full tilt

I am sitting here listening.

Birdsong, wind rustling the treetops, the deep full sound of a big V-twin engine going past in the distance, it feels like a heartbeat of spring. Sunshine in your face, happiness in your heart.

Nellie Merrhe Erkenbach unknown legend Harley Davisdon full tilt

Nellie Merrhe Erkenbach unknown legend Harley Davisdon full tiltIf you have gloves on your hands and boots on your feet.

The distant tremble is tantalizing when you can’t take the Harley for a ride. Painful even because the longing is there and has been there all winter. Now one of the best springs in history tempts with sunshine and clear skies, temperatures are soaring. But not my soul. Not me. Not my Harley. I am housebound with an injured knee. Me! Unable to hold the bike properly. Unable to ride.

Nellie Merrhe Erkenbach unknown legend Harley Davisdon full tilt

But I have a goal. 10°. That’s all I need. 10° more so I can make 110°. If I can bend my knee that far, I can ride again. That’s what the physio tells me. Not an easily achieved goal though with a stiff knee that will not bend nor stretch properly. I will make it though! I wil work hard!

I am sure I am not the first biker who can’t ride because my body won’t let me.

But it feels like I am the only one who isn’t out for a ride.

I know the Harley’s waiting. Quietly under crisp white sheets in the garage. No roar escapes the exhaust, no sonorous rumble multiplies in this tight space to a happy noise soon to fade in the distance. I look at pictures of rides in the past.

Nellie Merrhe Erkenbach unknown legend Harley Davisdon full tilt

There’s another Harley, another happy rider going past. Rumbling, roaring, running free. His heart pounding in sync with his bike. And still another, something Japanese going full throttle, painful in its urgency for speed

I am not housebound in a medical sense, I am housebound in a biker sense.

And I hear them heading towards the mountains, racers, Harleys, what have you. Them. Not me.

I hate my knee. I hate it full tilt.

Nellie Merrhe Erkenbach unknown legend Harley Davisdon full tilt

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