Those aren't misty eyes wistfully staring at the empty stall where Da'mit would await our next adventure. Must be a foggy camera lens.
Chris H, her new owner, says he and Da'mit will be giving his twin daughters rides in the country on a rig that has been to Alaska and back.
Seems like it was only yesterday when Da'mit and I first met. In fact less than two years ago, in Atlanta, GA, December 2012. There was something special about that Gobi camouflage sidecar that called out to me. A wind of a whisper rustled the Georgia pines saying her and I belonged together. That siren call wanted an answer........ so we made a team, Da'mit and I.
Yes, she was running rough, from having been sitting too long. The seat was too low, too hard and too far forward. No windshield, no luggage and no sidecar experience. But, we had the will and desire to explore this new world of sidecars, together.
Sitting in her saddle for the first time on the day we met, I felt like a kid again. Anything was possible, We could do anything, go anywhere, explore the world together.
Isn't it amazing how some cameras can capture your inner child! Who needs a dusty sidekick when you have your trusty steed? Hopalong, step aside. Here comes the Kid on Da'mit. I may have looked sixty seven on the outside, but inside... I was six again.
Driving back to Texas with Da'mit following on a trailer is when I realized I really don't know how to ride a sidecar. Or as they say in the sidecar world, how to DRIVE a rig.
Off to Lufkin, Texas, to the only sidecar school in our tri-state area. A cold chilly day in February found Da'mit and I with one other student learning to stop, turn and fly the chair from a well-informed and experienced sidecar instructor, Marcus Renfroe. For two days, while he taught and demonstrated, while Jimmy and I fumbled and stumbled. We struggled to learn the techniques to control and drive this off-canter, off-center, over-weight, un-balanced machine. Without going into the physics of sidecars, let it be known that driving a sidecar is much more difficult to master than riding a motorcycle. Both physically and mentally demanding, all the time, all day long while driving a rig.
So what did Da'mit and I do after learning to fly the chair?
Why ride down to Key West, Florida, naturally.
That's where you start the Ultimate Coast to Coast Challenge ride. Just 90 miles from Cuba, you turn around and head northwest.... to Alaska. So we did.
Da'mit and I got to cross the great empty plains for the first time. There came the mountains, the cold, bison herds, black bears, big moose, grizzly bears and even colder cold.
Da'mit wanted to try on some Alaska headgear, but...
thought it made her behind look small.
2014 was another year for riding adventure. From the Atlantic Ocean in Maryland to the Pacific Ocean in California, Da'mit and I rode. This time with two other Ural riders, Muzzleflash and Lokiboy.
Now in the Fall of 2014, with 40,000 kms on her clock and a lifetime of memories to share, Da'mit is ready for retirement. She told me she is tired of noisy eighteen wheelers blasting her around, fighting cross winds wanting to blow her off the road, struggling up cold icy mountain passes and the long lonely rides in the dark trying to get to the next town. She is ready for a nice quiet pasture, take a few easy rides in the countryside and make children smile.
Da'mit is a noble steed. A forgiving companion as we crossed south to north, east to west and back again. In the year and half together, we have had an over abundance of adventures, stories, encounters and mishaps together. Enough to fill a book. Goodbye good friend.
Thanks for the memories........
Good night, Da'mit
p.s. Thanks to Anthony for posing as a young adventurist on Da'mit.