By Julie Suna
If you exclude parents, my first real love was my first husband. If you exclude children, my second real love was my second husband. Then, at the age of 52 came my third real love…Betty.
Full of energy and drive, great to look at and how she loved to share the good times with me. 250 cc, shiny and all mine, Black Betty became the object of my desires. I kept her clean, I kept her polished, and after a bike maintenance course for women, I checked her tyre pressure every week. But as sometimes happens in relationships, the attention slipped and she started to feel less cared for. One day, a red light at the top of a steep hill threw up a new challenge. Then came our first argument. Still in the early stages of love, she protested by throwing herself on the ground. A passing policeman settled the dispute. He picked her up, and after a quick chat, she came back home with me. However, as a result of her increasingly languid demeanor, we drifted apart.
I sought company elsewhere; 650 cc, bright yellow and exciting, Sunshine had me from the very first ride. We travelled everywhere together, sometimes just the two of us, other times in a group. Once a month we would get together with the Girls Ride Out women. Ah, the adventures we had with them. We were rained on, hailed on, and almost blown away by wild wind gusts, but I enjoyed all 100,000 kilometres with her. Our early days together changed me. At 20,000 km’s, we went away to…I guess you would call it a relationship course: Superbike School. We learnt to take the corners well, that’s where I lost my chicken strip. My tyres never looked the same again. But, though we were good together, we too drifted apart. Maybe it was our one and only argument. On our way to Mt. Victoria, she slipped in the gravel. A passing policeman (yes that’s right a passing policeman) saw us. He picked her up but forgot to put down the stand. She fell over again! I don’t think she ever forgave me.
I wasn’t looking for a new love, but apparently that’s when it happens. I saw Blackie. We were a wonderful fit and she brought out the best in me. Tall, dark, beautiful, and a little on the racy side, I introduced her to the Old Pacific Highway, and several times a week we would ride through the exquisitely predictable 45’s, holding the line on one corner before swaying into the next. When they lowered the speed limit to 60 kilometers per hour, we were both devastated. Old habits are hard to break and we still took the corners at a faster speed than was recommended, staying just under 90 to avoid a possible loss of licence.
We’ve been together now for 93,000 kilometres. We still enjoy the wonderful times and I would like to spend the rest of my life with Blackie, but I fear the age difference could become a problem. I know the statistics for 3rd time marriages aren’t great, but so far, we’re holding up well.