Continues from here.
I was walking around the showroom of RichCraft Custom Cycles, Jack was being a great tour guide showing me the bikes they’d created, telling me about the work they’d put into each one and talking up his workers and their ability as if they were masters of their craft, and they probably were. I on the other hand were being led graciously from bike to bike, nodding when I thought it appropriate, telling him how good I thought the bikes were and being careful not to do something silly like knock one over. At the same time I was thinking to myself about just how far out of my depth I was surrounded by motorbikes.
“So have you been interested in bikes long?” Jack asked me as we stopped next a bike which according to the sign standing next to it was a 2013 Harley Davidson Fatboy, whatever that meant.
“I don’t know, I guess I have always been into them but it’s not something I’ve ever made an effort to try.” I tuned away from his gaze in the hope my little lie didn’t unravel itself.
“You should. You’d be a natural on a bike.” He responded. I tried not to laugh but a little smirk came across my face as I looked up. “What’s up?”
I thought quickly, “Oh nothing, I’ve just never thought of my self as a ‘natural’ on a bike. I guess there has always been that fear in the back of my mind that I might fall off the thing.”
Jack laughed, it wasn’t a mean or derisive laugh it was more of a giggle laugh, but with a manly beef added to it. “You wont be the first and definitely wont be the last to fall off a bike. Perhaps I could teach you?”
“YES, YES, YES! Teach me anything! Take me home and teach me EVERYTHING!” My mind screamed at me, but I was still in enough control not to engage mouth before brain. Instead I responded with. “Oh. Umm. I don’t know, I’m not really sure I could do it.”
We’d moved along the showroom floor a bit further. Every step I took I was careful not to run into a bike, or spill my coffee and when we stepped out of the last row we were standing in front of a door with a sign on it.
“Honestly Dianne I’ve never met someone I couldn’t teach to ride, and teaching you would be a pleasure.”
I was beginning to wonder if maybe Jack had a few screws loose upstairs after that comment or maybe that god gave him all the looks and not the brains. Surely he had to see right through my crazy lie? Surely he was just fooling with me. Or maybe he was actually flirting with me, it had been so long since I had a guy do that I wasn’t sure what it felt like. Don’t get me wrong even if his IQ was negative I would still wouldn’t be running away, well not immediately anyway, I’d give him a few chances. But I’m sure he wasn’t that silly. He might well have suspected some of my story was playing with the exact truth but he wasn’t letting on and he was still keen to teach me to ride. I guess it was time for me to start learning a bit more about motorbikes.
“Would you like a tour of the workshop?” Jack said as he pointed to the door. “There is bound to be a few guys still working but it wont be too noisy.”
“I think I’d rather you take me for a ride on one of these hogs!” I said hoping I didn’t sound too forward, too silly and above all managed get the word hog in the right context.
“Really?” Jack answered with a shocked look on his face. Maybe he hadn’t been totally falling for my story!
“Yeah why not! But only if you promise to go easy on me.”
“You wont be saying that when you feel your hair in the wind.”
“Thanks all the same but I think I’d rather feel a helmet on my head.”
“Of course, but with beautifully long hair likes yours, you’ll feel the wind. Trust me!”
Trust him? Well I guess I did after all I was just about to get on the back of a bike with him, however chances are I was going to struggle not to wrap both arms around him so tight that I hampered his breathing. Twenty minutes later after a run down of how to hold on, which didn’t include giving him the biggest bear hug I could imagine, darn it, and how to be a good pinion passenger we were on the road on a similar Fatboy to the one Jack had pointed out in the showroom..
I wasn’t keeping an eye on our speed but Jack took off slowly, both wheels stayed on the ground, and he drove very sedately around town. He was right about feeling the wind in my hair even with the helmet on and it felt great. I don’t mind admitting, although not to Jack, that I was petrified for the first fifteen minutes. I was hanging on like my life depended on it, I’m fairly sure I didn’t doubt Jack’s ability but I seriously doubted everything else in the universe at that time. Once I began to relax a bit I really did begin to enjoy myself and after forty five minutes of riding when we pulled back into the rear of the workshop I was still a little on edge but nothing like when we left.
When we pulled next to the large close roller door I wondered what we were doing. I waited patiently for Jack to get off the bike, just like he’d told me to do, but the engine was still purring along.
“Slide down, it’s your turn to ride it.” I heard him say over the engine as he leaned towards me head..
“No. I couldn’t. I can’t.” I shook my head.
“Of course you can. We’ll just take it easy, around the forecourt here. First gear, I’ll be your pinion and just big, slow circles.”
Well I was nervous when I first got on the bike but that was nothing compared to how nervous I was when I first took off, although that could have had something to do with the fact that Jack was leaning against me. His hard muscular chest was pushed against my back and his hands were on the handlebars next to mine helping steer the heavy beast at the slow speed I was doing.
“Pick up speed a bit.” I heard him call.
I was nervous but I opened the throttle a little bit and we began cruising in a large arc around the forecourt. My first thought was Jack had been right, there was plenty of room to move one of our trucks around his premises but I quickly pushed the thought out of my mind and tried to concentrate on Jack’s arms around me, I mean riding the bike.
We rode around in big circles for nearly half an hour, I don’t remember when Jack let go of the handlebars, or when I began to relax but it happened and I have to say it was the most thrilling experience of my life. I couldn’t believe just how much fun riding a motorbike was, even at such a slow speed and going nowhere. When it was time to stop I didn’t want to, but I did. I pulled up in front of one of the large open roller doors and just before I was about to figure out how to stop I heard Jack call out.
“Park it in there where we got it from!”
It wasn’t an order but a request and I was so chuffed for him to trust me to park it back between the rows of bikes we’d got it from that I did exactly as he asked. He had to help me when it came to bringing the bike to a complete stop, because he hadn’t taught me what to do when that was required but I got the bike back in the same position as it was before we left and it was in one piece. I could not have been happier, actually yes I could, if Jack had reached over and kissed me on the neck just below the helmet that would have made me the happiest person in the world, but even I didn’t believe in fairy-tales.
We spent the next thirty minutes talking over coffee, although I think half of it was me going on about just how great riding a bike was. For most of that time I actually forgot just how good looking and appealing Jack was, I was fixated on riding motorbikes.
When Jack asked me if I would like to accompany him to dinner I declined politely. It was not that I didn’t want to, I really did, but I had two reasons for declining. The first one was that I am not a fast mover, I like to take the time for a relationship to blossom and while a nice dinner can help the blossoming I had only known Jack for just over twenty four hours. The second reason was that I didn’t want to look like a complete idiot, I know that sounds a bit silly but I kept thinking that if I make too much conversation with Jack my lack of motorcycle knowledge will reveal I never really had an interest in them until he walked in my door. Call me strange but I thought that was a better thing to reveal on our 30th wedding anniversary rather than our first dinner.
So instead of taking Jack up on his dinner invite I was going to get take out from the local Italian restaurant and go home and do all the research I could on the bike names I could remember from Jack’s showroom. I didn’t expect to become a genius overnight but I hoped I could learn something before our next meeting.
“I can’t do dinner tonight but how about another lesson tomorrow after work?” I asked hoping I wasn’t too forward.
“You had to ask?” He replied with a smile.
“It will have to be a bit later, I don’t think Bill will let me have two early marks from work in a row.”
“Be as late as you like, I’ll be here waiting. Also gives me more chance to talk you into dinner afterwards if you are late.” He said with a smile.