My husband and I own a Harley. We love our Harley. It’s a rich deep blue Ultra Classic that we bought almost two years ago. Prior to that we had a Sportster for ten years. I guess it would be more honest to say that Rich had a Sportster and I would ride it occasionally. But in late 2006, as he approached a major deployment starting in 2007, Rich decided to sell his beloved Sportster and order the Ultra Classic for when he returned.
We came to live in the States after being overseas for eighteen years and within eighteen months, we had become empty nesters. This gave us the opportunity to get out more on the bike. We began to explore Florida and it became obvious fairly soon to the both of us that our “sits bones” did not tolerate long rides. So we discussed the possibility of upgrading to a touring bike.
The deployment was the perfect opportunity for doing this. So Rich put the Sportster up for sale and banked the proceeds. He then saved all his sea pay for the seven and half months he was away and, within a few days of returning home at the end of August 2007, we rode to Gainesville to take possession of our new “toy”. Since then we have put just over 14,000 miles on it, and that’s in spite of Florida’s rainy summers!!
Today we took a wonderful ride. The weather was great: sunny, but not too much, and just a very short shower. Our original plan had been to ride down to St. Augustine, but things changed and we ended up riding to a new Harley dealer. We were on a “mission” to find me a new helmet!
Even though we have an intercom speaker system set up so that we can communicate as we ride, sitting on the back of the Harley has become another time that I find myself saying a lot of prayers. We start every ride with a prayer of gratitude for the blessings of the bike and they joy that we get from riding it and also asking for protection and safe riding. For me this just helps to set the tone, and before long I’m praising and thanking God for the wonders of this world.
There’s nothing like riding the back of a Harley to become fully appreciative of the beauty of nature. Feeling the wind in my face and the sun on my back makes me aware of how much I love being outside. The scenery that we pass always brings me such a sense of gratitude for this amazing earth that God created. And pretty soon I’m in such a state of gratitude that my soul is singing.
As the miles go by friends and family come to mind and it’s just a natural progression for me to start asking God to bless and protect them. Sometimes there are specific requests that need to be made for people who I know are going through tough times. My children always get special mention, especially my daughter. And from there I go to world needs, and so prayers for peace and environmental respect get added to the list.
The ride today was a great success. We found a great helmet; black with a slight underlying sparkle and an outrageously gorgeous deep purple flame pattern all over!! (I’m happy!) We had a very interesting Indian lunch (I LOVE Indian food!) over in the Baymeadows area. On the way home we encountered just a short shower which was really quite refreshing. Most importantly we arrived home safely, which is always blessing in and of itself. And once again I had the opportunity to have some Harley prayer time.