The way back …

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It’s definitely been a while, maybe close to 18 months that I last rode my own motorbike. it seems silly and nonchalant, but sometimes our own minds are the only things keeping us from something we really love doing.

When my husband said I have to ride my own bike on Sunday, I knew it was coming, I couldn’t hide behind the comfortable seat between his back and the topbox. He just wouldn’t let me have my way. In my mind I headbutted him a few times, repeatedly and shouted to him ”are you crazy?” like a five year old having a full blow tantrum, but the only words that came out of my mouth was, ”Okay!”

I have been avoiding this day for so long, since my dad passed away, I decided to park my bike physically and emotionally, as it was something that I did to honour my dad and couldn’t help but think of him every time I would ride as it was a passion I shared with him. Every time I would get on my bike in the past , and get to my first destination or stop I would usually WhatsApp him a picture or two to make him jealous of my adventure. He used to love reading and listening to my stories after we got home, from ”another bike adventure”.

So subconsciously I couldn’t actually ride again…

Getting dressed yesterday morning, as I put my bike pants on, my hands were shaking so much I couldn’t even get the Velcro to close properly, maybe I was coming down with a bug? that would of been great, because then I would have an excuse to sit this one out.

Not having my glasses either, I was using impaired vision as an excuse as well. Have you ever been so full of excuses in your life!

My husband wouldn’t have any of it. He just kept saying ”you will be fine, don’t stress” , in my mind, I headbutted him again!

Getting on my bike, looking at the handlebars and electronic little dashboard , I hit a blank, I couldn’t remember how to use any of the little buttons in front of me.

I put the ignition switch on and the familiar sound of the idling engine of my ducky came to life. I dropped to first gear and pulled away. I was still shaking like a leaf , as I went through the gears. By the time I reached the R300 the nerves had settled and I was still on my bike, like it was yesterday.

We took a ride through Strand and had a waterhole stop at Pitstop in Clarens drive, yes they are open and serving cooldrinks and snack foods for passer by’s.

While the boys were getting our cooldrinks, I hijacked a table in the afternoon sun and lit a cigarette (for the nerves you know .. )

I thought about the last half hour or more, and my dad.

My fears of heartsore of the loss of my dad had kept me from doing something I really loved. So I needed to find my way back the hard way. Being left with no other choice than just to ride.

The time in the helmet yesterday was with him. and I know I cant just send a WhatsApp pic to make him jealous anymore, but I can share the memory of it.

After a quick drink with the boys, we put the helmets back on and I pleaded for something that resembled gravel.

We headed through Stellenbosch on the Klipheuwel road and turned into Hoopenberg road for some dirt.

Aaaaaahhhhh heavenly dust everywhere. Some cows, some sheep, some trees, some sand patches, Yes I even welcomed those !

When we got home, I took my sunglasses and helmet off, and went to look at myself in the mirror… eyes red from the dirt and fresh air, cheeks filled with dust, But oh boy, I felt alive again.

We all ride for different reasons, and the thing that gets us on the bike or takes us off the bike is different for everyone. Yesterday I didn’t ride the Sani pass – but in my heart it felt like I just completed a Dakar Rally.

So Dad, you and me and my helmet have many roads still to ride. I will honour your memory by carrying on..

Sorry it took me a while to find my way back

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