By DARREN HANDSCHUHAfter several days of warm, sunny weather, I decided it was time to put the motorcycle on the road. The warmer the temperature gets, the louder the call to two-wheeled adventure is.
Seeing as how the weather had changed, the cool, cloudy days seemed to be behind us and the rain, although much needed, was giving way to typical Okanagan sunshine, I knew it was time.
Time to dig out the Mastercard and pay way too much money for a little sticky piece of reflective plastic that says I can legally ride my bike on the road.
I skipped into the insurance place with the sun on my back and dreams of hitting some of my favourite twisty roads dancing through my head.
I could hardly wait to feel the freedom only a motorcycle can provide. There is something almost Zen-like about riding. You put that helmet on and life just seems a lot simpler.
It is just you, the bike and road. Oh yea, and bonehead drivers who don't watch out for motorcycles. But other than that...and deer, did I mention deer.
Deer are by far one of the greatest hazards to someone on two wheels, aside from those dopey drivers I mentioned earlier. Deer, dopey drivers and gravel on a corner.
OK, so aside from bonehead drivers who are oblivious to anything smaller than the vehicle they are driving, gravel on corners and deer that are so stupid they will literally run in front of you when they have a million kilometres of forest to hide in, riding a motorcycle is a very relaxing experience.
I have had a motorcycle off and on since I was 13 years old. I learned about deer when I was 14 when I rode under one.
I was heading down a dirt road when a dumb buck bounded out of some bushes and stopped right in the middle of the road. This was the first time I noticed deer were incredibly stupid.
The deer saw me the same time I saw him and both our eyes got bigger than hubcaps on a '61 Cadillac.
The deer jumped straight up and I laid down on the tank and went right under him. My buddy riding behind me said it was the coolest thing he had seen. I was wondering where I could come up with a clean pair of underwear in the middle of the woods.
Ever since that day, I have been a little weary of the cows of the wild.
Anyway, back to the present day and the thrill of hitting the streets for the first ride of the year. Like I said, when I bought my insurance the sun was shinning, the anti-HST petition was going very well and life in general was pretty darn good.
I bought the little sticker, put it on my bike and woke up the next day to cloudy skies and rain, which has repeated itself pretty much everyday since.
Hmmm, if I believed in conspiracies this would be near the top of my list, right below sasquatch shooting Kennedy.
So after paying a small ransom for the privilege of riding my bike on the road, it is sitting in my garage, waiting for the heavens to clear.
I know, all the hard-core riders are calling me a wimp right now.
ìC'mon, a little rain never hurt anyone. It's just water.î
Rain never hurt anyone? Go tell that to Noah's neighbours.
Besides, it is water I no longer have to ride in. When I was a young lad I had to ride in the rain because my bike was the only transportation I had.
I now own a car and a bike, so when a precipitation occurance happens, I put down the helmet and grab the car keys.
I am too old and spent far to many kilometres riding in the rain to care if someone thinks me wimpy because I don't want to get all wet. If I don't want to, I don't have to.
I am still waiting for the skies to clear before I can hit the open road, but until that happens I will be hitting the open road from the dry confines of my car.
I would rather be a warm, dry wimp, than a cold, wet and uncomfortable rider, and thankfully I have that option now.