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Broken Wing

My brother Roberto and his wife Ivonne visited San Antonio last week.  They came running away from the Canadian snow and cold.  On Saturday, January 23, we decided to take Goldie out for a ride.  The other Robert, Bear Bait’s owner, and friend of mine, offered to lend me his Harley so my brother and I could go on an extended ride outside of the city.

Early in the morning, we took my Goldwing out of the garage and my brother drove while I sat on the back seat for the first time since I got the bike.  We rode the 10 miles to Robert’s house to pick up Bear Bait without any trouble.  On the road over, and from my back seat, I told Roberto what the different buttons, knobs, and levers did on the Wing.

With the two motorcycles gassed up and checked for the road, we made our way to Poteet, TX, less than an hour away from Robert’s house.  It was also my first time riding on Bear Bait, a handsome 2010 Harley Davidson Dyna Street Bob with a powerful 1583cc V-Twin engine.  I never realized how much pick-up and power that bike had.  Once on the road, I liked the pure, manly, sweaty feel a Harley has, compared to the comfort, protection, and glamour I am used to on the Goldwing.  Don’t get me wrong, I would not switch a Honda for a Harley based on a joy ride of an hour.  Goldie and I have put on too many hours together and I know how comfortable it can be to ride her for hours, even with the occasional cramps on the hips (the more I ride it, the fewer cramps I am experiencing). This particular Harley, Bear Bait, numbed my hands from the vibration and I was very afraid I would end up letting go of the handlebars from lack of feeling in my hands. However, it was a great experience to ride it and I will do it again.

On the way back, we stopped at our sister Ana’s house and told her and her husband about our ride.  Roberto confessed he was tense and nervous, but happy to have conquered the feelings and enjoyed the ride with me.  After a while we left and went to Robert’s house to return the hog.

What happened next was not on the plans for the day. Riding on the back seat again to get back home, I noticed that my brother was more at ease and being more daring in the highway.  A few blocks away from home, I saw it from my backseat position…. a patch of black gravel that rose about three inches from the ground, the kind that city crews always leave behind when they do a sloppy job paving a street.  I was going to tell Roberto to just keep going instead of taking that particular turn on the street when I realized it was too late.  The next thing I knew was that we were trapped under the bike that had toppled to the ground when it wiped out, front tire first, in the gravel.  My brother didn’t see the gravel and drove right into it while he was turning the corner, making him lose control of the bike and landing us both flat smack on the ground.

We got up hurting, astounded at what had just happened, limping, and scared. Quickly we got Goldie’s 900 pounds of dead weight back up and pushed it to the gas station in the street corner.  We checked ourselves for broken bones or any other injuries we might have had.  I sprained my right ankle.  Roberto hurt his knee, got a bruise on his right side, lost his watch (which we later found in the gravel), and had a deep gash in his arm. I was able to prepare myself a little for the fall when I saw the gravel, but Roberto was totally taken by surprise.

Once we made sure we were “okay,” we started checking the bike….. not a single scratch, how did that happen?  It was a mystery.  I heard that when Goldwings fall on their sides they have two protective bars that work pretty well in helping  the bike not to fall full on its side; I can now attest to that.  My motorcycle didn’t have a speck of dirt on it.  The bars did their job. The bike started on the first try and when we were sure nothing was broken or leaking we went home as slowly as Roberto could ride; both of us still quiet and scared, realizing it could have been worse, but grateful that it hadn’t been.  We never spoke a word of it to our mother or Ivonne, his wife.  We both know someday they will find out and the wrath of their anger will be thrown upon us like Zeus’s fury for keeping the accident from them, but for right now, our own consciences and our aches and pains are punishment enough for not telling them what happened.

Jan282010

Published by at 9:56 AM under Uncategorized

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