Zero hour came Monday, November 24, 2014, when I looked in my car’s rear view mirror and saw my friend Carla Bryan ride Big Red across the intersection of Truxtun and Oak. We’d just left the AAA office, where we had taken care of the California DMV requirements, and Carla was leaving town, riding Big Red to her home in Las Vegas.
A bittersweet event, it was, surprisingly, more sweet than bitter. The hard stuff had occurred months before when I’d anguished over the big decision to give up motorcycling and sell Big Red. I’d spent restless nights and did a fair amount of bawling whenever I talked about it. Big Red had become a huge part of my identity. Who would I be now?
From the first time I put the words out into the Universe that it was time for Big Red to go, Carla was interested. She visioned the bike as hers and stayed positive. She kept in touch with me on Facebook and worked hard to earn the money to own Big Red.
|Laurie, TJ, Carla, me, and Sylvia|
Knowing my bike was going to someone who wanted her so much, would take good care of her, and would ride her on to new places -- and knowing Carla -- made it so much easier for me to pass Big Red along.
So in the wee hours of Sunday, November 23, Carla boarded a Greyhound Bus in Las Vegas, headed for Bakersfield, to pick up her “new” bike. We spent the afternoon getting reacquainted and orienting Carla to Big Red’s many features. She went for a spin and returned grinning from ear to ear. I felt better and better about Big Red’s new home.
Before we left the house Monday morning, I showed Carla the faded woven thread friendship bracelet that encircled Big Red’s left handle bar. “That’s been on there since 1996.”
She looked me in the eye and said, “And, it’ll stay there.”
Blessings and safe travels to Carla and Big Red as they traverse the highways and byways of this great land, embarking on new adventures and seeing new vistas. It's comforting to know that a part of me will still ride in the wind with Big Red.
~ xoA ~