Sandra and the White Dragon
My White Dragon – it was not love at first sight – I had been shopping for a big ‘ole “hogg”: A Harley Davidson…when I saw a snap of what would become my White Dragon, I copied it to my list of “possibles” because it was big, it had a windshield and bags, and because it was in my price range. But I did not think it was particularly pretty or sexy or “me”.
I found several used bikes that I called on. A pretty bright blue might be good! And it’s had a lowering kit installed. Oh, here’s one, maroon and gray, but it’s a bit older than I wanted. Here’s one that’s PERFECT…except it’s black…blech.
I finally sent an e-mail inquiry on the Suzuki Boulevard C50T, that white thing. Got a ton more pictures…hey, look! She’s not just white; she’s got ghost flames painted on her. And she’s big and broad – built low and powerful – all very attractive qualities in a cruiser! I took her home with me the night I went to look at her…
The first time I attempted to ride her I was nervous. Petrified, terrified, but so excited! I hadn’t a clue what I was doing and had no idea how I was supposed to turn her out of the driveway and take her to the end of the street. That’s when I found out she was most definitely not a machine – she has life; and she read me like a book. There was no doubt that I was not in control; knowing how dangerous that could be to both of us, she took over! I hung on for dear life when I lost control just letting the clutch out; I tried to grab the front brake, but rolled on the throttle and she darted out from under me in a heaving rush and roar. I stayed on through sheer terror and a death grip! She headed for the nearest piece of grass and laid herself down there, giving my left leg quite a bruise in the process. But except for that and my severely injured pride (of course, several neighbors were witness), we had both survived my stupidity. My husband bolted out of the house and jerked her up with one hand – golly men are so strong when adrenaline is pumping through their hard bodies – he was so angry with me! What the hell had happened??? I could not answer him because I truly did not know. Not a word had been spoken, but at that moment I knew – she lives – and she has a will to survive. She had just given me my first riding lesson: I could take control or take the fall; but she would not put herself in jeopardy just because I was an idiot!
Well, it was impossible for me to get back on her right then. She was upset, I was upset, and my husband was in no condition to teach me. He had decided I wasn’t born with the ability to drive a motorcycle and that I would die if I persisted in riding this beast. Luckily for me, I have a brother who COULD teach me; he had already taught me to drive a stick shift (in his wife’s brand new Corvette – I was 16 at the time – I’m 48 now). He would come help me face my dragon!
He arrived a few days later; we went over my bike. He had me lead him to a school parking lot a few blocks away where my lessons would begin. I was again nervous…but confident. He had me mount up; we went over the controls again…yes, I know that’s the clutch! ...and he taught me the art of easing off the clutch. Ease off, start to roll, ease the clutch back in. Huh, this was really rather easy! Wish I’d thought of it myself a few days ago! In no time he had me driving the length of the parking lot; duck walking the turn and driving back. Next I took her out of the side lot and drove in front of the school – room to hit 2nd gear! – practice a U-turn at the far end. No, I did not accomplish the U-turn without touching down a foot that day; but progress was made. Okay, run the gauntlet again, this time shift up, shift down and stop; start, shift up, shift down…about 10 times; pull a U-ie and come on back.
I kept that poor guy out there for over 2 hours, standing in a parking lot on a cold spring day, while I repeated the simplest of exercises over and over again. He’s amazing. When I finally felt guilty and said it was time to quit for the day, he truly acted surprised we had been out there that long. He drove my Dragon home and I followed in my car. He praised me copiously and really boosted my confidence. He said he never dreamed I’d accomplish so much in one afternoon.
Neither did my Dragon! I could tell she was satisfied and would give me the opportunity to master the art of flying her now. But the highlight is the bond forming between me and the White Dragon. She still won’t tell me her name; says I would not be able to pronounce it right; but she’s willing to be my partner now. She still laughs at me when I stall at intersections; she still calls me a sissy when I refuse to relax and lean into a turn with her; she still teases me when I slow down to the suggested speed limit heading into a curve. But she knows now…she knows that as we continue to work together, practice our skills, work on our body language…that we have a lifetime ahead of us to work it all out. We’ll be flying together for all eternity, because Dragons are forever, and they bond for life…