The Observer (Kampala)

28 February 2013

Uganda: Just Writing - My Glory Ride On a Harley

There is a first time for everything, and that cliché is true.

When we are little, a moment arrives when our little feet take their first steps and our lips gibber their first word. On another day, we experience our first ride in a vehicle; it could be a bus, a taxi or our parents' car.

There is even that first flight on a plane, but I am talking about that first ride on a motorcycle. For many of us this particular day comes much later in life and there is good reason for that. Apparently, they (motorcycles) are more dangerous than scaling the heights of Mount Everest.

But I don't share that view; not in its entirety anyway, because I had what I call my first ride on a motorcycle just the other day. Ok, maybe a few days have gone by but it feels like it was just yesterday; it's so fresh in my mind.

This was not just any motorcycle. Its handlebars spread out so neatly like the horns of a bull raised in Spain, and it had a V-series engine. It was all a good bike should be. It was a 2002 Harley Davidson Sportster XL883. If you know bikes, then you know what I'm talking about.

It really felt like no other ride I have ever had. You see, I have ever ridden on a motorcycle before, only it was no Harley. It must have been one of those boda boda brands many years ago that I cannot remember when even if I tried.

The day I rode on the Harley for the first time is unforgettable. Before that I had heard and read about Harley Davidsons in passing, until my friend George got one a few years ago.

We rode through town that day, easily manoeuvring through slow traffic--all eyes on the Harley and her passengers. I had never felt so good. It amazed everyone it rode past with its roar for that is what the Harley does to you, whether you are on it or off it.

Unfortunately, I may not get the chance to ride on it again because George has sold it for some good amount and its new owner is going to have it shipped to his country in a few days.

I am so glad that George wanted a last feel of his treasured bike and invited me for a ride. How could I say no to a Harley? It was a one-of-a-kind experience I can never forget.

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