In 2005 the man I was going to marry was killed on his motorcycle, by a driver who ran a stop sign while impaired by prescription drugs. Even though I still miss him terribly, his death did not stop me from riding motorcycles.
In June 2006 I signed up for a bluegrass music camp in Tennessee. I sent my guitar FedEx, then hopped on my motorcycle and headed east from Olympia, Washington. The trip combined adventure and doing something my sweetie would have liked.
After a week at the camp, I rode to Connecticut to visit friends and my sweetie’s family. At my friends’ place I had a great time having the kids beat me at various games, putting together puzzles, running in the woods, and soaking up the joys of family life. After a side trip into the Maritimes and new tires, it was time to head home.
I took the scenic route north of the Great Lakes and down into Minnesota. I visited more friends and stopped by the little town in southwest Minnesota where my grandmother had grown up. I’d never been there before.
Then I headed for Fargo, North Dakota for the night, having been away from home five weeks. I missed my kitties and just wanted to be home.
Early the next morning I loaded the bike to hit the road. Just after leaving the hotel I came to a large intersection, stopped, looked for traffic, and began to turn right. As I started, I saw a sign “no right turn on red”. I immediately stopped, but since I’d already started my turn, I wasn’t really prepared to stop. The bike was leaned a bit right for the turn, and before I could stop it, it went over.
I didn’t know what to do, but I couldn’t pick it up. It’s a big bike, a BMW R1200GS. I unloaded the duffel bag and the side case I could reach. Then I just stood there looking at it, trying to figure out how to pick it up. I’ve had several back and shoulder surgeries, and those injuries are limiting.
Two men hurried toward me. They were from a parked van that I hadn’t even seen pass by. They came over and picked up my bike. I hovered around repeating “Thank you! Thank you!” Without saying a word they left.
I moved the bike over to the side of the road and loaded up. I was back on two wheels!
I made it home in two days, thanks to those two silent, nameless men who took a few minutes out of their busy day to help a biker chick in distress.
I’m still paying forward their kindness of that day. To them it probably wasn’t a big deal, but it was an act that will forever stay with me.