The room is bright from the wall of windows to my right. Outside the trees have not yet begun to put out buds, but there is something different about them. A color change of just a shade maybe two, to let you know they are definitely considering spring. Of course with a Nor’easter due to arrive in forty-eight hours, they just might want to hold that thought.
The grass outside between the building, the concrete sidewalk and New York Route 304 is still brown, it firmly believes it is still winter and is not about to put on any variation of green.
It is quiet for the moment. I have been given the luxury of a large, bright space all to myself. A very comfortable chair and several tables in which to choose to sit and write till my heart’s content. And here I am. My blog is due today, my own self-imposed deadline of writing one blog per month since the beginning of this writers life, I suppose you could say it was when I made the decision to become a writer, which for me began in 2012. Most months I have many ideas that have either presented themselves or I stumbled upon. Last month was one of my favorites when guest author Andrew Buckley allowed me to post his piece. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, please do.
Yet this month, as I find myself in a comfortable place, with beautiful light and plenty of time, I sit in silence until the next roar of an engine starts up and my mind races.
You see, I am parked in a Harley Davidson dealership. Hudson Valley Harley Davidson to be precise. You do not have to be a motorcycle enthusiast to be welcomed here. I’ve already had two different people offer to get me a cup of coffee, which is better than I make at home. When I take a walk among the rows of shining, powerful machines, more times than not an employee will walk with me. I love to hear their stories of when they started riding (so far the youngest was 4 years old), or that their grandfather is still riding at 82. The respect and understanding of what the machine can (and cannot) do and the horror of what can happen when a car refuses to share the road is terrifying.
It is a fascinating place to find oneself in.
Each of these motorcycles is uniquely different. The numbers mean something, the name given a place in history, a style, color, and accessories. From the generations of those who came before creating something that during wartime was functional, and in between the terror of conflict was fun, is in itself unique. I witnessed a young woman ride in on a Suzuki. Immediately there was playful banter of what she was doing here on that bike was quickly followed by hellos and hugs as they asked about her family, particularly her father who had ordered a part for his motorcycle that she was picking up. Which just happened to be a Harley touring bike. This is not just a members only mentality of one particular bike. It is a community of motorcycle riders. Perhaps that is why they are so busy here, people know that, respect it, relax and enjoy just being here. It is a family.
I refilled my coffee cup and sit on a Trike to people watch. The seat is roomy, the backrest comfortable. The Wicked Red is a color my mother would have loved. Across the vast showroom in the lounge area, there is an interview going on in motor clothes, new hires are needed before the season takes off. Nearby a saleswoman is showing a young man a bike, which I find particularly enjoyable. He tries to act cool, but when he asks her a question I could see his eyes widen. The girl knows her stuff. He tries to haggle with her, she quickly shuts him down and suggests when he’s ready to buy, he is welcome to come back. He blushes and apologizes, she offers him a coffee, he happily accepts. I hope to hear him ring a large bell near the entrance. The staff will play music, everyone claps and cheers as a proud customer pulls the rope that rings in the celebrated sound of ownership, which I am sure can be heard by the traffic outside.
Parts and service have several people asking when their bikes will be ready. You can tell the atmosphere is filled with checked impatience and sprinkled with anxious anticipation that the riding season is almost here. More than a few have ridden their bikes in today. I try to see if they’re wearing clothing with batteries, or are literally plugged into their bikes. Although it is 55 degrees and sunny, when you ride, take 10 degrees off automatically. Hmmm, yeah, that’s brisk.
Another customer has one of the staff open the showcases with jewelry displayed. Rings, bracelets, necklaces, belly button studs and more sparkle under the lights. Amidst the oohs and aahs she is having a conversation about how much she loves the selection. I watch as she gathers several pairs of boots to try on. Considering my guess of the total, she could have bought a very nice bike.
What is it they say here? Your story begins on the road. Well, this story started on a quiet Wednesday afternoon on the last day of February 2018. Then roared forward with the start of an engine. If you are a writer, I hope you are inspired to find an unconventional place to sit and watch and write. You might be surprised how inspired you become. This was a very productive day for me, I now have several new characters to place in current or future stories. But if you are not a writer, yet want to be a rider, I invite you to explore the world of motorcycles, please take a safety course (more than one is better) practice and ride rested. You can’t write or ride if you’re out of gas and kaput. Enjoy the journey!
Breathe Deep, Think Peace