Dad got his 1985 250cc motorcycle running after sitting in the garage for more than 25 years. He was knocked over by a ferocious German Shepherd on his way out of the driveway one morning on his way to work. That dog was more than a pain in the neck. He was bloody mean. And I guess he hated motorcycles and didn't like dad much either, making him less of a dog in my eyes. I don't remember that he rode it again. He came back into the house a little bloodied, his hands shaking. I think I remember that he didn't get too excited. I think he always sensed that his wife and his family needed his surety, even when he should be freaking out. The bike lay there on the dirt. That Shepherd held dad at bay for awhile. Eventually he got the bike moved to the garage, and there it sat, a bit tainted, but ready nonetheless. The motorcycle became more a dusty fixture than anything. That's the way of things sometimes. Maybe we needed to forget for awhile. Maybe he couldn't afford to fix it. A man's allowed his reasons. It's all good. By faith and time, wiles and dreams, some hard work, wisdom and a little integrity, some times things come full circle.
Here we are, a good ways down 2011 and his classic 250cc Honda motorcycle is finally fixed, and my Dad is back on the bike! Maybe enough time has past, maybe they can afford it. Doesn't matter really. The courageous don't just get back on the horse, so to speak. They hop on with spurs on. I remember sitting on that bike as a boy thinking I wanted to ride it, needed to ride it, so I could be just like my dad. I doubt I'll ever have to dust off my dad. He gets hurt sometimes, but never stops. Some guys stop. They quit. He'll never be a cranky chained, stiff wheeled old man, my dad won't. At sixty-something he's slower maybe. He smells a few more roses these days. But he paces himself. I don't crank my bike hardly ever. Best way to ruin something is to go full tilt all the time. Takes wisdom to keep it cool.
I guess I'll never be just like my munificent dad. But, I am my father's son. When I finally ride it someday soon, I'll feel proud to have the privilege of sharing a part of his life on that little red dream. The German Shepherd's dead. But it's hard to keep a good man and his ride down. The bike, my dad and myself are alive, ready and rarin' to roll.