Mad Rick’s Story
One of those "Oh S#!T" moments
I was chatting to several people at the recent Staffordshire Bike Show when this unassuming guy sidled up to the table. When there was a break in conversation he asked, “Well, what do you do?” I explained that we were story tellers and were more passionate about people than just writing bike reviews.
His face lit up as he started to relay anecdotes and quips about his adventures. He caught my attention when he mentioned popping out his glass eye and it bounced like a ping pong ball in the bathroom sink.
The main story that brought a huge smile to his face was when he was a teenager, many years before.
Back in the late 70’s he like his friends, rode around on their 125cc’s tearing up the road as teenagers do. His dream was to have a Four Hundred Four which was far beyond his pocket could stretch, but the salesman at the local garage convinced him that he could get finance if he could get a guarantor.
He begged his father to sign the form, but he adamantly refused saying, “I’m not having a son of mine riding around on a death-trap like that!” Rick was clearly upset, cursing his father behind his back (He was too frighten to say it to his face). His mother whispered to Rick, “I’ll do it.”
The following day Rick picked up his pride and joy, a gleaming blue Honda. He was like a dog with two tails, roaring up the road to impress his friends, flipping unexpected wheelies as he got used to the power. As his confidence grew so did his speed and daring, weaving in and out of the traffic, naively thinking he was king of the road.
On a section where we could gain speed, a car reversed off its driveway onto the road. There was an oncoming car leaving Rick nowhere to go, apart from the pavement. His heart pounded as he snaked around the obstacles, barely in control of his machine. Next, he saw his father walking up the path, then diving into the hedge at the last minute to avoid the speeding bike. Rick locked his brakes and skidded to a halt, several yards further on. Looking back, he could see his father emerging from the hedge with broken glasses, a torn shirt and covered with scratches from the undergrowth. Rick sped off when his father started to chase after him, swearing his head off.
That night over diner his father told the story of a lunatic trying to run him down. “I’m glad you don’t have a blue bike Rick,” he said.
Rick had to hide his new bike in a friend’s garage for several weeks after until the dust settled. His father never found out it was him.