I had to drive up to Pennsylvania yesterday to attend my Uncle Ed's funeral. It was a brief affair. It was his wish to have a grave-side service only.
Ed was married to my Dad's oldest sister, Pearl. I've actually mentioned Pearl here before. I rode my bike up to visit her and another aunt, Bertha, on International Female Ride Day in 2011.
Pearl and Ed were married for 57 years! I think she's close to 80. She may even be 80. My Aunt Bertha is in her mid-60s. I could call and ask her so I'd know exactly, but it's still a bit early. And yesterday was a long day.
Aunt Bertha's age is important, though. Because it's one of the things that makes this next image so remarkable...
Yes, that's my Aunt Bertha on her very own, new-to-her, Can Am Spyder.
Isn't that a pretty red? How awesome is it to read about a single woman in her 60s buying her FIRST motorcycle?
She's wanted one for years. She's an avid ATV rider (she has one of those, too). She also has a scooter, but that just didn't cut it for her. She wanted a motorcycle. She took the MSF course last year or the year before. And she's been eyeing-up Spyders for a while.
It's perfect for her. As she says, she doesn't have to worry about the thing falling over.
And check this out...
Wondering why I'm wearing a helmet?
She asked me if I wanted to take it for a ride. What was I going to say? No?
I had to take it for a spin. Opportunities like that don't knock often.
I don't know all of the particulars. It's a 2009 automatic model. There's no clutch. You shift with a paddle shifter located near the left-hand grip. It's got reverse, too, which is awesome. And the foot brake, located in the usual spot, controls all three wheels at once. It has ABS and what I think my cousin, Bob, referred to as an automatic vehicle stability system. If you go into a corner too hot, it automatically brakes the inside wheel, while simultaneously throttling down.
She's tickled pink, as well she should be! She has only had it for a little over a month and is slowly getting used to riding it.
It does ride differently than a two-wheeled bike. The previous owner added a performance muffler. It's louder than the stock model, but not obnoxiously so. The steering is quite sensitive. And you don't need to back off the gas much at all to shift.
I took it for a spin on Spooky Nook Road (don't you love that road name?) and got up to 50 in no time flat. As you might imagine, it's super-easy to turn around, too.
I know I'm not exactly wearing appropriate riding gear, but I look pretty good on the thing, don't I?
Hubby and I are going to have to ride up to PA soon for a family ride. In addition to my Aunt Bertha, cousin Bob has a Harley (not sure what model), his sister Mary Ann's husband, Jeff, has a Goldwing. Bob has a good friend, Steve, who also rides a Harley. And a neighbor of Pearl's, named Rick, who is also a family friend, rides, too.
Won't we make a motley crew? :-)
I'm going to send Aunt Bertha a link to this blog post. If you also think it's awesome that she rides, please comment here to let her know. I'm sure she'd be thrilled to read that.