I really love tanks. They are tough, powerful and they go anywhere, mostly. Now, I actually have a Tank. Another moto love affair that began with an accidental spark, a craving. We watched the documentary Long Way ‘Round, I saw the bikes they were riding on this grand adventure and knew, just knew that was a bucket list for me. A long, long, long ride with my best friend where there was no pavement. But, the Bitch said…There was no way I could handle a bike like that. Guess what? The Universe really does conspire in our favor, and then because it was meant to be, there she was. It happened. Tank, a love of a different kind.
She is big.
She can go anywhere.
She is tough.
She’s got a huge tank as to ride for hours and hours and hours.
Tank is her name. More than a just love of another bike, this birthday present was a catalyst to transformation. A decision to embrace fear. My hubby knew that I should have a Tank of my own, for the love of adventures together…and that I could.
Hubby on his own GSA me on Max, we ride to the dealership…surprise! It was time.
I had always been to afraid to ride his, too intimidated, too afraid. His bike was just too big, I couldn’t. Listening to the Bitch again…But Tank was new and different, not quite as big… There was an ADV for me, but I didn’t believe it. We get to the dealership and again, years later after buying Max and years of riding under my belt, there I was, shaking and sweaty, nervous AF.
The sales guy mentions that he wasn’t tall enough to ride this bike. Great. How frickin’ tall did I need to be? This time my height, rather than keeping me from a dream is what would make it so. To be fair I had a few inches on this guy…Cue husband, in his sweet manner says you’re all legs, don’t worry about it. He knew, as he always does, that I would be nervous but that I would try…if he made me. Love.
It is ok to borrow bravery from those who believe in you.
The test ride.
People watching. I felt the stares, this time it was not my imagination, I swear. The look of is that girl actually going to ride that bike…was real.
I get on the test ride bike. Then I realize my toes barely touch the ground. Shit. Am I going to have to be Captain Morgan at every streetlight? Great. I have to figure out how to handle a bike twice the size of what I am used to. Scared. Do it anyway.
I hear the Bitch with her confident criticisms, you’re gonna wreck. These guys are all going to make fun of you when you fall over, you know you’re gonna fall. You’re gonna embarrass yourself…you can’t…Bitch.
Suck it up buttercup. Don’t drop it. Just ride. Chin up. You do know how to ride. Out on that test ride, I remembered that I did in fact know how to ride…shocker. I kept my chin up. Rode. Smiles. Alllll smiles. I knew that although I wasn’t confident on that bike yet, there would be a day, and it would be awesome. I would have an ADV bike of my own!
Apparently, Tank is a unicorn in the herd, her lovely tan decorated with all the bells and whistles. So no surprise, she wasn’t immediately available. But we were planning a road trip in a week on bikes and taking Max is doable, but not the best for a 12 hour ride…
Cue the Universe.
I am offered to borrow the test bike, for the road trip, until Tank can be tracked down for me.
This floored me. I mean like absolutely floored me. This guy was like sure fine, borrow the bike. WTF? Why was I floored though?
Upon reflection, it is because someone else, a total stranger, was more confident in me yet again than I was in myself. It was a stark reminder that I am too damn hard on myself most of the time. The Bitch died a bit that day.
I didn’t need to borrow the bike after all, because Tank came home with me a few days later. Still not sure how they found her, but they did.
We go pick her up. We ride from the dealership to a friends house. Confession: I suck at parking, bad. The only thing I could ever park well was Bessie- my ’67 Plymouth Fury III. True Story.
So there I am, with a brand new bike, worried I would drop her because of angles and dirt and blah blah blah… the Bitch. So I asked hubby to park her for me. He parked in the tiny gravely ditch on purpose- he tells me now. There was no good way out of it, and yep, I dropped her. He knew I would. He knew I’d have to get over the fear of dropping her, and he also knew…the sooner the better. Recover quickly. Was I embarrassed? Yep. My helmet hid my bright red face. Did I die of that embarrassment? Nope. Was Tank injured in any way? Nope. Was I mad at myself? Very. Did I get back on and ride home? Yep. Shit happens and I didn’t have to be perfect. Win.
Tank and I are buds now. We’ve been through some shit. (great stories for another time) She’s taught me lessons that for me have only been learned from a moto. Do. It. Try. Be bigger than your fears, believe you can and you will. Tank awaits in the garage, reminding me daily of rides yet to do, and I love that. She reminds me that I have the spirit of adventure , and that it’s only a ride away.