Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Novice on a Motorcycle

By Vonnie Davis

I remember my first motorcycle ride with great clarity. The man I was dating, at the time, had just bought a new Yamaha 650. Since my children were spending the weekend with their father, the new guy in my life decided it would be a great day to initiate me to the joys of riding a bike.

Poor guy had no clue as to the extent of my novice status--or my fear. Or that I’d be so stiff I’d make steering the bike harder for him. I was so scared, I was afraid if I moved my eyeballs, I’d throw the bike off balance. I froze. During the entire two-hour ride I stared at the back of his helmet, memorizing the serial numbers and other information.

When we got home and I could mercifully stand on solid ground, rubbing my bumm to get the circulation going again, he asked how I’d enjoyed the ride. “Fine,” I replied, “except, don’t your feet get hot? First I kept my toes down until I couldn’t stand the heat anymore and then I'd put my heels down.

He shot a glance at his tailpipes where the rubber from my soles had melted onto them. He’d forgotten to put the foot pegs down and I’d been riding with my feet on the hot tailpipes. He had to spend several hours rubbing the melted soles off the chrome. It was a long time before he left me forget it.

In my recent release, Those Violet Eyes, Win takes Evie home from work after the battery on her car goes dead. She’d never ridden a bike either.

“You need a ride home. Come on.” Win turned and walked to his Harley, tugging a key from his jeans pocket.

Evie scurried after him, his helmet dangling from her hand. “Wait. Wait a second. I’m not riding on that thing with you.”

Win settled onto the seat and inserted the key. The Harley jumped to life, making that low rumble it was so famous for; her system did a strange rumbling of its own when she took in his broad shoulders. He didn’t say a thing. He just sat there, staring off into the night. Waiting. Waiting for her just like he’d done before when he wanted her to do something. This blasted man’s silence was different from others. His silence whispered, “Come to me.” Worse, she watched him wait and felt him will her to do his silent command.

Damn him.

The lights on the rooftop star and steer snapped off. She needed a ride home. Marshall was always the first to leave, so he’d be no help. “I’ll ask Gus to give me a ride in his truck.”

“He’s gone. Left before you did. Think it might be for a woman, but don’t tell Keira.”

Keira was probably filling out the alcohol log sheets for the BATF, a process her friend claimed was the bane of her existence. While the current bane of her existence sat silent on a rumbling Harley. Waiting.

“Won’t you need your helmet?” She extended it to him.

He shook his head once. “Your safety’s more important than mine. You use it.”

He was the strangest man she’d ever met.

Well, hadn’t she been hoping for a little adventure, something to change the everyday humdrum of her life? And she did need a ride home.

She put on the helmet and took it back off. “My pony tail won’t fit.”

Win’s hands rose to remove the clip from her hair, his muscled legs holding the bike upright. His eyes locked on hers as his fingers splayed in her tresses and fluffed them out.

“Your hair’s beautiful. I hate to cover it up with this old brain bucket.”

Her insides did more of that strange twitching she found very perplexing. No man ever complimented her before, nor touched her hair. Not like he was doing, anyhow.

He took the helmet from her, settled it on her head and made some adjustments so it fit her better.

When she hiked her skirt to get on, his gaze followed her legs; she was sure she heard him groan. The man made her yearn and fear at the same time.

“Wrap your arms around me.”

“No, I’ll hurt your back.”

“Wrap your arms around me, Evie.”

“No.” She had no intentions of touching him. If she did, she might like the feel of his hard, muscular frame too much, and that just wouldn’t do. She was leaving here as soon as she saved enough money.

Win coasted the bike backwards, walking it along with his boots. The bike made its potato-potato-potato sound.

“Hold on or you’ll fall off.”

“No, I won’t.”

He gave the bike more gas and released the clutch. It lurched forward—Evie jerked backwards. Her arms snapped around his waist, and she snuggled close. Just as she feared, her arms around him felt good, much too good.

She closed her eyes. Win Fairchild could be trouble, trouble in black jeans and a Harley T-shirt.

Warm air rushed by as the bike pierced the darkness like an arrow. A sense of freedom exhilarated her. Was it the ride or the man that heightened her senses? Subtle changes in temperature were noticeable as they rounded corners and took the gentle hills. Scents she missed while riding in a car were now hers for the smelling—pine, honeysuckle, wild flowers. The nighttime serenade by crickets, bullfrogs and the occasional owl made her smile. Everything was more vivid. No wonder people fell in love with riding motorcycles.




Jannine Gallant said...

I've never been on a motorcycle, so I'd probably react like you did. The excerpt is terrific, Vonnie - as is the whole book!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thanks, Jannine. I think it was my fourth or fifth ride before I finally got the hang of riding. Then I enjoyed it, but oh those first few times. I was scared to death!

Sandra Dailey said...

An old boyfriend took me for my first ride with plenty of instruction. I guess I wasn't his first novice. I don't remember what kind of bike he had, but my ex-husband had a 650 Yamaha, like the one you rode. Personally I preferred a Honda. I loved riding and still have my motorcycle license. I miss having a bike of my own.

Calisa Rhose said...

I don't think I can remember my first ride on a bike but I'm sure it was a lot like yours Vonnie. I do, however, remember the first time I rode one by myself! Dangerous. It was a Kawasaki or Honda? maybe? 750 and I was eleven years old. I believe it fell over on me when I attempted to kick start it. lol Horses don't need kick starting to get their motor going...well, they kinda do- but they don't fall over on me! Now...our shetland pony did... Wow. Never realized how similar a horse and bike are! Great excerpt Vonnie.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Sandra, you're a brave lady. There's no way this old chicken could drive a bike. I think I'll give that task to one of my heriones sometime.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Calisa, oh dearheart, you made me laugh outloud. A pony fell on you? Oh, you have to expand on this and put it in one of your stories. What a comical scene it would make.

Lynne Marshall said...

I'm glad Evie had a better experience than you did. LOL about melting your rubber soles.

Of all the crazy things, my husband decided to buy a motorcycle AFTER he retired. I told him it's his thing, but I do go on the occasional ride. I close my eyes and hug him tight when he rounds those corners. I'm always positive we're going down, but so far it hasn't happened.

I do enjoy the closer feel to the sense that goes with riding on the back of a motorcycle, though.

Susan Macatee said...

Oh, no, Vonnie! My first motorcycle ride was with my now husband of thirty-one years when we'd just started dating. He was a bit more careful, even made me wear his helmet since he didn't have a spare for me. But I was still scared. I did ride with him a few more times, until he got into an accident and wrecked the bike. This happened shortly after we'd married. I was glad I wasn't with him on that final ride. lol

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Men and their toys. Go figure. Give me a new pair of shoes everytime. LOL Thanks for stopping by.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Oh, Susan, I hope he wasn't injured. My grandson has a bike. I think the kids call it a "crotch rocket." One of those bikes you lay over the handlebars to ride. He broke his ankle in a wreck a couple years ago. But he still rides it.

MarvinLWright said...

This makes me smile actually. I am a newbie rider who's still learn how to ride a motorcycle.

Hannah Parkin said...

That is quite an experience, my friend. It’s nice to see you motorbike enthusiasts gather up and ride altogether carrying out your passion as one. I see you’ve been to many awesome places, and you also made very interesting friends, which is great. I’m sure they all made your long ride worthwhile. =)

Hannah ParkinThat is quite an experience, my friend. It’s nice to see you motorbike enthusiasts gather up and ride altogether carrying out your passion as one. I see you’ve been to many awesome places, and you also made very interesting friends, which is great. I’m sure they all made your long ride worthwhile. =)

Hannah Parkin

Anonymous said...

These are both interesting stories, Vonnie. Riding motorcycles for the first time can really induce feelings of different sorts. In your experience, I think the motorcycle was too powerful (Yamaha 650 punches a 654cc engine). Well, it’s a good thing that you got the hang of it after the subsequent tries! :D

Clare Westby

Unknown said...

I never thought some girls feel uncomfortable riding a motorcycle. Anyway, I’m glad I read this. It’s a good reminder not to let a girl ride my bike on the first date. XD Too bad you’ve also ruined your heels on that ride. And yeah, Clare’s right. The Honda was too powerful for your first ride. Have you tried it again? -->Max Piedra