Friday, January 5, 2024

Do you risk riding without a phone?

 I returned from my riding my old Royal Enfield Bullet recently, set my helmet down on my desk and noticed my iPhone, plugged in and charging on the desk.


I had been riding without my phone!

What if something had happened?

A wave of dismay crashed onto the beach of my imagination.

I saw myself stranded by the side of the road, no way to call my wife (or an Uber) to come get me. No one just "hails" a cab anymore. There are no pay phones. I can't blame strangers for being suspicious of anyone asking to "borrow" their phone.

What would I do?

Well. What did I used to do, in the days before I carried a communication device in my pocket?

Mind you, that was a very long time ago. My newspaper job meant I was issued a company cell phone almost as soon as they were invented.

But I wasn't totally without resources.

First, I would try to fix the problem myself. That didn't always work, but sometimes just struggling with a problem attracted a Good Samaritan.

More than once, someone with more knowhow than me came to my rescue on their own initiative. These occasions left me with a certain amount of faith in the goodness of people.

In fact, I've been helped so often that I'm left with a definite regret that I haven't done more to help others.

And there's the added self-knowledge that, more than once, the people I chose to help appeared to be lone females. Oh, what a Galahad.

I smile because I "paid" for those instances a time or two. I changed a flat tire for a young woman and worked up a real sweat because the tire iron in her trunk wasn't the correct size for the lug nuts. I finally got them off by holding the oversize wrench at an angle and straining against it.

In the darkness I didn't realize the correct tire iron was also in the trunk until I was done and she handed it to me, explaining that for some reason her boyfriend had put "an extra" in the trunk.

If cell phones had been invented, she would have just called him instead of letting me help.


  1. I can hardly believe that I rode in jeans and an open-face Bell on remote highways for decades pre-cellphone without a second thought. Now I wear an airbag vest and a neon yellow jacket and helmet on those same old two-lanes!

  2. Anonymous1/06/2024

    David, you can take down the link for the CA chopper in Palm Desert. It went home with me this week. These things don't come without a "story" and the story was good.

    1. Thank you for letting me know. Certainly an interesting bike. We'd all love the hear the story.


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