On hot days like today, it would be nice to have that motorcycle I used to own (even though the Mrs. would probably heavily object to it). The cool breeze in the face, the freedom of the road, and the pleasure of the ride all sound great right about now with the temperatures we’re having in Texas.
Looking back, I could say motorcycles have played a role in my life. They haven’t all been positive experiences, however. From the age of five, my dad had purchased a Honda Trailblazer 70 that we had a blast driving around the lakeside roads by his home on Gun lake.
That little trail cycle was almost twice my size. I still remember the first time I tried to ride it. Dad put me on the seat, told me to gently squeeze the throttle and that he would help balance it for me. Unfortunately, while I was getting onto the bike, I slipped and yanked the throttle down while it was in gear. I went flying right into the neighbor’s metal fence. It threw me straight back, in the air, and onto the ground.
I must have had an angel watching over me because I didn’t feel a thing. Being a kid, though, I thought I’d better act it up a bit so as to get the sympathy, which was a bad idea, because I wasn’t allowed on the bike for another year.
In high school, I drove around a Honda 350 (when there wasn’t any snow) for a year. I later decided sell it to save my mother the stress of worrying whether I’d make it home alive. That small motorcycle was pretty frightening on the expressway, I will say.
In college, I had driven my Chevy Vega station wagon for the full five years of undergraduate school. The last week before graduation, it bit the dust. The motor cracked, and it was off to the dump leaving me with no transportation.
A buddy on our dorm wing was also graduating and needed to ‘off load’ his black Honda 750. SO, I bit and was driving a motorcycle for the summer. One thing about a motorcycle, is that it will humble you quickly, if you don’t handle it well.
Two days before graduation, I took the bike out for the first time. It had been a while since riding a motorcycle and I’d never ridden one that large.
ORU has a large, curved entrance called the Avenue of Flags representing all the countries where the students were from. My overconfidence got the best of me, and I took the curve far too fast, without leaning. The bike scraped against the curb, and me being a brilliant college boy, decided I would put my foot out to slow the bike.
Needless to say, you can’t stop a motorcycle that weighs five hundred pounds with one’s FOOT! Thankfully, the bike didn’t crash, but my ankle didn’t fare as well.
ORU graduations were no small event. The stadium was nearly full with thousands of family and friends. I’ll never forget walking the stage that day. While on national television, in front of all my friends, I was the only one who had the honor of hopping up the stairs and limping across the stage with crutches. My dad was so proud, but knew, that’s Brad..!
By the end of summer, I had traded the cycle in for a new car and a full-time youth ministry job. I still reflect on that summer driving around Tulsa on that motorcycle. Outside of the bugs, it was fun. Maybe, someday, I’ll have to hop on one again.
I thought I’d share a few of those stories with you tonight. Nothing spiritual and no real-life lessons learned (other than I needed to lean more into that curve…). Regardless, I want you to know that you are special today. With the holiday coming up, a lot of people will be on the road with more than just soda in their system, so be safe out there and have a great week ahead!