Sunday, February 07, 2010

Old dog, old tricks

And so it came to pass. On the seventh day, when all the other creatures were resting their weary bones, my Dad aged 67, was riding his new Honda Shadow motorbike from Christchurch to Auckland.

He bought it through TradeMe a few days ago and has spent the last 36 hours practising his slow turns and stopping on the relatively quiet streets of Sumner. So far he's lost his gloves off the roof of my car, lost his glasses off the roof of my car, found the glasses 10 minutes later unscathed in the middle of the road - 'it's a miracle', and made two trips into town to buy accessories that he forgot the first, and second time he went to the bike shop. Of course he looks cool. While he's riding. Watching him get off is pure comedy. Lacking the flexibility to lift his leg over the seat he leans forward and rolls off, just like the high jumpers at the Berlin Olympics. And just like the high jump bar, sometimes the bike comes down too. Another wee thing to practise.

It's my fault. If I hadn't reminded him of the Honda Goldwing he would never have remembered that riding a motorbike around the perimeter of New Zealand was on his bucket list. Up til then he was obsessing about a motorhome, his boat, and a bicycle built for two.

But there are worse things he could be doing. Gardening. Giving up. Acting his age. Genealogy. Bowls. Reunions. Better to burn out than to rust. Go Poppa Bear. If it all gets too hard and for the second time in 20 years he has to sell a motorbike within a couple of weeks of buying it, where's the harm?

I'm planning my own adventure now. Despite my daily sunbeds (when you're having radiation therapy every day is a Friday) which have burnt a red patch the size of a dinner plate onto my chest and halfway round to my back, I crave the sun and the warmth of a tropical breeze. After 6 more treatments I will be free. The only hospital visits between me and Christmas will be check-ups, 3-weekly Herceptin, and surgery to rebuild the twin towers. But even that can wait.

I was thinking about doing a road trip. Perhaps I could follow that old guy who keeps rolling off his bike at the road side cafes. Have you heard of him?


Poppa Bear said...

The old guy made it home, back to the arms of his loving wife who was ever so thankful he made it. Had a great ride, met lots of very cool 'bikie' travelers along the way. Never knew their names nor they mine but moments shared on the journey. Hey Sach,it rained on the way home and stuffed my cell phone. *&&%$#@!!. Already planning the next ride.
ps I can actually lift my leg over now.

Jacinda said...

roadsides. I saw that van again, the one I told you about with the sign written message: Pokies - TAB - God Bless. It read in fact, Pokies -TAB - Cold Beers.
I wonder if your Dad pulled over there for a refreshment thinking it was some sort of Hallelujah pub too?
Jacinda P

Kyla said...

Dad - gardening? bowls? Thank goodness these are not in his vocabulary!

Despite all our concern over your safety and our mocks at your silliness, Dad. We really do love you. Go Poppa Bear!