Experiences You’d Just As Soon Not Have No.1

In keeping with random themes I have, we here at The Torn Pages have started a new one, prompted by the past 24 hours.

Years ago when I met my husband, he had a motorcycle. It was not a Harley, just something else. He'd had a Harley before he met me, but somewhere along the way had traded. At any rate, when we got married we didn't have a conventional honeymoon, but rather loaded an old camper-topper on the pickup truck, hooked up a trailer to the back and hauled the motorcycle out to South Dakota. Anyone who has ever ridden a motorcycle has probably heard of the big motorcycle rally in Sturgis, SD, in the summertime? Well, at that time I hadn't but Hubs had gone to it a couple of times and even though this was not at the time of the rally, he wanted to show me around the area. Plus, c'mon…it's South Dakota! A very beautiful state with lots of things to see.

So my first real exposure to a motorcycle was on the back of one going through the Black Hills. I'd post pictures, but the "helmet hair" would be too frightening.

Fast forward a few years and for one reason or another we both lost interest. I know why I did… it was a trip from Iowa to Wisconsin in the rain… but why Hubs did I'm not sure. Probably had something to do with four kids and logistics.

Now fast forward even further and you have come to a couple of weeks ago when youngest son bought a Harley.Although the thought was never far from Hubs' mind, suddenly the bug was alive. A week later we also were the proud owners of a Harley. Then became the 'accessorizing' phase, followed by the "getting re-acquainted" phase. That's pretty much where we are now.

We've taken a couple of short rides and figured out a new seat was in order for me – my ass isn't getting any smaller – and I needed some boots, we got helmets, etc. Yesterday we decided to go for a ride and test out the new gear. We did some riding over near the river and wound here and there – it was a beautiful day. We have some goggles on order, but at this time I can only see when we're going fairly slowly, otherwise the wind bothers my eyes too much and my glasses don't protect enough, so then I'm riding with my eyes closed. Luckily this time we were riding slower and I was able to look around quite a bit.

As we were going down near the river on a county highway, a dump truck was in front of us. I'm new enough to riding that I'm paranoid as hell. I had visions of rocks dribbling off the truck and bounding into us so I kept watching for it. Hubs stayed back pretty well, so it wasn't like we wouldn't have some time to react. Then after a bit I noticed an suv following us. Now I was wondering if that guy was going to pass us and if he'd have enough room to go around us and the truck or would he try to get in front of us… you know, all those crazy things that go through your head when you're riding along on a beautiful summer day.

Because I was watching so carefully I saw it happen.

One minute we're riding along and then next I hear a huge BANG!… and the truck in front of us throws a big piece of rubber our way while simultaneously veering across the oncoming lane and slamming into a deep ditch… landing on its side with the load – which turned out to be horse manure – spilling out all over and the gas tank about 300 yards into the nearby field. Hubs kept his cool and pulled over to the side of the road. I look at him and ask if he has his cell phone. I have mine, but figure his is right there in his pocket. He says he doesn't know where we are (at the time not thinking about the fact cell phones now have the GPS in them just for this reason)… when I see the neighboring farmer heading our way running down the road. I say, "He'll know where we are".  Suddenly an arm comes up out of the truck… "I'm okay"… a faint voice.

I couldn't believe it. The guy was okay. A small cut on his lip, otherwise he was fine. His truck was toast, but he was okay. Another neighbor pulled up saying he'd called the highway patrol. Several people stopped to make sure things were okay, and the suv that had been following us had pulled over when we did got the rubber off the road. Hubs went and helped the guy climb out of his truck.

As bad as it was, it could have been soooo much worse. I know that, and we talked about it, but I didn't think it had bothered me so much until I had nightmares about it all night last night. I mean, if he'd had gravel and spilled it on the road it would have been a problem for us… If someone had been in the other lane coming… If WE had been in the other lane coming… if the guy hadn't had his seatbelt on and had gone through the window…if it would have blown out when the guy was going really fast down the hill next to the river to make it up the next hill… I mean, your mind can come up with a million different scenerios.

Thank goodness it wasn't as bad as the things my mind can come up with. Still? Is on the list of one of those experiences you'd just as soon not have.