By Scott Harrup | July 6, 2012
For years I’ve dreamed of owning a motorcycle. Jodie is convinced if I ever do I’ll make her a widow, so there are absolutely no plans right now to visit a dealership. But I’ve had an interest in two-wheeled transportation since I was a kid, and it shows no signs of waning.
As a result, I’ve been a passenger a number of times, but almost never a rider (the one exception being the 100 cc dirt bike a friend let me ride across a field in first gear in junior high school). When our family lived in Sierra Leone on a rural mission compound, the other family’s son had a Honda 60 cc and would give me and my two brothers rides — all at the same time.
You have to picture this: Mark, 16, would squeeze me, 8, right behind him on the seat and place Blake, 5, and Obie, 3, on the gas tank. He’d keep one arm around my brothers and the other on the handlebars.
Mom didn’t let us go much farther than the end of the mission driveway.
In Kenya, a high school friend had a Yamaha 250. Our families vacationed on the coast the same week once. I hiked down the beach to his hotel, stayed the afternoon, and accepted a ride back to our campsite at sunset. Paul wanted me to be “safe,” so gave me the one helmet. The ride in the dark looking for a poorly marked access road to our camp proved risky all the same with bugs impacting Paul’s exposed face at 30 mph.
I came the closest to buying a bike when our family returned to the States in 1980. I was in the market for some kind of transportation, and figured this was my chance to fulfill my dream. Then a guy at church had an accident on his bike and nearly lost a leg. I was suddenly much more receptive to my parents’ advice to get a used car.
So, here I sit 32 years later, still driving on four wheels.
In the interim, I’ve watched the cycling world expand its offerings to include ever-larger and more expensive models. Where a few hundred cc’s made for a “large” bike in the ’70s, today you can buy machines with engines the size of a small car’s and priced to match.
Perhaps one way around Jodie’s objections would be to “spiritualize” my dream and convince her we could serve the Lord more effectively as motorcycle evangelists. As soon as the idea crosses my mind, I know she’d see right through to my easy riding heart of darkness.
But I can still dream. And I do admire our Assemblies of God chaplains who are impacting the motorcycling community. Russ and Judy Cockrum are one such couple. You can read about them here.
(For more articles like this, visit Out There.)
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