Amy is an amazing woman. In nearly 29 years of marriage she has surprised me time and again with her refusal to let age or convention get in the way of her enjoyment of life.

Unlike some women I’ve known over the years, Amy has never been bashful about her age. Her approach to life is still as young as when we met more than 30 years ago.

On her 50th birthday, she decided to get a tattoo.  For her 55th birthday this month, she said she wanted a motorcycle — a small one that would get good gas mileage and let her run into town and back without busting the budget in these days of $4.00 a gallon gas.

Her request came at a time when small motorcycles are hot sellers. Others want to save money on gas too. She researched small bikes, checked out the bike forums on the Internet, made a lot of phone calls, and finally found what she wanted: A 250-cc Suzuki at Star City Powersports in Roanoke.  We bought it on the spot.

Unfortunately, her new interest in motorcycles rekindled a long-ago love affair that I had with Harley-Davidson. Harleys played a big role in our family. My father rode one. So did my mother. They courted on Harleys and drove from the Navy base in Norfolk to his home in Florida on bikes. I learned to ride on an Electra-Glide and racked up miles on Softtails, Fat Boys and Road Kings.

So Amy’s new rice-burner sat in the garage for just one day before we headed down to Roanoke Valley Harley-Davidson to browse. I knew that at my age and with bad ankles, bum knees and a questionable hip, I didn’t want a big cruiser. Not any more. But the dealer had a brand new, 105th Anniversary Sportster XL1200 Low on the showroom floor. I pondered the purchase for, oh, about 60 seconds and told the salesman to draw up the paperwork. Amy, with haggling skills honed from selling cars in her college days and by many years at flea markets and yard sales, succeeded in doing something that used to be impossible with a Harley dealer — she bargained the price down several hundred dollars.

See you on the road.

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