I was happy to hear, Ed Wright an old biking buddy from years ago, was going to visit me on his new Harley Road King. The two black and chrome bikes looked good together and we were itching to ride.
I wanted to impress Ed with the beauty of riding in the Okanagan, so I took him to Lake Country on the old highway that winds between Kelowna and Winfield, then over the high country between the valleys, separating The Woods lake chain from Lake Okanagan. We then wound down the twisting path to Okanagan Center where we stopped for an ice cream cone and drank in the view of people in the water, the boats and the sounds of summer.
Leaving Okanagan Centre we climbed almost straight up through the fields of grapevines to the Grey Monk Estate winery. Standing on the dinning room deck overlooking the beautiful Okanagan Lake we decided to make reservations for the following evening.
The winery has a two tiered parking lot and to exit he had to go up a steep incline to the higher tier. I was almost at the top and still had not heard the roar of the Road King so I looked back and in doing so backed off the throttle enough that my bike stalled. As I grabbed the clutch and break then put out my left leg but discovered there is a bit of an optical illusion and the roadway also slopes considerably to one side… the left side. My foot kept going down without contacting the ground and as I felt the heavy bike come over I decided it was time to bail and drop my bike for the first time in over forty years.
There is no graceful way to dive, hit the pavement, do a couple of rolls and finish with a spread eagle in front of the dozen or so people who were watching. If they had score cards I am sure I would have looked up to a row of 4’s and 5’s at best. I was trying to get to my feet whiles some fellow rushed over and put a hand firmly on my back hollering, “Stay down, you might be hurt. I was hurt all right, my knee was missing skin and bleeding but that didn’t compare to the pain my ego was feeling. Several other fellows rushed to my aid and I now held the attention of everyone in the area. Meanwhile Ed’s bike roared to life and he rode up beside me to ensure I was okay.
I can now confirm that the only thing funnier than seeing a big biker fall down in a parking lot is to see two bikers fall down in a parking lot. And that is exactly what happened, when Ed stopped and tried to put his left foot down as well.
The two big black and chrome bikes may have looked good standing together but when they are lying side by side on the ground with both riders spread out next to them … well we just weren’t doing the bad biker image any good as I hear someone say, “They don’t Park Wright.”