One morning I rumbled into the parking garage at work and backed into a space in the section reserved for motorcycles. A young woman walked by as I stood next to the bike taking off my helmet. I didn’t really notice her until she stopped so suddenly her feet slid and the noise made me look up.

She had turned back to point at me and then the bike, “YOU! Ride THAT!”

Thinking it was easier than carrying it, I laughed and said, “YEAH!”

“It’s bigger than YOU!”

Thinking that’s another good reason why I don’t give the Heritage piggyback rides, I nodded.


Oh I do, every chance I get. Anytime I have an encounter like this, or when a little girl gives me a thumbs up as I ride by, or yells that she likes my bike- I wonder if she’s thinking she’d like to try riding too. And I hope she’s realizing she can do whatever she wants.

Which makes me think of Jackie. While I have always loved riding and had spent lots of time on the back of bikes, I hadn’t really thought of moving up to the front until I met her and saw her ride.

Quite a while back as I headed out on vacation with a guy I was dating, he was filling me in on the couple we were going to visit. I remember how cool I thought it was when he mentioned his friend’s wife had her own bike. When I met Jackie and we all went out riding together, I also remember thinking, “Surely I can ride my own too, why the hell didn’t I think of this before?!” vino

The relationship ended long ago, I got my own bike not that much later, and eventually fell out of touch with Jackie. But I smile when something reminds me of her, feeling grateful our paths crossed and for the miles I’ve enjoyed since then as well as for the people I’ve met along the way.

So a toast! To Jackie, wherever she is! May she be happy, healthy and still doing what she wants. And a big thanks for inspiring me to do something I wanted, even though I wasn’t sure I could at first.

As for the woman in the parking garage, I haven’t seen her again. But wouldn’t it be a nice surprise if when I did she was rolling in on her own motorcycle too!?