"The person who was supposed to pick up her kids had to cancel," Barb told me.
She had read this on the Facebook Event page that I hadn't remembered to check the morning of the ride.
"I'm in no hurry to get back," Barb went on to say. "The only thing I have to do after this is bake cookies for the Bake Sale at the Temecula Harley Dealership tomorrow."
Barb was so excited to ride with some other women. Being single and just learning to ride last year, she has trouble finding ladies to ride with.
"I got my license when a couple of friends got theirs, but they decided to keep riding bitch and not ride their own bikes. I got my license and all I want to do is ride!"
Barb oogled and awed over the jacket I had brought for Diane. I had received the jacket from Motorcycle House for a review, but since I knew Diane was in the market for a great jacket, I brought it as a gift for her to wear, review, and keep. Diane loved her current jacket, but like any woman, she was in the market for something new.
Only a chick ride would start out with talk of picking up kids, bake sales and biker fashion.
When Diane arrived Barb and I began laughing at Diane's jacket.
"You have the EXACT IDENTICAL JACKET ALREADY!"
It turns out that the jacket I ordered from Motorcycle House was identical to the jacket Diane already owned! So Barb was the big winner as I handed her the leather jacket to review. As Madhavi pulled in, our foursome was complete and we all hopped on and took off.
I had asked Diane to lead the ride the first half because I realized I have very little experience leading. I can look at a map and remember one or two turns, but I don't usually have the presence of mind that my hubs does to lead for hours on end. Diane refers to my hubs as the Human GPS, the big joke being we can be in the middle of the desert and he remembers which unmarked side road to take to go see the hidden ghost town 10 miles from the highway.
"Just turn left at the 4th cactus. . ."
Diane giggled when we all wanted her to lead. She was surprised to find that with 4 years of experience and about 20,000 miles of seat time, she was the most experienced rider in our group.
"Well, you've ridden across the country twice!" she giggled.
"You've been riding longer than all of us," I told her.
"OK, well, as long as no one minds where we end up, I'll lead."
"You know that they say Diane. You're never lost on a motorcycle."
The route was beautiful and being that it was a Friday, traffic was nearly non-existent. The weather was perfect as we rolled along the graceful sweepers into Ramona for lunch at the Ramona Cafe. From there Madhavi had to head south back to San Diego to get to work, but we were all pleased she was able to get out for half the day to ride. Madhavi rides everyday, everywhere, even though she's only been riding for a year now. Before she met her boyfriend Louis, she wasn't really interested in another relationship. She turned him down the first time he asked her out.
"I said, 'No, I think I'll just keep dating my motorcycle. . .'"
But being persistent paid off for Louis and now they are not only dating, but ride together often.
As we rolled out of Ramona, I felt confident enough to take the lead and give Diane a break. The roads were even more beautiful than the first half of the ride, and I was in pure heaven. Riding my motorcycle with my friends riding theirs, watching the world unfold before me with the grace of springtime, and feeling the warm sunshine on my back and the wind pushing against my chest, I felt a serenity that only comes to me in the pew of two wheels.
In Temecula we waved goodbye to Barb as she headed off to bake cookies. Diane and I went to a local pub and talked for a couple of hours before I headed off to San Diego alone. When I came in the door that evening, I remembered my hubs coming home from a day-ride with friends a few years ago. I remembered his tired, dirty face, huge smile and slow, dragging posture of a day well spent. When I went into the bedroom to undress I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and saw that same rider in myself.