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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hot and Cold (04/09/09)

TITLE: Motorcycles and Blankets
By Joy Bach


Have you ever been really cold? I mean so cold your legs don’t function? I have.

My husband thought it would be fun to ride our motorcycle to the “Fiddler’s Contest” in Weiser, Idaho. It sounded like a plan…and the weather was nice. We put on our jeans, jackets and helmets and headed out, traveling 55 miles down the highway.

It was a bit intimidating to ride through downtown Weiser. The main street was lined on both sides with Harley’s. We were on a BMW. I didn’t have any tattoos.

It was a fun evening. Very late, we decided it was time to head home. Small problem. The temperature was now in the 40’s. My husband assured me we would hurry and everything would be alright. He was very wrong.

I became cold. And then I grew even colder. I’m not sure what the wind chill is when the temperature is 40 and you are moving at 70 mph. I was so cold I could not even feel me. I had to assume I was still there.

When we reached home, I could not climb off the bike. I was permanently frozen in the sitting position; feet on the bike’s pegs. With a lot of help from my husband, I made my way to a bathtub filled with warm water. I survived. Just barely! I made it perfectly clear I was taking no more rides in the cold.

And so we went to the other extreme.

Have you ever heard of “Hell’s Canyon”? Guess why it’s called that.

It was July and we were going to the BMW motorcycle rally in Missoula, Montana. There were about five or six bikes in our group when we left Boise. As we passed through each town, we picked up a few more riders. By afternoon our caravan had arrived in Hell’s Canyon.

The sun was beating down on us with the temperature in the 100’s. I soon felt like a zombie…with glazed eyes. Concern for my husband flooded me. How could he concentrate on the road? It was all I could do to keep hanging on.

Mile after mile went by. Soon a stream wound its way beside the road. How I longed to just lay down in it. But we traveled on. We began to wind our way up White Bird Hill. In the distance we saw a mirage. It said “A & W” on it. About 50 motorcycles pulled up to have several drinks. Root beer had never tasted so good…and so cold!

As we talked, everyone had thought the same thing about pulling over and climbing in the water. But no one did.

The climb up the hill had overheated our motorcycle. When we stopped at a campground for the night, I discovered my clothes had melted to the saddlebag. I looked lovely with a black hole in the center of my sweatshirt. No more riding in the heat for me.

In other words, I became a fair weather rider.

During another phase of my life, it was clearly demonstrated to me that God certainly has a sense of humor.

When my husband and I first married, he was hot all the time. Even when the temperature was cold out, he would have on shorts and want the heat turned down. I, on the other hand, was cold all the time. When I would ask about turning up the heat, he would respond with, “It’s much easier for you to put on more clothes. I can’t take anything else off.”

And so I dressed in layers…in my own home…feeling like the kid in the snowsuit in “Christmas Story”.

But growing older and hormones helped me get my revenge.

He lost a lot of weight. Suddenly he could not get warm. I grew warmer each day. And now we’ve had a role reversal. I open the windows for the cool breeze and he closes them. I throw off the covers in the night and he grabs for them. He watches television warm and snug under his electric blanket. When the warmth touches me, I shove it away.

And when he complains about the temperature of the house and wants to turn the thermostat up, guess what I say?

“It’s much easier for you to put on more clothes. I can’t take anything else off.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Connie Dixon04/16/09
This is great, and you cover the topic in so many ways. Loved the wonderful descriptions and your humor really shines through with this entry. Good job!
Margaret Gass04/16/09
I pictured you as a toy motorcycle rider that my son had as a child...he would "snap" it on and off a variety of toy bikes with glee. Though you weren't smiling, you are gracious--some might not even be fair weather riders after those trips! I, too, enjoyed your descriptions, and your final comment to hubby is apt. :-)
Patricia Turner04/20/09
Love your humor and excellent writing!