I met Veronika online. She was 31 and offered an attractive photo, proving she took care of herself. We went back and forth via email and after about a week, I wanted to meet her. I took the train to Seattle, got in late and stayed a night at my sister’s place. I finally met her the next morning around 9 am. She was quiet, polished and proud of her family lineage. All her systems seemed in good working order. I handed final payment in cash to her current owner. She now belonged to me.
She started right up. I let her run a bit, shoved my helmet on and jumped on I-5 at 45th. January rides are not ideal, but I needed her home. She rode strong and straight, taking the rough sections with ease, hungrily lapping up the new pavement at 70 mph. Numb from the cold after 150 miles, I coaxed her on and she kept going. The relationship seemed good. We were of one mind about one thing: I wanted to get home and she agreed.
But, like any new love, things took a turn. It was subtle at first. She wasn’t as willing to move forward with our relationship as I would have liked. Her energy flagged, she no longer showed total interest in making it all the way to Portland. Around mile marker 23, her stubborn streak broke though the surface like an angry boil. She was done. I coasted her to the breakdown lane, the endless river of I-5 traffic flowing by. The noise of my new situation made everything difficult. She would not cooperate. She refused to even speak to me. I knew a good relationship takes work, focus and determination. I looked at her and wondered if she was worth the effort. We’d come all this way.
I reached triple-A on the phone, arranging pickup at the Woodland Chevron, 2.5 miles down the loud, dusty I-5 corridor. I held her tenderly and started pushing. A quarter mile up the road, someone pulled off the freeway in a cloud of dust. He walked toward me. He asked if I needed a hand. He had an empty trailer, heading home from his mom’s place. His name was Luigi and he understood. He spoke of a 1969 Harley that had the same issues. He wanted us to work out, I could tell he thought she was hot. We loaded her up. I jumped into the back seat of his Jeep, deferring to his dog Emma in the front seat. She gladly offered a low growl of approval.
We arrived at the Chevron a few minutes before the AAA truck. Matt the truck driver took over, securing Veronika to the large tow truck flat bed. I asked if he assisted with many motorcycles. Pausing for effect behind his dark sunglasses, he said, “not many at this time of year.” The cold truth; I should have waited until spring. New relationships always seem better when the rest of the world blossoms at the same time, a chorus of celebration for new found love.
She’s home now. We are committed to each other. She is part of the household, a mistress who gives as best she can, depending on how I treat her. I’ve told her she is worth it and I won’t give up on her. The 1978 Honda CB550 tune up is on the calendar.