We had a summer farmhouse up in Maine, and that is where my particular addiction took hold: riding.
Back when I was little, it was motorcycles. I would hide my sisters’ boyfriends’ motorcycle keys until one of the boys promised to give me a ride.
The passion for riding motorcycles transferred to riding horses, for both require balance and a certain determined lightness. I thought of riding constantly. During long car rides I would look out the car window and daydream about galloping next to the road, jumping whatever obstacle appeared.
When I stopped riding horses, the craving for riding motorcycles started up again.
I lived in Spain at the time when it was shaking off the vestiges of Franco’s regime, when motorcycles embodied the yearning for freedom.
My boyfriend, now husband, and I crossed Spain a few times on his motorcycle. My husband is one of the most capable and experienced riders I have ever known. In fact, I trusted him so much that I used to sleep while riding on the back of his motorcycle.
Sometimes he would pull off the road.
“Eh, wake up! You must have been dreaming….”
“Was I starting to flop? Was I making riding too dangerous?”
“No. You are always balanced, just too relaxed. We are going to be going up through the mountains. Can you stay awake? It worries me….”
I promised to stay awake. He started the motorcycle and I pushed my heels down, centered my seat, and watched the world go by as we moved forward. But I kept dreaming – just a bit.