Is it possible to have a second midlife crisis?
I remember my first. I came to California, changed jobs, bought a convertible, etc. It was around the time I hit 40.
Of course, I didn't think it was any sort of a crisis at the time. It was just life, and I was living it.
Then I started reading stuff, seeing movies and the rest. Everywhere I turned I saw something about Peter Pan Syndrome (I'll never grow up), the need for change and the rest.
Okay, I did have a motorcycle as well as a convertible. But hey, I had bought the bike a good five years before. And it was true, I had just gotten married. Again. If at first you don't succeed…
Eventually, I settled down a bit. I hit a groove around the time I turned 50. I found a church (and God), the job had become a good fit, the marriage was ticking along. I was between convertibles and the motorcycle was on its last legs.
Then came my 60s. As many of you know, I hit a bit of a heart roadblock, if you will, last year. You can't help but contemplate mortality when they're wheeling you in to crack open your chest and mess with your heart.
I'm all better now, even if I'm a bit of a bionic man. I swear I'm in better shape than when I had my first midlife crisis. I even exercise almost every day, and I'm working harder than ever.
Next month, I'll hit the Beatles milestone. Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?
So if you have life crises every 20 years or so, I'm about due.
Maybe that explains what I just did.
I bought another motorcycle.
I haven't ridden for a good five years. The 650 Suzuki pretty much fell apart on its 30th birthday, and I didn't see fixing it as a priority. It went away for parts.
I didn't really miss it — except for every time I saw a bike rider tooling down the highway. And it sure was handy when getting around on the Fourth of July or other heavy traffic events.
Fact is, I think Maria missed it more than I did. I mark the first time she rode on back as the time it started getting serious between us, and she never turned down a chance for a ride.
So when son-in-law Taylor, a mechanic plus and a Harley guy for a long time now, said he had a deal too good to refuse, Maria wasted no time pitching it to me.
That entailed a trip to San Marcos to check it out.
The thing is gorgeous. It looks like it just came off the showroom, even though it's a 2004 and has a ton of miles on it.
But it is huge. It's more than twice as big as the old rice burner, which makes some sense. It is a touring bike, built for the open road, not the city streets.
What is it, you say? It's a BMW r1150RT. It is sort of like a BMW car on two wheels. It actually has a direct drive engine — no chain, no belt, just a drive shaft.
I used to mess around with the Suzuki, changing the plugs, changing the oil and more. No way am I going to be able to do that with this puppy. I ordered a repair manual just to figure out where the battery is — don't want to change that. You have to take the seat off and move the gas tank just to get to it.
This dream machine has a faring (windshield in motorcycle speak) that actually moves up and down. There are heaters in the handgrips, for goodness sake. The obligatory side and back suitcases have more space than the travel bag I take on airplane trips.
In short, it's great. It is so much machine I'm a little intimidated, but I'll get over that with some riding time.
So I've got a bike. Is it time to trade in my adult-car Camry for a Midlife Crisis II convertible? Only time will tell.