I thought it was going to be a difficult process – there’s a reason I’ve only got round to selling her now, at the end of the riding season, not at the beginning, when I might have got a better price.
More than half a lifetime ago my mum died. (It may be crass to compare selling a motorcycle to a bereavement. If you think you might think this, I recommend you go and check out Nikos‘s latest update instead while I blunder on with this simile.) I was left with an abiding sense of being cheated of my Hollywood ending. In sentimental films, the dying parent gets to offer words of wisdom and encouragement that their family get to carry with them when they’re gone, as consolation and as a guide to their future selves. In real life, or in my real life at least, when she was compos mentis enough to offer parting words, she wasn’t ready to admit she was departing, and once she was departing, she was whacked out of her head on morphine and couldn’t tell the difference between me and a lamp post. Shuffling off the mortal coil is a long drawn out process and it’s difficult to pinpoint the moment the soul goes and the body is left breathing on its own for just a little longer.
Ruby stopped being Ruby when her Metal Mule rack came off. I put the stock BMW handgrabs back on, and she turned into just another GS, and I can let just another GS go without too much pain.
She’s just another GS with scars, though – no amount of polishing can take the scrapes off the screen where she tried to headbutt Julian’s caravan, or the scuff in the left-hand cylinder head where we bounced off the A1; and though I’ve taken the RNLI sticker from the 2010 Lands End-John O’Groats off the screen, I’ve left the Thundersprint scrutineering stickers on her beak, just to leave a little bit of glamour on her.
In a perfect world I’d keep her, but she’s an expensive girl. I wish the bike that used to be Ruby some more great adventures. We had more than our share.