Well, I did it. I posted my motorcycle for sale on Craigslist. It doesn’t matter that I’ve only ridden it once in the last year. Or that I’ve ridden fewer than 2,000 miles since 2004. None of that matters. What matters is that I’ve had a Harley-Davidson Road King in the garage. What matters is that K-Man likes to sit on it and have me start it up. “Can I start it?” he asks.
My motorcycle is much more a symbol than it is anything actually useful. And, it’s not so much a symbol of an old life or anything like that. (I didn’t even buy it until I was married.) It’s just a symbol of what I could do. At any time, I suppose, I could take a ride over to the coast. I could jump up to wine country and twist through the budding vines. And, though I rarely/never did – sometimes knowing that I simply could was enough.
The motorcycle was something that was purely mine. It wasn’t something that I was raised with, as nobody in my family ever rode. None of my friends had bikes. This was just something that I discovered as a kid and something that I always wanted. And, I bought it. In a way, it provides a sense of accomplishment. I can look at it, or just sit on it and feel like I achieved something by buying it. Of course, riding the thing gives me a greater sense of freedom than anything I’ve ever done in my life.
But, I just don’t ride it enough. So, it’s time to let go. I’d rather it be ridden lots of miles by someone else than just sit idly in my garage. Though nobody has emailed to test ride it yet, I know that day is coming. While I’ll certainly be sad to sell it, I think K-Man will be even sadder. That kills me even more.
My dad gave me my love for sport and especially soccer. The joy of a motorcycle ride – however dangerous – is something that I looked forward to passing on to K-Man. I envisioned us taking rides together. I could see these great road trips – just the two of us on the open, twisting roads. I imagined camping under the stars and having heart-to-heart talks about life, dreams and fears. All of these rides were on my 2004 Harley-Davidson Road King Classic.
Sure, I know these adventures can and will still happen, but as soon as the bike sells, they’ve all changed. Chances are that they’ll now be in the Prius. Frankly, while the new adventures might be better for the environment (certainly quieter), they just won’t be the same.
I’ve written previously about the legacy that I want to leave K-Man. I want him to understand what it takes to fight for one’s place in the world. I want him to learn how to approach conflict. But, I also really want him to have these phenomenal memories of epic adventures with his old man. I want him to think about the “Summer of 2015” and smile at the thought of our road trip through the Rockies. Or whenever and wherever.
For now, though, my motorcycle won’t be part of those memories.