Monday, November 04, 2013

Harley Hog Dog Wreck

I should take all your wonderful suggestions and just start a separate Harley Dog blog. He dominates so much of my life and brings me tons of laughter with naughty mischief thrown in for good measure.

Lately that little 6.6 pound bundle of trouble has been at it again. From drinking the ocean and hurling at both ends, to wrecking the bicycle. How can one little doggy manage to get into so much trouble?

When my friend was traveling with us, we took turns riding the bicycle. Typically we just went our separate ways at different times. Even if we had 2 bicycles, my friend can do 10-15 miles effortlessly while I can barely struggle to make one mile.

I'm still new to all this bicycle business. My friend splurged on a quick release seat thingy so we can pop the seat up and down without tools and take turns riding the bicycle.

Mama always said "Play nicely and share your toys."

One day we were going to rendezvous at the far end of the beach, away from everyone else and let the pooch have some ball chasing in the sand fun time. Harley is high energy. He needs to get out and race around now and then. My friend was going to walk to the beach, while I took the long way around riding the bicycle. There is a patch of beach where the bicycle has to be walked through. (I comically found this out after becoming mired in fluffy sand one day.)

Harley Dog loves to ride up front in his handle bar basket on the bicycle. We were zipping down the beach on a gorgeous day in the Sea Islands. 

Riding on the beach is new to me (and I love it!) I had dreamed about it, then studied the tides to figure out the safest times to ride without bogging down in the sand. 

Awhile back, I built in a short safety leash to the dog basket. Heaven forbid if we are in a wreck, I don't want Harley running off scared and possibly under a car wheel. 

A flat two dimensional doggy isn't much fun anymore.

Hopefully the leash somewhat protects him from getting thrown or landing in traffic or running off terrified. I thought I had him trained. I make sure he hears the clicking noise of the leash as I tell him to "sit, stay" when I put him in the basket.

Well, Harley LOVES my friend. So when Harley saw him waiting at the end of the beach with a ball in hand, he defiantly  took a flying leap out of his basket while I was still peddling away with all my might against a slight headwind.

Puppy dog KNEW this was against the rules. But in his enthusiasm, he just figured he would toss caution to the wind.

I saw him for a brief moment, dangling outside the basket, unable to touch the ground, strung up by his harness vest, scrawny little back legs wiggling and spinning like a cartoon character, his vest still attached to the safety leash.  The look on his face in that brief flash was priceless! He knew in that moment he had screwed up royally and this was perhaps a very bad move on his part.

I toppled over too and now doggy, bike and I were unceremoniously dumped into a heap of wet sand. 

Somehow between trying to stop, while reaching forward to try to balance an off balance dog, and kick down the kickstand, I flubbed it all up in that half second and we laid down the bike with both of us still on it. Harley looked both frightened and relieved.

My friend was laughing so hard because he said we looked like a circus show in an old movie that has choppy motion. One minute we're wobbling down the beach on the bicycle, the next we are fully stopped laying sideways in the sand. By now Harley was dancing on his hind legs, plowing up the wet beach to try and reach my friend. 

No one was injured, but we looked like we had been in a sand storm.  I reached over to unhook Harley from the safety leash and attach his regular leash. Suddenly it slipped from my hand as one very naughty dog ran off to meet up with my buddy and make kissy face with him because he held the coveted ball.  

So much for loyalty!  

At that point I thought well you little booger head, if you are going to do the big no-no (leaping from the basket) then not so much as a doggy kiss to see if I am OK after toppling us over, well to heck with you!

Still covered in sand, I picked up my bicycle and raced passed my insubordinate canine.  

As I rode past I said "You don't want to ride in my basket? Fine! You can just walk!"

I did a few loops around him, telling him what a foolish hound he was, then I playfully rode away.

Well, his mouth flew open, he dropped the ball and tried churning up the beach to chase after me.

Ahhhhh... so I do mean something to him after all. But I had a little fun with him, by riding off without him as sort of a lesson. (He probably didn't get it either.) 

When I finally stopped, it was because I was out of breath from laughing so hard as the absurdity of the entire scene, still covered in wet sand.

While I was trying to catch my breath, something jarred
in my tiny brain.

De ja voodoo...

Last time I did this was around the mid 80's on a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Only that time it was two women on a Harley Hog sans a Harley Dog. We plowed up a dirt and gravel road when my petite friend who was driving made a boo-boo. It too turned out to be rather amusing. We weren't seriously injured, just a little banged up and bruised.

In a nutshell...

OK in a large nutshell...

We were in the Cherokee foothills parallel to a remote fishing river on a paved road. I thought I had told my friend that the next turn was onto a dirt road and that it was a hairpin turn. She was relying on me for navigation because in those days I knew every road and path through that area. Somehow she missed that tidbit of critical info. To compound matters, the turn was hidden by trees and brush.

As she barely down to make the turn, two fishermen looked up from the river to see us riding by on this exquisite Harley Davidson. My friend took the turn way too fast only to realize we were about to crash into a tree if she didn't make the complete hairpin turn. We came to a sudden halt as the the hog laid down in the dirt and gravel, throwing up a mud blizzard. 

We lay there in the mud and muck with the motorcycle on top of us, kind of in mild shock while the dust resettled around us. Rock and roll was playing loudly in our ears, because she had hooked us both into her Walkman stereo (which back in those days only played a cassette tape not MP3's.)

We had on dark sunglasses, dark helmets, dark clothes, dark boots and leather jackets. We both had long hair which was tucked up inside our helmets to prevent chronic wind knotting.

The two fishermen bolted out of the river, coming to our rescue. They pulled the motorcycle off of us asking if we were OK. Rock and roll was still  blaring in our ears so we only saw their moving lips. We stood up, covered in muck, a little shaken from the drop. Finally we took off our helmets, removing the earphones so we could hear, think and thank our rescuers. 

As the helmets came off, the hair came tumbling down. Removing our sunglasses to shake hands with the fishermen for their gallant efforts, their jaws dropped in utter disbelief. It was their turn to be in mild shock.

Finally one of them said in this slow country drawl prevalent in the south "Oh my Gawd, THEY'RE GIRLS!"

From the astonished look on their faces we could have been aliens climbing out of a space ship. 

I guess in those days and times, two women on a Harley weren't often seen in them there mountains.


  1. It's "those there" mountains.

    1. Mountain folks say "them there mountains"

    2. "Them there mountains" is correct. I grew up in 'em.

  2. Thanks for the affirmation.
    I reckon them there furriners have a hard time understanding, but hit don't matter.


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