A few summers ago, my aunt, Jan, and I decided to take a motorcycle ride to Livingston for lunch. We were both craving a Pickle Barrel sandwich and this was during the span of time when there was no Pickle Barrel in Billings, so we set out.
It was extremely windy so we were leaning into the wind and fighting it the whole way. We had almost reached the first exit into Big Timber when Jan reached for her blinker to indicate that we were getting off the interstate. Just as she hit the button, the BNSF locomotive that had been traveling beside us blasted its horn. Jan flinched so hard that she jerked her bike upright and we began to giggle. By the time we reached the stop sign at the top of the ramp we both had tears from laughing. We still have no idea what he was honking at out there where there aren’t any crossings. Maybe just two leathered up BABCs.
After a cold drink and a short rest, we continued on to Livingston, still chuckling about the train horn. We had a pleasant lunch at Pickle Barrel and decided to stop at one of the gas stations to top off before we fought the wind home. We filled up and decided to make a quick dash into the store for snacks for the ride home. Instead of backing into the parking space, we parked nose in, which was a mistake. I was able to back my bike out of the space, but Jan struggled and eventually backed right over a low spot with a manhole cover in the middle. She was straining and pulling and laughing, trying to get the bike back far enough to pull forward. An older gentleman on a BMW dual sport bike walked up from the gas pumps in all of his synthetic riding safety gear and carrying his full-face helmet under one arm. He just stopped and stared at her in apparent disbelief. His mouth hung open and he never said a word, never offered to help, nothing. He simply stood and stared at her as she tried to wrestle her Harley out of this low spot. Eventually, she was able to rock it free and back up enough to have space to turn around and we were on our way again.
The wind was still whipping and we were feeling a little beat up by the time we reached Big Timber, so we stopped again to regroup. This time, we bought some ice cream and sat on the steps to eat it before getting back on the road. There was a lady with a pickup parked near us. She was moving things from the front to the back and the back to the front. She didn’t seem to be in a hurry and kind of seemed to be waiting for someone. We said hello, but didn’t really pay too much attention to her. That is, until a man who was probably in his mid-twenties came tearing out of the store yelling, “We need to go! I was waiting for you in there. I thought you were still in the bathroom, so I’m lurking outside of it. I even stuck my head in there and yelled for you! You jerk! We need to get out of here before someone calls the cops on the perv sticking his head in the women’s bathroom! Get in the truck!”
By this point we were in hysterics and the woman, who we can only assume at this point was his wife or sister, was also cracking up. This guy was serious. He was blushing, embarrassed and pretty upset about the whole situation. I think it was so funny because this guy reacted in a very similar fashion to the way my uncle (Jan’s brother) behaves.
We finished our ice cream and rode on home. It is rare that Jan and I can have a relaxing day on the bikes without some sort of shenanigans. It would be decidedly less fun without them though.