Monthly Archives: January 2017

How a Motorcycle Saved a Marriage

We had a woman write in her story of how the purchase her husband made, saved their marriage. We wanted to share it with our fans because you don’t hear this very often.

Our Motorcycle Saved the Dayvirago-1379679_640

I’ve never liked surprises. I like to feel as though I’m in control of things. That’s probably why I was so frustrated by the relationship between me and my husband. It was in trouble. Actually, our marriage was a disaster. We rarely spoke to each other, and when we did it always ended up in an argument. At 54 years of age, I felt like divorce was the only thing I had to look forward to.

An Unexpected Event

I really felt out of control the day he bought a motorcycle. We had never talked about buying one. It surely wasn’t in the budget. I wasn’t even aware that he knew how to drive one.

I had been upstairs pretending to do some housework when he pulled into the driveway. By the time I hurried down the stairs and out the front door, a crowd had gathered around my husband and the motorcycle.

Too Shocked to Say No

I was almost ready to scream at him when he tossed a helmet to me and told me to get on. I guess I was in too much shock to reply. I had even more shock when he helped me fasten the chin strap of the helmet. Usually he wouldn’t even open the door for me, let alone do anything to help me.

I had never ridden a ‘bike’ before, so this was a very new experience. He showed me where my feet went and helped me take my place on the passenger’s seat. I recall one of the neighbor boys asking my husband questions about the motorcycle. He told the boy it was a Honda CTX-700. At the time I had no idea what that meant. I thought Honda only made cars, not motorcycles.

I don’t remember much about the first few minutes of our ride. We had turned out of the driveway, and several kids tried to chase after us. The Honda was just too fast. I also remember some of the wives standing out on their porches, watching us with awe. My face probably had the same expression.

We cruised the streets for an hour or so. People stared as we drove past. Other motorcyclists drove by and held out their left arm and gave us the ‘peace sign’. I heard some of the young men comment about it being a nice bike.

Another Surprise

There was something special about that first ride. My heart had stopped racing, and I felt calm and relaxed. It was also then that I realized I was smiling. I couldn’t remember having that much fun since I was a teenager. I even felt lik
e a teenager.

After that, we rode the Honda almost every day, even in the rain. We went on a couple of road trips across country. My husband offered to teach me how to drive it, but I was content just to be his passenger. He never explained why he decided to buy the Honda that day. He said it just seemed like the right thing to do. I have to agree with him. Our motorcycle saved our marriage. It saved the day.

 

Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride

Each year in the northern Alabama town of Waterloo, tens of thousands of motorcycle riders descend in honor of the Native Americans who endured forced removal from their land by the government in the 1800s under the Indian Removal Act. The motorcycle ride starts in Bridgeport, Alabama and finishes in Waterloo. Waterloo was one of the main spots where Indians were loaded onto boats for transportation to arid lands in the West. The Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride is a lovely event that helps bring to light a shameful period of our nation’s history.

The Trail of Tears

The group calls the ride “Trail of Tears” in remembrance of one of the most infamous results of the Indian Removal Act that was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson in 1830. In 1838 and 1839, the Cherokee Nation was forced to give up all of its land east of the Mississippi River. The tribe was forced to move to Oklahoma. Men, women, children, the infirm and the elderly alike were forced to march by US Army troops on the Trail of Tears. More than 4,000 of the 15,000 Cherokees died during the brutal death march.

The Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride

Thankfully, the Trail of Tears Motorcycle Ride is much more pleasant than the journey it pays homage to. The ride goes rain or shine on the third Saturday in September. The ride begins in Bridgeport, Alabama early in the morning, and throughout the day tens of thousands of motorcycles rumble their ways down Highway 72 until they head west on I-565. From I-565, riders will arrive at the US Space and Rocket Center for a mid-morning stop.

After the break, riders will continue westbound on I-565 until they get off on Exit 2. Traveling north on Mooresville Road, riders will once again get back on Highway by truing left. They ride through Athens and Florence before finishing at the Trail of Tears Festival in Waterloo.

Enjoying the Fun

While the ride is in honor of a serious injustice, the festival is not by any means somber. When 30,000 motorcycle riders show up, a serious party breaks out. There is live music, great food and vendors aplenty. The festival runs from Thursday through Sunday, but the climax is always the third Saturday in September. Saturday is when the hordes of motorcycle riders come swarming into town all afternoon. The party atmosphere that is generated when this happens has to be experienced to be believed.

In addition, member of the Cherokee Nation come together for a three-day pow wow that begins on Friday morning. They are the folks that the festival is all about, and they are given a place of prominence in Waterloo to honor their heritage.

Motorcycle riders aren’t the only ones who can enjoy the Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride. The festival in Waterloo is fun and educational for the whole family. The live music, food and fun are a hit for people of all ages.