A storm passed through between Estevan and Moose Jaw this morning. The rain wasn’t a problem, but the lightening got pretty intense so I decided to seek shelter. In that part of Saskatchewan, there is a lot of space with not much in it. On 39 north, there’s a small gathering of houses that doesn’t quite make it to being a town, but it looked like a better place to be than on the open road. I turned in as the lightening flashed and the thunder rumbled. A father and son were standing in their driveway as I approached.
“Is there someplace around here where I can shelter ’til this storm passes?” I asked.
“Sure. Just around there is a garage with no door. Pull up in there.”
There was no door because it was still under construction. Dad had Friday off from his body shop and was working on this new workshop behind his house. Father and son cleared materials from the floor and laid down a wide board as a ramp up to the concrete floor. The bike and I got in out of the rain. While I got out of my riding gear, we sized each other up. I guess I passed, because Dad ask, “Want a cup of coffee?”
Funny thing is we never made it to the coffee. The son admired my bike and we talked about it for a couple minutes before he said, ” I just got a new one. Its a Yamaha Bolt. We had to go give it a look. Nice bike. I couldn’t help notice the helmet sitting on the saddle. A full face painted to look like the riveted fuselage of an airplane, it also sported nose art. The “Memphis Belle.”
I complimented him on the choice of both the “Belle” and the full face. After a thousand miles or so of bugs, bees, grasshoppers, stones and raindrops, I can tell you a full face helmet is a necessity if you want to keep your teeth clean. We talked a bit about helmets in general. Dad mentioned his inability to understand how some states allow helmetless riders. To me, it’s a no brainer … I like my brain where it is and want to keep it that way. Anyway, I said a few things about feeling safer wearing and appreciating how much cleaner it is to ride “inside.” The son said, “yea, I have to wash my hands when I get to town if I don’t wear gloves.”
So, the storm rocked and rolled over us for awhile. The lights flickered a few times and went out for a bit once. Gradually, it wound down and so did our conversation. I was feeling an appetite for the road and suggested it might be time to head back out. Dad and I walked back into the under-construction-shop and I started putting on my gear.
“I appreciate what you were saying about helmets back there,” he said. ”You know how kids are, and I … well …”
“Yea,” I said, “They think they’re bullet-proof.”
He didn’t say anything, just nodded. Both being dads of sons, we understood each other just fine.
I got the bike back down off the concrete, wished him well with the construction, and started the motor. You see, we really are in this life together.