Gordon Mulder writes, “I shore 'nuf ain't no riter, but here'z a story”
My journey to my new ride started, unknowingly, the first part of August. My daughter was home from Denver for a long weekend. The usual questions of catching up with what is/was going on in her life—how ‘ya doing?, what ‘ya doing?, what’s happening in your life? And the same question from her to me and my wife.
In the discussion she mentioned that her motorcycle was not running very good. She was riding a Honda something or other, and was going to put it up for sale. I mentioned that my ’94 Beemer was running smooth, as well as my ’87 Goldwing. (I had purchased the Goldwing a couple of years ago because of the super nice passenger seat which my wife liked much better than the seat on the Beemer.) In fact. I had found myself riding the Goldwing by myself a few times because of the greater knee room.
And then my daughter said, “You can’t ride two machines at once. And since you are riding the Goldwing more and more, why not sell me the older Beemer?” ULP! I had never considered that avenue of action, but she did have a point. So after looking at KBB.com for prices, we came to an agreement on price, considering the machine was going to a good home.
Next problem, how to get the Beemer out to Denver. I could ride it out there and thumb my way back -- or not says my wife. We could trailer it out there—what a waste of good riding. And then my wife asks if we could meet in the middle—say somewhere in the Black Hills—Labor Day maybe? My daughter checks her schedule, and she is “good” - as in not having to work those days. We were good as in not having to work those days—and so it was set—we would trailer the bikes out to the ‘Hills’ for a riding weekend, and Jody would trailer the Beemer home to Denver.
We called out to Keystone to see if the cabin where we usually stay was open. It was, so great, now we even had a place to stay.
The Thursday before Labor Day, I load the Beemer in the back of my pickup, hook up my trailer and load my Goldwing. Friday after work my wife and I head west to the Hills.
Saturday morning we unload both bikes and decide to go for one last ride on the Beemer before Jody gets to the cabin. We head west to Hill City, south to Custer, south to Pringle, east to the Custer Wildlife Loop and then head back north to get back to Keystone. All along the wild life loop we see signs, “Buffalo are dangerous! Stay on the rode! Stay away from the buffalo! Be careful!” And I’m thinking ya, ya, ya. Big Deal. Seen them before.
The motorcycle must go a little faster than some of the cars, because before long I’m in back of three cars--with no place to pass, and so we puuts along. Suddenly I see tail lights on the first car, and then it stops. I see tail lights on the second car, and then it stops. Same with the third car. And so we also stop. I look ahead and see the road in front of the first car disappear because a herd of buffalo is moving from an upper meadow to a lower meadow—using the road as a pathway between the rocks. The buffalo herd part and go around the first car and come back together. They part the second time and go around the second car. (I’m starting to wonder what I should do—turn tail and give them some room or what?) The buffalo part and start going around the third car, and I decide to zoom up to within 4 inches of the car’s rear bumper. I shut the motor off and tell my wife to hold perfectly still, make no noise, and make no eye contact while the Buffalo pass around us.
We could hear their feet shuffle along, we could hear their breathing, and see their big brown eyes looking at us as they passed within four feet on either side of us. And I suddenly think of a rhetorical question—if a proud member of PETA would get dressed up in a bright red body suit, and get into the middle of a herd of angry buffalo, could they expect not to get charged because they are vegetarians? Hmmmm. And here my wife and I are sitting on a cranberry red bike trying not to look suspicious or threatening. Suddenly two bulls start gouging each other, and shoving each other in a circle just to the side of the car in front of us. Oh boy, they could dance over us and not even know it, but no, they straighten out and walk past us nicely.
The buffalo herd is just about past us when the car in front of us pulls out and away from us. Oh crap—don’t leave us here! I start the bike and follow ever so close until we are out of the buffalo herd.
And then back to Keystone and a nice uneventful weekend of riding the Hills. Monday we load the Beemer on Jody’s trailer and she heads south to Denver. We then load the Goldwing on my trailer and head back to Luverne.
A couple of weeks later I tell my wife that I miss the old Beemer. Yes, I know that it has a new good home, but there was something about walking into the machine shed and seeing it there and knowing it was ready for another ride. And my wife asks, “Well if you need to get another Beemer, what would you get for your perfect dream bike?” Hmmm… good question—first it would have to be a Beemer - it is a quality thing. Size wise—oh, about 1200 cc’s, and I would like a reverse on it if I ever trike it. New one’s cost too much (I still have too much Dutch in me)—so have the bike about ten years old with low mileage between 30 and 40 thousand miles. It needs a radio and a good passenger seat, as well as a good seat for me. I’ve been blessed with long knees, so I need knee room.
And she says, ‘Geez, anything else?’ And I say, ‘Blue, I would like it dark blue.’
The very next day at 12:50pm, Lois calls me and says, “You’ll never guess what I found on Craig’s list - a 2002 K1200 with reverse, 30,000 miles, radio, good seats-front and back, and dark blue.” What is not to love about that?
We go to see it and sit on it. Oh what a wonderful bike! I can hardly stop from grinning! The owner wants to sell it, as he doesn’t ride it enough. I tell him I had to sell my Goldwing first, and then I would be back. He says, “Older Goldwing? That is what I’m looking for!” And so we trade bikes, with some boot money thrown in for good measure. And we are both happy.
My, oh my, what a really nice ride it is!