A Day’s Ride

My friend Barry has a house right on the Bow River down in Bowness, which is an interesting community mix of hood and people with money. 
Those with resources buy a lot or two backing onto the river, tear down the older homes on them and build lovely places. 
In the summer I had a great Yamaha motorcycle, but I was (for some baffling reason) checking Kijiji on my phone in Playa del Carmen and came across a very cool looking motorcycle owned by a man named Barry. 
When I could, I told Erin (the ultimate budgeter) “Babe, I’m just going to go LOOK AT a motorcycle a guy named Barry is selling down in Bowness.”
That she took to mean “I’m probably going to buy a different motorcycle” and brought it up in that fashion. 
“No, babe” I replied patiently “I’m just going to LOOK”. 
Girls sure can be untrusting creatures sometimes…
So anyways I went to Barry’s place on the Bow, had a long chat with him, checked out his backyard, took his bike for a ride (just for research purposes so I could show Erin how responsible I was), and came home. 
Within the week I bought his bike, of course (as if there was going to be any other outcome), and we’ve been friends ever since. 
“It’s really because I care about people Erin. That’s why. I could hate people if that’s what you want??? But I think we both agree loving people and buying their motorbikes is probably best?”
Ironically Barry rides with a FB group one of the Venue boys created called ARC (Airdrie Riders Club. Feel free to join) when we go out Saturdays, or sometimes Sundays after church. 
The day before I wrote this article it was 31 degrees out, and we hadn’t had a day off (and need a month or three after the last 15 months of crazy), so we met up with Barry in Bowness and went riding. 
In other news… 
Barry also had a Multistrada he was selling I definitely was NOT interested in, but before I could offer him far less than he wanted for it, he had the nerve to hit a bear just south of Bragg Creek and wrecked it. Also he destroyed his arm but it’s all better now. He did the sensible thing and covered his scars with a tattoo of him riding a motorcycle and hitting a bear. 
“Let’s ride down where I hit the bear” he definitely didn’t say, but we wanted to ride through Bragg, Turner Valley (Motoburrito), Black Diamond, Longview (the saloon on the road), back to Turner and then down Sheep River Trail and back. All in 30+ degree weather. 
At some point my wife, in typical insensitive fashion said “I just want to SEE A BEAR!!!”, which evoked a chuckle from Barry and an eye roll from myself. 
Hitting a bear on a motorcycle wouldn’t be the worst thing for Erin. She loves animals and at least she could get within hugging distance of a bear, which would be cool. 
It’s ok, I have life insurance on her so I could buy more motorcycles to help my mental health if she was mauled by a bear she was trying to hug in a ditch south of Bragg Creek. 
We joke about weird stuff at this stage in our marriage. Mostly because we’ve been to hell and back and are just glad there is a God in heaven who managed to work things out in spite of our mistakes. One thing we never joke about is divorce. A. Divorce is awful and we don’t want it on the menu, and B. Everybody would keep Erin if we split up including my own mom and that’s not cool. 
Coming back through Cochrane we were stuck in the inevitable traffic jam that makes owning a helicopter a must for living there. In 30+ degree weather. 
Erin says in our intercom “I could have walked up the hill in that amount of time and you could have picked me up there!”
“That would have worked out well for you” I acknowledged. 
Barry has become a friend. We talked about family stuff and church stuff. Barry is on a journey of faith and we’ll see him at Venue soon enough, but we have great conversations about it. 
I’ve sat down by the river with my motorcycle in his driveway (I did buy a Multistrada ironically, but a bear-less one) and vented about covid issues so I didn’t overreact publicly like everyone else seems to have missed the memo on, but it was good for my soul. 
I daresay our friendship has been good on his heathen soul too. 
I know he’ll read this and it will put a smile on his face. 
He’s that kind of guy…

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