“Honda is not marketing this motorcycle as a woman’s bike.” read the press release and it peaked my interest. Why weren’t they?
The Honda Rebel was quiet, low and light with a wide seat and only one gauge. It was built for me and I’m a woman.
I had seen television advertisements for it, they were cool; exciting music, flashy imagery, suggestive narration, but I couldn’t afford a new bike I really wasn’t a motorcycle type. I liked to ride on the back of friends bikes well enough, and as a kid I loved to ride mini- bikes, but I didn’t fit the mold of someone who would own a motorcycle.
That is until I saw a woman in my apartment complex parking lot hanging a ‘for sale’ sign on her Honda Rebel.
The little black 250 caught my eye every time I walked past it from my job eight blocks away. I peered at it with more than a little curiosity. Why couldn’t I have my own bike? So what if people stared? My tired feet tingled at the thought of riding instead of walking, my wallet smiled at the thought of not paying a taxi on late nights.
One morning as I was leaving for work, the woman came back and pulled the sign off. Damn, I missed my opportunity.
“Sold it huh?” I inquired.Something about my tone must have told her I was disappointed.
“Nope, I just thought I’d take a ride.” she said grinning. “You want to see how it feels?”
My heart leapt. My feet did too, right onto the back of the bike.
“I’m on my way to work, do you have time to go that far?” I asked fully aware I was taking advantage of the situation.
“Sure. Hold on.”
My hair blew away from my face as she gunned the engine and we moved forward with surprising speed. It would be a mess but I didn’t care.
The hot air coming up from the summer pavement burned my face. I didn’t care.
People stared at two women on one bike. I didn’t care.
All that day at work all I could think about was how it would feel to have that bike to myself and I didn’t get much done. I didn’t care.
That evening I bought the bike and spent the rest of the summer taking weekend trips to the country just to ride back roads alone.
One night on what I thought was an empty road a car coming around a corner in the middle of the road made me lay it out injuring my leg. The bike was totaled. My heart was broken. I started a family not too long after that and never bought another motorcycle.
My youngest leaves for college next month. I wonder if Honda has any new bikes that they don’t market to women?