I’ve been on a motorcycle once in my life, doubling with a friend who informed me afterward that he had a hard time controlling the bike because I was a novice and didn’t know how to shift my weight with the motion of the bike on the road.
Was that the reason I never again rode on a motorcycle and had a negative feeling about them, or was it the fact that I never again was friends with someone else who drove motorcycles – at least not for a very long time?
About six or seven years after that initial ride, I was the owner of my own copy and print store called “Office Rescue” in Trenton, Ontario, where Mark was posted at the time. After a short while renting office space, my husband and I realized that it would be cheaper to buy a small house and convert it to an office. We purchased 234 Dundas Street East in Trenton, Ontario and I loved every minute of being a business owner – even though we actually ended up losing money in the venture.
Shortly after setting up shop in the new building, I was looking out my front window one day and spotted a moving van across the street with people unloading some beautiful looking antique furniture. When I had a moment and they didn’t look too busy, I sauntered across to introduce myself.
They were also a military family who had just transferred to Trenton from an overseas post in Germany. They took the opportunity to shop for and import antique furniture for resale and chose the shop across the street from my store to set up.
It didn’t take me long to learn that he was a motorcycle rider and it was quite common to see him ride up in his bike during nicer weather.
I hadn’t thought about these things for a number of years, until I spotted this Facebook post from my daughter about bikers. I realized that most of Erin and Stuart’s earlier years were spent in that office and spending time with the couple in the store across the street and their son, and they became quite used to seeing motorcycles coming and going.
One of the memories I will always hold with fondness is that of this motorcycle rider and the rest of his riding club setting up a couple of blocks up the street in the local mall for the “Teddy Bear Run”. Proceeds from the run go to needy children and the teddy bears were dropped off at the local hospital children’s ward for the kids. Every year I would watch as this procession moved up the street past my office.
It is so true that we too easily jump to conclusions about others based on their appearance first and actions later. How backwards is that?
A humorous but true example is the year we bought our personal home and moved into a neighborhood that was populated by older and retired couples at first. I can still remember the day my friend decided to drive over in the new motorcycle she had bought so she could go on bike trips with her husband and the club. As soon as that wonderful rumble of the engine was heard on the street, I could see several curtains flutter as the neighbors looked to see who this motorcycle riding upstart could possibly be. It took quite a few visits from her for the neighbors to become used to the sight and stop peeking out their curtains every time they heard the bike.
It’s interesting to note that in the short time of three years we lived in the house on Second Avenue, the neighborhood had shifted so much that by the time we moved to British Columbia in 2006, there were more young families like ours living around us than retired couples.