Motorcycle True Love
When a girl falls in love with a motorcycle . . .If anyone had asked me if I believed in love at first sight, I would have said 'no way', with the firm conviction that I don't believe in that sort of romantic stuff.
Then, in 1999 Kawasaki introduced the ZRX1100.
I vividly recall the first time I laid eyes on an image of it in the pages of Cycle Canada. I'd wrestled my copy of the magazine from my motorcycling room-mates (who always seem to get to the mail before me on the days Cycle Canada arrives) and got my first look at true love.
The ZRX sat there, solidly upon the pages, a gleaming green and hulking massive presence, and I was lost. It was about the most beautiful thing on two wheels I'd ever seen.
Mind you, I know motorcycle-love is a very subjective thing, and just because the ZRX is stunningly beautiful to me, doesn't mean I expect everyone to be so overcome at the sight of it. It's entirely subjective, a matter of personal taste. Nor did I expect other motorcyclists to understand my dreamy look in it's presence, when I finally sat on one at the 1999 SUPERSHOW. Considering the 3" discrepancy between my inseam and the seat height of the bike, not to mention the ZRX's solid form weighing in at about 5 x my slight mass, it just didn't seem all that practical.
But who said true love was practical? I was in love, and someday the ZRX would be mine, and that was all there was to it.
By the time the 2001 SUPERSHOW rolled around, I was working for Bar Hodgson, the show producer. One of the highlights of that first SUPERSHOW I worked was getting to meet one of my all time racing heroes, Eddie Lawson. It was very satisfying to have a chance to thank him for all the great racing. He also took the time to autograph quite a few ZRX's.
Here's a link to a picture in Bar's website of Eddie signing a ZRX 1100: http://www.supershowevents.com/past/2001/ims-sc-fe.html
That's my hero, signing my all-time-favorite dream bike. . . and that's the image I added to Bar's website in Feb. of 2001. Turns out that particular ZRX is owned by a friend of a friend of mine, but I didn't know that at the time, and that's getting ahead of the story too.
True Love and Destiny aren't always prompt or timely.
Through the summers of 2000 and 2001 I rode my 500 Vulcan on the track (exciting but very flexy) and went to the FAST School (most fun I've ever had on two wheels, I did laps in my head for days after). Late in the summer of 2001 I was looking at some track-day photos with a FAST School chum Rosemarie. (Also one of my racing heroes, she and her sister Christine were my favorite side-car team). Rosemarie had been to a trackday I had missed, and as she was showing me the photos I spotted a ZRX in the background of one of them. 'ZRX, my dream bike – I want one of them!' I blurted out. Turns out Steve was considering selling his ZRX to fund his racing ventures.
And this is where the true love and destiny part comes in.
It's none other than the very same ZRX that Eddie Lawson signed in the photograph that I put in the website, and I'd managed to encounter it again, just when the owner was thinking of selling! Steve was kind enough to part with it, and now it's mine.
Somehow it seems we were destined to be, my bike and I :-)
I've had the ZRX now for a few years, and yet I still gasp with pleasure when I see one on the street, the urge to say 'I want one of those' still motivates me, even though I have one.
'Verdis Rex' and I have worn out a lot of tires since we hooked up, both street and track, but that awesome motor never fails to thrill me, no matter how many other bikes I ride, and I still think it's about the most beautiful thing on 2 wheels. I'm going to take 'Rex' to the dragstrip next summer, so there are new adventures in our future.
And that's my story of 'When a girl falls in love with a motorcycle'.
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