I enjoy bike night, sure we see the same familiar faces which is great, but it's the first timers I get a kick out of.
It's like the first day of school and you don't know anyone as you scan the room looking for that one kid. The one who makes eye contact with you and gives you the head wave to come sit and play. You hesitantly stroll over with your head down, hands stuffed deep into your pockets to have a seat and try to pick up on the conversation already in progress. You make a few head nods in agreement, try and relate a similar story, laugh at the appropriate times and for the life of you remember just one person's name.
Some people have a knack and can jump right in on a conversation, others you have to coax a little bit of personal history from them. I ask a few questions about what they ride, how long they've been riding and the usual Q&A type stuff. Where do you work, what do you do, married, kids?
I am a listener, I'll sit there all night and just listen to stories, but first you have got to get them talking. There are a couple of riders that have shown up the past couple of months and you can see them taking more, telling tales, smiling and laughing, really opening up and enjoying themselves.
Others fade in and fade out, they've made it to one bike night never to be seen again, or come in said hi and have gotten too busy to make it to another night or Wednesdays don't work for them so they post up on the forum once in a blue moon. This is fine, although it would be nice to see them again, find out how they're doing or how's the project coming along they were working on when you first met them.
My absolute favorite are the riders that ride in on something different or unique, we had two tonight. Parked up front, on the sidewalk amongst the bicycles was a 1980 Peugeot 102.
I didn't get to talk to her inside, but I made sure to catch her outside as she was leaving. I didn't catch her name but she sure beamed when a couple of us started admiring her bike. She told us her husband made the side covers and she added the Autozone stick on flair because they matched the engine cases. She talked about the troubles she has had with the police, yep, scooter girl has caught the attention of the local cops. What kind of performance award can you get on a moped? A couple of us now know. I hope she makes it onto the forum and back to another bike night.
Another rider rode in on a Honda 125 and again I missed an opportunity to meet the tall, young man with such a pristine little bike. Judging a book by its cover, I never would have paired the rider and bike together.
Hope to catch you at coffee sometime and look forward to seeing you at next month's bike night.
Ride safe and thanks for coming out!