When I told my mom about my motorcycle ride last Thursday, she asked me one question: “Did you sing?”
See, I have this habit of singing to calm my nerves. For instance, years ago I was rock climbing in Acadia when it started to storm. I still had to rappel down the cliff I was on, so I sang on the way down to take my mind off it. I didn’t realize until afterward that I’d been singing “Free Fallin’.”
Anyway, my mother asked the question because she remembers a very specific moment during one family vacation. We’d gone on a cruise to Bermuda, and while we were on the island, my parents rented mopeds. My dad was totally comfortable, zooming around, taking the turns, and completely adjusting to driving on the other side of the road.
So of course my brother got to ride with him.
I could feel that Mama wasn’t so comfortable on the moped. And I could feel the uneasiness turn to annoyance once I started singing. But, considering I was nervous, too (I was sure that I was going to fall right off the back, particularly with every bump in the road), I wasn’t about to stop.
So when Mama asked me this time, if I’d sung on Bones’ bike, I told her, “No. I trusted him. I knew he wasn’t going to tip the bike!”
Because that’s what happened in Bermuda.
Day two on the mopeds, after Mama had already mentioned how much she did NOT appreciate my singing, we set off for the beach. Mama took a turn to try to follow Daddy, and the next thing I knew we were skidding, and then on the side of the road with the bike tipped over on top of us. We were okay, luckily, but I was [even more] nervous on the bike the rest of the trip.
Even years later, the first time I rode on the back of a friend’s scooter I had Bermuda flashbacks. So it’s perfectly natural that my mom would ask about the singing after this most recent ride.
But to be honest, if I’d had any doubts about my safety, I wouldn’t have even gotten on. A moped tips over and you scrape your leg a bit. A motorcycle tips over, and marathon training is put on hold indefinitely.
Plus, at the speed we were going, if I’d been singing I probably would have done this:
And that’s just gross.