So what has happened over the last forty years that changed my need for speed? I remember my first real bike and how I rode. My actual first bike was a Yamaha 125 but then the real Honda CB 350 arrived. No gloves, no gear and just the mandatory helmet. I just got on the bike whenever I needed to go somewhere. I was free like bird.
I climbed trees without consideration of the descent. I walked across railway bridges in the middle of the night hoping that a train didn’t come and when they would come by surprise, we hanged off the side of the bridge to let it pass. I would get a speeding ticket monthly if not weekly (no demerit points back then). I ran through metro stations, took the midnight drunk train home from Montreal every Thursday, Friday and Saturday Night. I partied hard and always. I could eat an extra-large pizza with fries and a coke. I always had a pack of cigarettes in my jean jacket’s pocket. Women didn’t scare me, Police didn’t scare me and in fact, there wasn’t much that did scare me.
So today I wake up at six after going to bed at nine. If I get on my bike I am totally geared up from head to toe in the top of the line equipment (KLIM, Arai etc…). When I see a cop I look down at my speed and realize that I am riding the limit. I don’t climb ladders any more, I’ve learned to respect women and yes some scare me, I can only eat a slice of pizza and I haven’t had pop for twenty-five years. I wouldn’t dare walk across a train bridge at night nor do I smoke. Last weekend we partied with friends in Gananoque and we had a hotel room. We left the casino at 9:00 and were in bed by ten watching a movie.
At this point I am not sure if I should be depressed or relieved that I am still alive.
But how did this happen? It certainly wasn’t overnight or in a puff of smoke. I think back and I try to figure it out. Today I desire to be safe. Safe from cops arresting me, safe when on my bike, safe when working and just safe. The rebel that once occupied my body left but never said goodbye.
I tried to get the rebel back on the occasion. Once with the Abarth I was following a muscle car onto Highway 417 and as he accelerated I decided to show him what an Abarth could do and I pulled up beside him on the left doing 175 Km/Hour but I then immediately slowed down to 115 Km/Hr only to pass a waiting police cruiser in the next hiding spot in the middle of the highway. I breathed a sigh of relieve that I wasn’t speeding and the guy in the muscle car smiled at me as we both were doing 115. The rebels gone. It peaks its ugly head once in a while like when faced with an awesome double S curves on an old country road but the only witnesses are the deer or skunk that I almost hit.
So onward I go. Safe, secure in my life knowing that my credit score is excellent, I have the best insurance rates, there is no arrest warrant out on me and I am not broken. But yet I wonder why?
Well, my daughter Heather recently gave me one excellent reason to be safe, secure and still alive. My grand-daughter Juniper! Yes I am now officially a grandfather and I now realize why I want to be so safe and secure.
I need to be living (and out of jail) long enough to make certain that Juniper is always safe and secure. When did the rebel leave or how is no longer important because I may have a new rebel to worry about in sixteen years from now. So I better stay safe, secure, healthy and get ready 🙂