“She clings to me
Her hair, like fire streams behind us
Sleek, black, shiny
As she hugs me tight
I know that my mistress
Has fulfilled her
Tight jeans, wet
Her firm pert breasts rub through the thin cotton shirt
On my back
She screams, ‘faster, faster, faster’
I turn up the throttle
They both come together
I am the man who rides them
I am god”
In loving memory of Ruvin Perera and Pemraj Amal Peiris. Best friends in life and death.
My first memory of bikes were the Suzuki ST125’s on display near the Bamabalapitiya bus stop. Sleek gleaming colours, the proud trail bikes standing tall with their circular gas tanks and the stand up handlebars. Barely a teen, making my father promise that my 18th birthday present would be one. I still remember then when the rupee was valuable they seemed dear at a mere Rs.13,000 each.
Consequently the bike craze that spread like wildfire through Colombo. My childhood hero’s; Dallas Martenstyn, Milinda Halahakoan and Tissa Wimalasekara. The races in Katukurunda when we used to just remove the muffler from Lucky’s KH125 or my dad’s Mark11 and just track them.
At a mere 16 years, when my dad refused permission for me to travel to Nuwara Eliya, locking my bedroom door and having the domestic boy shave my head bald in protest.
Soon the norm, all the accidents. Leading to complete parental refusal to even consider buying a teenage son a trail or road bike.
Pemba’s subsequent entrance to personal wealth through flying for Air Lanka. His Yamaha DT175, Suzuki RM125 and the Honda 200R. Flying down Duplication road on the RM, and shifting from first to third on a wheelie. Back wheelies in front of innumerable Colombo all girl schools. Ruvin’s XL250s, Nauzers Yamaha RD200 and the best bike of all the RD350. Black and red, purring powerfully as I would showboat on the Viharamaha Devi Road stretch or all around Independence Square.
It was cool to slip and slide, fall. Bruises and bandages were a part of attaining manhood, to be gasped at and admired by your peers and the young Ladies College birds hanging out at Otters (Otters was cool then).
In memory, Ruvin died on his XL, people had serious accidents, limbs were broken and I settled with my dad for VW Beetle as my entry to 18 years of life. The posters of Barry Sheen and Kenny Roberts still shone from my bedroom wall but my dreams of owning a mobike fast disappeared to borrowing friends bikes and riding around town unknown to my parents.
Life was cool then. You fell, you went to the accident ward and you were treated. The millions of bikes ridden, the millions of falls and finally shepherded off to college in the US to stay out of trouble by anxious parents.
The devastating day when I received the call from a sibling with the news that Pemba had crashed and moved on to race with the gods in the sky. The sorrow and grief.
Living in the USA was similar to bike heaven with every kind of bike imaginable. Murali’s Kawasaki Ninja and my initiation and love affair with Harley Davidsons, the most beautiful girls in the world. My dreams of owning a bike still unfilled due to the simple fact of being a miserably poor student, but always riding and dreaming, one day I will own my own beast bitch – a Harley.
Forty now and I still ride, but still no Harley, but one day you beautiful bitches, I will own one of you, ride you, tame you, ride with you to the gods in Valhalla where I hope I will meet Ruvin and Pemraj again, and ride.
Ride on our girls with the sun beating down on gleaming asphalt, the wind streaming through our hair, as young teenagers stand by the road and watch and go, there go the gods and wish they were one of us too.