“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.
They had a few samples and listened to the owner recount his latest wine competition victories. He was pleased with their attention, very entertaining and had some excellent wines. They each selected a favorite as a glass which they took to the outside patio area that overlooked the property. As they sat enjoying the quiet, Jacob wanted to find out more about this pretty lady.
“So Petra, how is it that a lady as pretty and smart as you has a big Harley and obviously enjoys the driving? It is not something most ladies in the States seem to enjoy.”
“Really, it was my Papa that got me hooked when I was a teen. One of the goals of my parents it seems is that their first child would have a variety of experiences. My education was all tutors; however my folks were very involved as well. Mama is the cook, the creator of fun things, the painter, and homemaker. So I was required to learn all those skills.
“For work, Papa travels all over the world. Sometimes we would travel together and see the places, other times he would travel alone and regale us with stories and adventures. Mama liked being at home with her charities and friends, so sometimes I would get to visit Papa alone.
“Once when he had a four month project in the Southwestern United States, he flew me in to spend two weeks. Papa promised it would be an adventure I would never forget, that I might even see cowboys. As a teen, almost eighteen, adventure was the right word to get me excited, especially if horses were in the mix. Even without the details, I knew it would be fun. He told me to pack light with only casual clothes, like for hiking.
“When I arrived in Dallas, Papa picked me up and said we were going shopping for our adventure. On the way to the store we chatted and he asked me if I had ever seen a movie called Easy Rider. When I said I hadn’t, he explained a bit about it being a wonderful trip on motorcycles, seeing the countryside and sleeping under the stars. He had noticed, with the two months he’d already been in Texas, that the stars were amazing, and he wanted to show me. Sounded great to me, especially since we had been riding dirt bikes and smaller motorcycles all over Europe for many years. I guess you could say I’m more of a tomboy.”
“I can promise you certainly don’t look like a tomboy,” Jacob grinned as he took in her face slightly flushed from the outdoors.
He wondered if he could coax a bit of a blush from her, but let it go for the present.
“We arrived at this totally amazing store like nothing I’d ever seen before. It was called Harley Davidson. They have outlets in Europe but I had never seen this type of store. He bought me a helmet, rain gear, and leather gloves. Then he had me look at all the motorcycles to see which one I would like. He had selected a Road King for himself but wanted me to get comfortable. The people were so nice and let me try several of them until I landed on a Softail. I was totally hooked. Arrangements were made to pick them up the next morning.
“I’m sorry, this is a really long story, and you probably aren’t interested,” she suggested, as her cheeks began blooming pink.
“You have me hooked now.” Jacob was so enjoying her animated description, watching her every move.
Obviously her family love was strong, and this helped him understand who she was at least in part. The last thing he wanted was for her to stop the story.
“It is so wrong to start a story and then stop before the end. You owe me the whole story, Petra. Plus I think you like the telling. Your Papa sounds like lots of fun.”
“Papa is fun when he is not working and when he is showering me with attention, of course. He likes that his little girl has no fears and tackles everything.” Beaming with pride, she continued.
“As we drove back to his hotel to get ready for the next day, he decided to tell me the rules for our travels. Papa is big on following the rules in all things, even holidays. The rules were no timetables, no grousing about weather whether hot, cold or wet. We would purchase food daily and use a camp stove, and we were going to stay at State Parks in a tent. I was so excited all evening while we got our sleeping bags, a tent he had already purchased, three changes of clothes all ready to go, I hardly slept.
“Have you ever been to Texas, Jacob?” She asked.
“Nope, but I think after this story that may change. You need to tell me what you saw and did on this trip. It is amazing that you looked forward to what many would consider the rough life,” he responded, still interested in hearing the whole story and her animated story method.
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