“My first car was a motorcycle.”

Today is lovely with very little humidity and a cooling breeze. I slept in until nearly 10 o’clock. Last night I was tired so I went to bed early (for me) but was still awake at 3. To pass the time I watched a movie on my iPad, A Foreign Field. I kept thinking I’d finish it in the morning, but I watched it through to the end.

A flicker, a bird I haven’t seen in a long while, and a huge woodpecker were the stars this morning at the bird feeders. The usual complement of birds also dropped by, but they, especially the chickadee, looked tiny compared to the flicker. The red spawn hasn’t been by in a long while. I think it has to do with the spawn having gotten caught a few times inside the wire feeder while the full brunt of the jet spray of the nozzle was directed at it. The spawn just couldn’t escape fast enough to avoid the spray.

In Ghana, during my second year, Peace Corps relaxed its rules and allowed us to buy motorcycles. I bought a small motorcycle, a Honda 90. It was designed for modesty, with no middle bar, perfect for me as I had to wear dresses all the time. I learned the gears and the brake when I bought the moto, as it is called it in Ghana, and then rode it over 100 miles from Tamale to Bolgatanga. It was exhilarating. I loved the road and the wind on my face. The bugs were not so welcome. I learned to be exhilarated without smiling. A few inhaled bugs and a choke or two taught me that lesson. I rode along singing out loud to pass the time. I figure a few villagers told stories later about the crazy baturia (white woman) on the moto screeching as she rode.

The road home was a good one, paved all the way. It was called the road to Bolga and it went straight there so I never worried about getting lost. The ride was a long one so I stopped to stretch my legs and once I bought a warm coke at a store along the road. Kids from villages beside the road followed a bit and waved. I was even comfortable enough driving by then to wave back. When I got to the school gate, I honked so the gateman would let me in. He smiled a toothless grin and pointed to my bike. I smiled back and nodded.

I would love to have another motorcycle, but I dare not given how often I bang my leg or fall up or down stairs. Traffic here goes far too fast and hugging the sides of the road is a recipe for disaster. I’m liable to hit a giant rock or branch or have something from the sky fall directly on my head, such is my luck.

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16 Comments on ““My first car was a motorcycle.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    And we would see them, hundreds of them coming out of London, on their GS Scooters, heading for Brighton. Banks of lights and customized the Scooters were quite something to see. They were heading for a date with those that rode motor cycles.

    The Mods and the Rockers – They would charge up and down the promenade, fight on the beach and generally aggravate before returning to the tenements in London.

    Pete and Rog got it. Here is a Mod and the Sea and the Sand

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      This is just the best album by far of theirs. You have chosen a song I haven’t heard in just about forever. Thank you!!

      The Cape had mopeds. Enough said!

      • Hedley Says:

        So am I reading this right that you were in a moped gang ?

      • katry Says:

        A rip roaring moped gang when mopeds were in style.

      • Hedley Says:

        Interestingly the Internet reveals that there was, or is, a Moped Gang in Massachusetts known as The Peace Warriors.

        Its all beginning to make sense – finally

        It does not say whether or not the Peace Warriors engaged in criminal activity but I would like to think that they littered and were somewhat anti social.

      • katry Says:

        And they didn’t redeem returnables or break up their trash for recycling-the worst offenders!

  2. olof1 Says:

    The flicker is a really beautiful bird! I had to see what it looked like oin the net 🙂

    Yes always have a closed mouth while biking or driving a motorcycle 🙂 I don’t know how many insects I’ve swallowed in my life 🙂 I would love to have a mtorcycle but I’m like You so it would be to test ones luck a bit too much and then I would need to get a motorcycle driving license, too expensive and too hard for my brain now days 🙂

    I watched the Seventh Son just now. I think this is one of the films one really should read the book/ books? first. If I had I might have been able to look through the bad acting 🙂 Most special effects were good though 🙂 and as always, the bad guys are the ones making the movie almost worth watching 🙂

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      It is a beautiful bird, also an enormous bird. It eats so many seeds in a single visit.

      I figure riding a motorcycle is an accident waiting to happen for me. When I was young, I had the reflexes to handle it, but I doubt I do now.

      I haven’t seen the film or read the book. If I do, I’ll choose the book first. I think bad guys are so multi-dimensional they are fun to watch.

      Have a great evening!

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Always have a closed mouth while riding a horse, too.

    I want one of those CanAm things with the two wheels in front and one wheel behind. I’m positive they were designed for old bikers because we really can’t take falling over anymore. 🙂

    There are a couple of flickers here. Their call is like the sound track from old Tarzan movies. Once in a while I have a big red headed woodpecker, too.

    It’s lovely, dry, not too hot and mostly sunny up here. The dogs are at day care playing with their friends and getting nice and tired.
    I’m cooking.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      We always thought of bugs as protein. It made eating them a bit more palatable.

      I agree about the three wheelers-tricycles for old people!

      The woodpeckers eat the suet like crazy. I have to keep putting more of it in the feeders. They go at it like rat-a-tat with their bills.

      Today is warmish but still dry so I’m happy. The sun is much lower now so it is even getting a bit cooler. Last night I had the air on in my bedroom. Might have to tonight as well.

      Cooking? I am impressed!!

      Have a great evening!

  4. Birgit Says:

    Between my 2nd and 3rd car I drove a small motor scooter. For faster bikes I would need a motorcycle driver’s license which is quite expensive. My scooter was a little bit faster than allowed and once I was stopped by a policeman who thought he would have caught one of these young boys with a tuned bike. It was dark and he was quite confused when he saw an older woman with a legal bike and an old pre-EU drivers license instead. No ticket. I still have my scooter but it needs a repair.
    Leaving town by train tomorrow, long weekend with friend’s family meeting and hiking, back in a few days.
    Have a nice weekend and movie night!

    • katry Says:


      Breaking away is our weekend movie. Amazingly none of the moviegoers have seen it. The weather is supposed to be perfect for viewing. No rain because we’re just not getting any rain of late.

      Yours sounds like a great weekend-enjoy!!

  5. Bob Says:

    Honda’s advertisements used to say “You meet the nicest people on a Honda”. Obviously, you met a lot of nice people in Ghana, motorcycle or not. I personally am not a fan of motorcycles. Some how protecting a vehicle with my body is not my idea of safety. I like three point seat belts, airbags, antilock brakes, airconditioning and a windshield. In Texas one can’t be forced to wear a helmet while riding on a motorcycle. They call it personal freedom but I call it organ donor riding 🙂

    • katry Says:

      I’m in firm agreement about helmets for bicycle riders as well. We do have a helmet law here. I think of it as protecting idiots from themselves. There were every few cars in Bolga when I had my motorcycle so I never felt unsafe. I did get an exhaust burn once when I was stopped to let goats go by and they turned and ran into my bike which fell against my leg.

      • Bob Says:

        Those pesky goats will get you every time. 🙂 Texans don’t like the government telling them to do what’s good for them. Here one can talk on the phone or even text while driving except in a school zone. A good friend of mine had a heart transplant about 20 years ago and is still among the living thanks to a motorcycle rider without a helmet. We can’t have too many donor organs.

      • katry Says:

        No texting allowed here while driving, but talking on the phone isn’t outlawed. People hated the helmet and seat belt laws but lives have been saved.

        No, we can’t have too many organ donors!

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