I once took my mom for a ride on my motorcycle. You must understand the enormity of this feat because my mom was a huge motorcycle hater. She was risk adverse as a matter of principle but she was also convinced that my riding those awful machines would lead to a life of homelessness and dependency.

My dad convinced my mom to let me keep my first motorcycle only because I bought it in non running condition. It didn’t stay that way for long and if nothing else, my need for parts money stirred in me a new appreciation for industry. I would work any job to get gas and parts money. By the time I convinced my mom to go for a ride I had graduated from college and I had a real job. I suppose, in her mind, I had avoided motorcycle gangs and incarceration so the pressure was off.

On this occasion I ask my dad if he wanted a ride, he refused but my mom got a funny look on her face and she said, “I’ll go.” I gave her a helmet and got her installed on the back seat of my 1976 BMW R90/6. We took off down the street at a heady 15 miles an hour. At the end of the street, there was a large open area where two streets converged at an angle and I was able to make a smooth turn back in the opposite direction. I cannot stress enough the ultra-slow, parade like pace, of this short ride.

Ever one for drama, my mom climbed off the bike, beamed at me and said, “now I see why you love it so!” Years later, I recounted the story to her because she had forgotten. I told her how proud I was of her for taking that risk to experience something I enjoyed. She was genuinely pleased at the memory of her little adventure. It seems that most of my best memories have a motorcycle associated with them.