I pulled out of the driveway
this morning not realizing that I would be taking a trip back in time before I
returned home this afternoon. Honda never intended their motorcycles to be able
to go back in time, and my Pacific Coast isn't a motorcycle capable of time
travel; except that it helped me travel to my launch point that would carry me
all the way back to 1960. This particular Pacific Coast can only go back in
time to 1990 My MV Agusta can fold space and time but it can't go back
that far either.
I rode the PC into the back woods of Virginia in
search of several different things. The first of which were gray squirrels.
Yeah I know there isn't much of a connection between motorcycles and gray
squirrels until you realize that I just happen to be a passionate squirrel
In my younger days I hunted everything, mostly two legged
deer but as time passed deer and turkey hunting was just too much work.
Both required a lot of special gear and a real dedication to be successful. But
squirrel hunting was a lazy mans hunt. Squirrels are plentiful most years, and
if hunted with a 22 caliber rifle or pistol, they're a challenge to stalk and
shoot. Never mind that they're exceptional table fair in a stew or southern
fried. By the way they don't taste like chicken, but the flavor is very mild
and not at all gamey.
Riding to my friend's house; my route carried me by one of Virginia's many
wildlife management areas. And this particular one was one I had become very
familiar with over the last twenty years or so. I took the opportunity to ride
in and just sit for a few minutes and count the bushy tails. This year looked
like it was going to be a good one in the cycle of squirrel lives. However
squirrel hunting didn't have a thing to do with time travel.
and real purpose today was to visit my friend John and see the new additions to
his exquisite collection of antique motorcycles. After some coffee and
discussion over some Chibies, Yamahas and other items, we moved to the driveway
where John introduced me to a nice running example of 60s Honda Super 90. He
then; with a few deft kicks of the little kick starter; fired it up. The first
step in time travel
can see the Super 90 isn't very big comparied to the My Pacific
Ok I don't know what the
smallest motorcycle you've ridden lately, but I haven't been on a S90 in some
40 years. I remember the invasion of motorcycles from Japan, with displacements
from 50cc all the way up to 250s. All of these small motorcycles had a very
direct impact on motorcycling and many of us who are now the elder generation
of motorcycle enthusiasts. Hell I used to drag race a Honda S65 and achieved
hair razing speeds in the 1/8 mile of 60 mph.
John slightly rolled the
S90 out to the drive way and told me to take it out for a test ride
little did I know that today I was to be the subject of John's time travel
One of the first things you notice when you swing your
leg over the Super 90 is it doesn't have any weight, I mean it just doesn't
weight more than about 100 pounds. And after getting off a 500 pound motorcycle
it feels like a bicycle
Out here in the very back country where
John lives there isn't any traffic and no chance of running up on a police
car so we rode ala 1960 no gear, no helmet and armed with smiles that
come from deep inside old men who are playing like children.
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We rode up and down the
road most of the morning, the longer the S90 ran the better it got or the
better I got at manipulating the little controls with my big feet. Step two of
time travel doing it enough to forget your age; you start to feel younger
with each few feet you travel. The little S90 sheds years from memory; I
started to feel more like 16 than 60.
Ok so here we are racing up and
down a country lane at a break neck speed of 40 mph; I'm doing my best "Mike
Hailwood" impersonation and laughing the whole time it's impossible not to
smile when you're riding one of these steel horses of our youth.
As soon as I got on it and started
riding, all kinds of memories of high school and the adventures in motorcycling
I had as a teen on Long Island, came flooding back to me. When I was 16, a
motorcycle like the S90 wasn't considered small by the owner's standards, we
traveled Long Island's full length and width. Back then traffic wasn't like
today, and speed limits were well within the capabilities of the little
motorcycles. The modern motorcycle, as we know it today, matured from these
little machines and the flames they inspired in riders around the
What a day, I spent it with a good friend, and traveled all
the way back to my youth. the next time John said he had an MB5 he wanted me to
try, I know I have to be real careful now I may not come back from another trip
back to my youth; after all I had hair again and being a teenager again was