“Hello, Jacob, it is me, Petra. I am wrapping up this project this afternoon so can be free tomorrow if you still wanted to get together.” Her voice was melodic in his ear.
“Well, I was beginning to wonder if you would call. Sure, tomorrow is good for me. What do you think about riding over to Long Island and hitting a few of the wineries? The scenery is pretty if you haven’t been there.” Coming right off the cuff, it sounded very nice as he said it.
“Hmmm. I had no idea that there were wineries anywhere close in New York. That sounds like fun. What time would you like to get started? I am an early riser most days, and if it is pretty, I will want to see it all.” There was a softer quality to her voice, laced with excitement.
“How about we meet up at eight at Central Park where I saw you the other day then? Plan on the whole day, and you can see something very non-typical New York,” he asked.
“Okay, eight it is then, but I will meet you at your house,” she stated with certainty of agreement. “See you then.”
“Okay, then,” he replied to the already disconnected Petra.
Jacob finished up at work, though a bit later than he wanted, and went home. Rather than his usual Friday night perusal of the chat rooms and tracking down program bugs, he was busy cleaning up his bike and gear, adding some travel rations and funds to his fanny pack and extra water into the holders. They could easily reach their destination riding and by subway as needed. Spending time with Petra was his entire focus. He had some things he wanted to run by her in general, perhaps even Otto. But mostly he looked forward to learning more about her.
Waking up early, he shaved, showered, ate and dressed. He was sipping coffee and reading some periodicals when she knocked at the door. Right on time, he noted, looking at his watch. He did like people that were on time.
When he opened the door, he was a bit surprised at the head-to-toe leathers Petra was wearing. Not that they weren’t flattering, hugging every inch of her body. However, the heat later in the day would require their removal, and the heavy clothing would be difficult to carry on the way home. It might be a bit chilly this morning, but the afternoon high was expected to reach the mid-80s, and she would be overwhelmingly warm. Her hair was in her tight bun with no hint of the long locks he’d seen before. Her face was radiant and smiling.
Petra likewise checked him head to toe as the door opened. The biking shorts and vented overtop displayed long muscular legs and very male physique. She caught her breath as she memorized every detail. His hair was thick and a bit wet as if he’d recently completed his shower. She caught herself as her mind wandered. This was just a chance to get to know the real him.
It was a tie as they both said, “Hi and good morning.”
He invited her in and offered her coffee, then suggested they sit and plan out their route. He outlined the roads and turns and asked about her tastes in wines so they could stop at a few wineries. Fortunately, she also seemed fond of Burgundies so he had an idea of the top three stops he would like to make. As he outlined some of the sights along the way, she seemed more than eager to see it all. He also planned to take her to the farmers market for lunch, deciding to save that as a surprise as time permitted. The wineries also offered food, as well as areas to sit and enjoy the surroundings. Now, he thought, how does one suggest a change of attire to a female?
“Jacob, I can see that we had different thoughts regarding this adventure today. I brought my Harley, and you appear dressed for your street racer. Granted it is only around eighty miles, less if we take advantage of a few of the trains.” Frowning slightly, she said, “I don’t have a street racer here, but I had shipped my Harley here as it is the only way I have found to get away some in the evening or weekends as time permits. Do you have a motorcycle, or would you consider riding together?”
“I agree we definitely had different thoughts. I sent my Harley for a tune up and haven’t arranged to pick it up yet. The weather has been perfect for riding my street racer to work. Let me go change and grab my helmet since you offered that we could ride together. Are you a good driver?”
“I am. My Papa taught me. Safety is the number one priority. I have to take extra care as I like the big bikes, but I do not have the strength of a man, like you,” she said sweetly with a grin. “Go change and hurry. I am ready to see Long Island and all the scenery you promised.”
When he returned in less than ten minutes in shirt, jeans, and boots, she couldn’t help but admire his form as he added his leggings and vest on top and carried his helmet. He locked up and grabbed the waters and snacks from the bike. Walking down the steps, he admired the Harley parked to the side.
Ready to comment on the nice ride but a bit concerned, he gently asked, “Petra, this is a nice ride, but have you ever driven with a rider bigger than you before? I probably easily have seventy pounds on you. The balance issue is really different, if you haven’t experienced it.”
At first she wanted to be the typical strong, in control girl, but he had asked in such a nice way without a hint of distrust that her logic won out when she responded, “Honestly, I have not carried any riders before. I was hoping that you had and that you would consider driving. I do not think you would be any less safe, not since you drive a bicycle in New York City during rush hours.”
“I think that will work and then you can really enjoy the ride and see everything. I appreciate the confidence you are showing in me.”
He outlined their now revised route and added a few points of interest that might be seen. They mounted up and took off. Traffic was light as they easily made their way to the Island. It was still early, and most folks headed out of town either late on Friday evening or midday Saturday. Blue skies were dotted with random cotton-ball clouds which made the winding roads and expansive farmlands breathtaking. They pulled over after an hour or so, he checked the fuel, they drank some water and he pulled off the leggings as the morning was heating up. He figured they would be at the first winery easily by ten when they were scheduled to open.
She tapped his shoulder and pointed at this and that along the way. The flowers, the farms, children playing, nothing seemed to escape her attention. The roads were winding and the farms they passed were well kept. The signs pointed them along the winery trail with distances from the entrances clearly marked. He pulled into the first one he had planned. As he removed his helmet, he noticed that she looked almost like a kid in a candy store, all full of energy and an ear-to-ear grin. Petra took off her leggings and stored them in the side bin. She also shed her jacket, revealing slim fitting jeans and sleeveless top. She re-secured her bun which had dared to loosen when she’d removed her helmet.
“What a quaint place,” she admitted. “Like wineries I have visited in California and even in South America. And you like this one, you said?”
“Yep, this is one of my favorites. Family owned and established for some time. They specialize in vibrant reds. As Burgundies were at the top of your list, I think you’ll enjoy these.” He grinned at her exuberance.
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