One full-moon evening in June of 2005, I finished another valve adjustment on my beloved W650 motorcycle and all that stood between me and a cold beer in a hot shower was the test ride. Angel had been such a great little assistant grease-monkey, I decided she deserved a break from the garage too. So we rode out to our spot on the Batiquitos Lagoon jetty and watched the foam of the waves glowing blue in the moonlight for a little while. Happy moment indeed: a freshly-tuned motorcycle, a full moon, glowing waves, a faithful dog, and a cold beer waiting at home in the fridge. But at that very moment, someone nearby was not sharing in it.
On our way home, a gleam of chrome in a ditch caught my eye. A poor older guy had ridden his Harley-Davidson Road King off the asphalt and crashed into a ditch full of iceplant, and was attempting to wrestle this 700-pound bike back up on the road by himself!
We pulled over to help, but there were no streetlights, nor sidewalk and the traffic was still whizzing quickly by on the narrow road–no place for a little dog. So I left her in her gas-tank seat on the bike to help the poor guy.
A car soon stopped and two more guys got out to help. The bike was heavy and the crushed iceplant was slicker than owl-poo, but we were making gradual progress. “1-2-3-HEAVE, 1-2-3-HEAVE…” and despite the traffic whizzing by, Angel remained steadfast and stalwart on my parked bike. I was anxious about the cars driving so closely past her, so every once in a while when we were catching our breath, I’d look in the direction of Angel on the bike and say aloud, “You stay! That’s a good girl! You STAY right THERE!“
Angel fortunately never moved and we finally got that heavy Road King back up on its asphalt throne again. The panting Harley-man offerred us money, but none of us took it. I noticed his elbow was bleeding and asked, “You sure you’re not hurt? You okay to ride home?” He suddenly stopped panting, looked at me very closely and said in a concerned tone, “No…thanks…I’ll be fine, are YOU okay?“
That was a little odd, but it didn’t dawn on me until we were down the road a mile or so when I looked down at Angel and realized: he couldn’t see her on the bike in the darkness and therefore he thought I was talking to my motorcycle.
“You stay! That’s a good girl! You STAY right THERE!“