As October races towards November I find myself measuring my time on the Radian in hours and minutes instead of days. At this point in the season, any moment riding is a golden moment. These moments were made even more precious a few days ago when I received a friendly letter from ICBC reminding me that my insurance was almost expired and encouraging me to renew it. As much as I appreciated the invitation, I can’t see myself riding through the snow, I don’t even really like riding in the rain.
So you can imagine my disappointment when I went out to the garage (after getting all of the immediate responsibilities and concerns of the week sorted out), slipped my worn jacket over my shoulders, strapped on my helmet, and opened the garage door letting in the sharp fall air and a merry troupe of dancing leaves…and the Radian wouldn’t start…again.
Suddenly the sharp air had a cold bite and the leaves weren’t merry, just annoying. The engine turned over fine, it just sounded like it couldn’t get any fuel. And, for once, I wasn’t out of gas, I had only ridden one kilometer since my last fill up. I took a deep breath and whispered a brief prayer to the motorcycle gods (who were so good to me all summer), but to no avail. In fact, all the prayer got me was a deafening backfire from the Radian. I can take a hint.
My ears were still ringing when Lindsay walked into the garage a few moments later. She thought I had crashed into something and, understandably, wanted to check that I wasn’t, you know…dead. Thoroughly deflated, I locked up the garage and promised the Radian I’d get her all fixed up. Really, there was only one place to go when you plan on riding your bike and actually end up in your minivan with your gear piled on your kids’ car seats in the back.
I headed to MotoVida. It was getting late, but the lights were on and I could see Brent and James working to get the shop ready for the soft opening in a few days. As I opened the door I found myself thinking back to the first night I met Brent and Candace, when MotoVida was a dream on the horizon. Tonight I was walking across the threshold of its reality. The last time I was in this space, it was a dim, empty warehouse. Now, there were walls, and rooms, and plumbing, and lights and a great resin-finished wooden bar (which has its own story that’s worth hearing), some merchandise and already a bike in the back for servicing.
What I noticed most, however, was how familiar it felt. The same warm hospitality that greeted me when I was standing on Brent and Candace’s doorstep in the rain so richly infused this space. Sitting on a barstool I felt like I was still hanging out in Brent’s garage. Or, more accurately, you might say that in Brent’s garage, I was already in MotoVida. Perhaps it’s like how an oak tree is somehow held inside of an acorn. And the acorn, without losing any of its character, grows into something unimaginable.
I’ve seen the labour and love that Brent puts into his motorcycles, and this same heart is evident in every area of the shop and, furthermore, he brings it to everyone he meets. And it’s contagious. Since I’ve been riding I feel like I’ve become part of a cosmic inside joke where the punch line is hope. As I swept the floor that evening I could hear Brent and James laughing from the back of the shop. And it’s these moments, moments that can appear so insignificant, that (in spite of the horrible things the world throws at us-and the fact that the Radian wouldn’t start) give me a little hope for the world again. These moments are gems. Treasures, even. I am beginning to suspect that they happen a lot around here.
Summer is long over and there are only precious few moments of riding left for me. Nevertheless, just like the acorn that roots the oak tree in autumn’s earth, there is something amazing rooted here and I can see it growing all around.