So I find myself in 2010. It doesn't mean much to me, apart from the fact that the good Lord has been kind enough to give me (and you) some more time on two wheels. Thank you and Amen!
The other day, while I was out and about, busy as a bee, running around for a wedding in the family, I came across a very heart warming sight. There, standing beside the road, was an elderly couple with an equally old scooter. The woman looked on with a smile as her husband tilted the ancient two-wheeler to its side with the ease only years of practice can bestow. A kick and a flick of the throttle later, the two-stroke got about its smoky business - just like it has done right from the time when the man actually wore his pants at his waist and the lady cared to do up her hair and match her shoes with her clothes.
All of that got me thinking. The marriage between man (or woman, for that matter) and machine truly exists. It doesn't take an exotic machine or a mechaphiliac weirdo, no siree. It's just the human urge to turn an inanimate motorcycle into something with habits, emotions and temperaments.
If you think I'm overdoing it or all the good 'cheer' of the holidays has finally gotten to me, let's take a simple test. Do you immediately know after riding your bike for a minute or two, that someone else has ridden it without your knowledge? Do you know, just by the sound that the engine makes as you kick it over, whether it's going to start or not? You know there's something amiss with your bike, despite the 'best' mechanic in town telling you otherwise - only for the bike to prove him wrong a few miles later?
Well, if you've answered a 'yes' to either one or all of the above, you're in love, my dear friends. So what if you don't do the spannering yourself or can't rattle out the inlet and exhaust valve clearances of your machine at a moment's notice. You connect with the soul of your motorcycle and that's the very basis of love - knowing your partner inside out!
Since its only apt that I wish you all today, here goes... May 2010 bring you all many hundreds of thousands of safe and happy kilometres and may there be many more to come. Ride/drive safe everyone!