangerous to ride without training, and crazy to ride a motorcycle in India, but at 22 I felt invincible; I mounted the bike and took off through the streets of New Delhi dodging animals and people.
I found where she lived, knocked on the door, and told her why I was there. She invited me in for tea and we talked.
After that day, I didn’t ride a motorcycle again until I was 46 years old; but from that night in India until the time I bought my first Harley Davidson motorcycle, I have cherished that memory and the thrilling experience of riding the bike dodging goats, cows, and people.… read more...