Friday, November 21, 2003

Ne'er a Stranger Did I Meet

Sometimes, I wonder if other people have the same ease of making acquaintances as I do. It seems as though I seldom go someplace where I don't share in conversation with another person, a person I've never met before. This tends to happen nearly always when my motorcycle is involved, not so much in regular run-of-the-mill daily life. It's like a mother and newborn out in public during the early weeks or months. Someone always wants to ooh and ahh over the kid or share parenting histories with the mother. It's very similar when a motorcycle is involved. Other riders want to share tales of the road or ask questions about this or that. They want to brag about their "baby" yet seldom do riders carry along photos of their bike(s).... I'm an exception there, I shamefully admit. I do carry a photo of me and my first bike. It's absolutely shameful, but it's due to pure sentimentality, what can I say? It's like they say, you never forget your first. ;)

Last night was no exception to the no-stranger rule. I'd ridden a Moto Guzzi Breva 750 to a bike night at Applebee's to get the bike some exposure and ended up talking with a couple of new pals that I'm sure to see again. I actually take the time to think about these types of things after they happen because it means a lot to me to share that time with someone else. I see that time as valuable, it is precious because it is time that can never be replaced or repeated. That time is shared in a positive light with someone who is, in my mind, giving me the gift of their time and I don't take that for granted. Last night provided two new pals, as I said. Mike and Rick.

Mike and I kinda/sorta knew each other from the MTF (Motorcycle Tourers Forum -- see the link to the left), but not really. He'd posted a couple of messages and made it known that he is a Goose rider. Another member of the forum mentioned that I'd probably chime in since I was affiliated with MG now and Lou was right. I posted a reply to Mike and after volleying a couple of messages, we learned that we both live in northeast Florida and that he bought his bike from Atlantic Moto Sports, which is where I'm contracting. I informed Mike of the bike night gig and that I'd be there if he wanted to make the ride. He did and I'm so glad he did because he was a real treat to meet! We learned that we're both members of the IBA, I got to see his gorgeous Le Mans, he taught me about the endurance competition involved in horsemanship and even extended an offer to join his wife for some horseback riding!

Rick and I met earlier in the evening when he stopped by the shop to pick up his Suzuki LC1500 Intruder. Our rambling conversation led to me revealing that I had a B.A. in Journalism and had been struggling with writing for many years. We agreed to hook up at the bike night at some point to discuss journalism since he could provide some practical advice. Rick is an on-air talent on one of Jacksonville's classic rock stations, Arrow 100.7. After a couple hours of milling around at the bike night, Rick and I did actually hook up and gab about writing, writer's block, as well as motorcycling, movies and the common generalities that people share when they first start a conversation with someone else.

I rode away from the evening with two new friends who were only strangers until we said hello.


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