Saying goodbye to my favorite fella felt like my heart was being ripped out.
Smitty! Don’t forget me – I’ll see you soon!
What? You didn’t think I was talking about a human, did you?
I bought Smitty (my 2003 Harley Davidson 1200 Custom Sportster) in August 2003. That’s how long we’ve been together.
I experienced my first motorcycle ride when I was 6 or 7. My best friend’s father took me around the block, and I was hooked.
When I was a teenager, I sought motorcyclists to befriend.
It took an embarrassingly long time for me to realize that I could get my own motorcycle and stop relying on others to go for a ride.
The biggest obstacle to buying my own motorcycle was my mother. I can’t say I blame her… I’d been in 10 car accidents – one severe enough to land me in the hospital for two weeks.
My brilliant idea: Take Mom motorcycle shopping and have her pick it out.
You may think that was crazy, but my mother had a knack for choosing good vehicles. Plus, she was the best negotiator I’d ever seen firsthand.
So here I was, 32 years old – a homeowner – taking Mom and Dad with me to pick out my motorcycle.
She chose Smitty. I chose his name. She negotiated an unheard-of $4,000 off the asking price.
And, you know what? It worked. Mom doesn’t worry as much about me riding.
When I’m sad, stressed, or generally feeling unsettled, Smitty and I hit the road. No one has ever made me feel as good. His magical healing power is the reason I decided to move South – so we could spend more quality time together.
If you ride, you get that.
So remember when you hit the road in the warmer weather: Please pay attention to the road. My fellow riders and I are out there trying to shake off the blues, or de-stress.