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She Arrives in All her Splendor....

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    “If God and the fates see fit to guide this story of my life through the printing presses on laughter silvered rims, Irene and I are going to make that ride to Sturgis one more magnificent time. It may kill me in September, but in August, I plan on wearing the dust and the highway and the tears one more time. I am going to fly past that sign that says Welcome to Sturgis…. As God is my witness, I will once again raise my fist in exuberance as one more time, I make that last wonderful mile.” … excerpt from Wicked Bitch

     

    The Saturday morning I was scheduled to leave for Sturgis Bike Week, I sat backwards on the seat of my old bike, watching the rain pour off the roof of my house and flood in huge puddles in the drive, dressed, leathered, medicated and ready to leave for South Dakota. I thought of biker icon Bruce Rossmeyer who had given his life a few days before trying to get to Sturgis on his Harley. I thought of all the people who told me I was crazy for trying this trip in my condition.  I thought of the hundreds more who were waiting with bated breath to see if I made it. I thought back over the last year of my life…, the joys and triumphs and losses and the blinding pain, and how I have recorded it all, and published it for all the world to see in a book entitled Wicked Bitch. I thought of my declaration in the last chapter that I will make Sturgis one more time, and the sheer will power that has gotten it published. I thought of the half a dozen people who were supposed to be making this trip with me, and now it was only Bob and I until we got north of Kansas City to pick up my agent. I decided **** em, I can ride it solo. So, I opened the door of my house and told my husband it’s time to go… then, once again, threw my leg over the seat of Irene and rode out into the driving rain as Bob pulled out behind me in the RV, hauling the bike trailer loaded down with his trike and boxes of my books.  Before I got to the edge of town there was rain rolling down the crack of my ass and I was wiping at foggy glasses with soaked gloves…. But I rode on. Before I got to Little Rock, rain was coming down in sheets and the big rigs on 530 were drenching me in rooster tails waves. My breasts were pressed against the tank and I was fighting to see. I rode on… and on. All day the rain pelted me like tiny bullets. my skin was sore, hands were frozen and shaking, and I threw up my lunch, even though I had skipped a week of chemo.  I had to stop and crawl up into the RV to dry out and take pain pills more often than I wanted, and the long cold hard day only got me to the Missouri border.  I could tell Bob was worried to death as I picked at food and struggled forwards toward my destination. It was a far cry from the first trip I had made to Sturgis in 2003, with beautiful sunlight and gentle winds guiding me along behind the Road King of my lover.  The rain finally disappeared as we set up camp in a small campground, and by the next morning, I was sore and tired, but looking forward to another day on my bike.

     

    The next morning Bob had to pick me up out of the bathroom floor of the RV first off… I was thanking God he was my husband and he was praying to God his wife didn’t drop dead on this trip. After I stirred around, the sunlight and soft wind soothed me, and I was excited to climb on my beautiful Nostalgia and head north. We would make Sean’s house by dinner, and I was excited to see my agent and close friend. Before even an hour had passed I was riding along worrying about the thudding ache in my kidneys and ready to set fire to the damned helmet that slid and pulled and blew helter skelter on my head. Again, my body insisted on way more stops than I had anticipated, but we trudged on bit by bit, through the rolling green hills of Missouri, the throngs of traffic in Kansas City, until we made it to my agent’s house in Maryville, a few miles from the Iowa border. I was dead tired by the time we got there, and what little hearing I have left was long gone with the sound of wind pounding in my ears. However, unloading Bob’s trike for Sean to ride along beside me rejuvenated me and we made it almost to the South Dakota border before we set up camp that Sunday night. I was putting on a false confidence for the guys and pretending the 400 plus miles we had to cover the next day were a walk in the park.

     

    The third morning dawned beautiful, and my body did not.  I was so sick that my legs trembled as I picked Irene up off her kickstand. I no longer enjoyed the sweet ease of feeling at one with my bike… now every single mile hurt like hell. I was constantly shifting my ass on the seat, moving my feet from floorboards to back pegs, just enduring the throbbing pains for one more mile then another. I realized that there weren’t as many Wall Drug signs as it seemed like the last time, and sometimes tears rolled down my face as I felt the tip of the long pony tail attached to my own hair tickling my hips where my t-shirt blew up. I thought of making the same trip six years before behind Bo on his beautiful Road King, watching that ponytail fly behind him in the breeze, and knew he was watching from heaven, pushing me forward when I felt like I couldn’t make it one more weary second… sometimes his presence was so strong it almost seemed that I could hear the jake brake rumble of his bike behind me and I could almost smell his cologne on the South Dakota wind.

     

    We reached the Badlands around dark, and I was having to stop every 50 miles or so, my breath ratcheting in pain. A small mechanical issue on the trike and then on the RV caused us to lose a little more time, but finally we rode west again into the amazing pink sunset. Finally, about ten o’clock that night, we rolled into the Flying J at Rapid City. I remembered stopping there for gas in 2003, and knew I was about 30 miles from our campground. I fell when I stepped off my bike and puked what little I had eaten that day, grasping the seat of my grimy motorcycle for support. Then I wiped my dirty hand across my filthy face, looked up at Bob’s tired, worried face and Sean’s sunburned one, and whispered,  “I made it.”

     

    Amy White, Wicked Bitch

     

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