So – with lots of sadness – I recently sold one of my five bikes. The dual sport Kaw I’ve written about here on several occasions. The bike did not deserve this. Indeed, it deserved better. Which is exactly why I put the ad up. I divorced fantasy from reality. I loved the idea of trail riding, but how much did I actually ride – on trails or otherwise?
The bike would often sit for weeks on end before guilt finally prompted me to at least start it up and let it run for 15 minutes or so. Maybe roll it around the garage some to try to keep the tires from flat-spotting. I was not unfaithful to it; no other dirt bike had taken its place. I just finally realized that time and other pressures had put the kibosh on my ability to do much more than keep the battery charged, fresh oil in the engine and fuel stabilizer in the tank.
If this pattern holds for more than two years, then you know what to do – or ought to.
Keeping a bike you can’t ride is kind of like hanging onto a woman you no longer have time to sleep with. Or aren’t interested in sleeping with. What’s the point? For you and her (or it, as the case may be). Do you both a favor – and let ’em go.
It went quickly, too. Within a day of putting the ad up, I had multiple people e-mailing me to come take a look. The first guy who got in touch ended up taking the little Sherpa home. That last ride – from my garage out to the field where there’s a little hill just the right height for a pick-up truck to back up to, so you can drop the tailgate and roll a bike onto the bed – was painful. Selling a bike you like always hurts, even when you know it’s the proper thing for all concerned. I knew I’d never hear that bike’s particular sound again. Images of the trails I’d never ride again, like family slides of childhood long gone, flickered and faded. This was it. The proverbial Green Mile. The thought came to me that all the the little changes I’d made over the years to make the bike mine were about to become matters of indifference, perhaps even annoyance, to the new owner – like old fixtures in a house you just bought.
I hadn’t felt these feelings since the last time I gave up another old friend, my ’64 Corvair Monza. That was 12 years ago. But I remember that last drive around the parking lot like it happened yesterday. Handing the keys to the new owner. Signing over the title. Watching him drive it away.
It still hurts.
Once again, all I’ve got now is some money in hand – and memories. I’m not sure which is the more valuable.
What I know for sure is that while I can buy other things with the Sherpa money, I’ll never be able to buy more of the the good times I might have had on that bike.
Those belong to someone else now.
Life goes on.
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