Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Geoff, A New Motorcycle And Old Friend

My new motorcycle is a BMW K1600GTL, the largest bike they make and the best touring machine on the road. I love it.

I name my motorcycles. It gives them personality. The GTL is no exception. Pondering names, I decided I want one with personal significance since I'll be closely attached to it for the next decade. I thought and thought about possibilities and then... suddenly, the perfect name hit me.

Fifteen years ago, I met a fellow motorcycle-rider named Geoff. Geoff was eager to join a motorcycle club of which I was then President. I considered it my official duty to welcome him. Geoff, candidly, was a little odd. Super-smart but odd. He had no close friends and was desperate to make some. People caught a whiff of his desperation and backed away. Also, Geoff was naturally irreverent which is a quality many ordinary people don't appreciate.

I have sympathy for odd ducks. Lord knows, I'm one. So I befriended Geoff. Spent time with him. Listened to his stories and dreams. We rode together, hung out and got closer. I came to appreciate Geoff for who he was, not what society thought of him. Geoff was truly brilliant and had an impressive job at an international company working on cryptography (which uses math to encrypt digital information, like communication of financial data between banks).

Being Geoff's friend was fun. After he moved to Maryland, I rode down and visited him. He bought an incredible mansion with the most luxurious guest-accommodations I'd ever seen. His living room had 30-foot high ceilings and Geoff, skilled at electronics, designed his own audio/entertainment system. Long before the idea became popular, Geoff tried to invent an electric-powered motorcycle. It stalled because battery-technology at that time was too rudimentary.

Then, four years ago, tragedy struck. Geoff -- who was young and vibrant, in his forties -- got cancer. The quick kind. A brain-tumor grew and killed him in less than a year. Nobody saw it coming. On the nightstand next to his deathbed, Geoff had a framed picture I sent him showing Geoff relaxing on his favorite motorcycle. I know he looked at that image with fond memories amid his failing health.

I posted here about Geoff on the day of his untimely death. The event occurred this time of year (December 30, 2012). Death is sad but especially so when it happens to a young person. Someone you expect to spend the future with, but won't.

In honor of Geoff and to keep his memory alive, I'm naming my new bike after him. Now, when I talk about my motorcycle with bright joy, I'll remember Geoff the person, Geoff my friend. He'll be with me as I ride into the future.

Here's Geoff during the good old days...


23 comments:

  1. A sad but beautiful tribute to a special friend.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  2. What a lovely tribute to your friend, and a wonderful way to honor his memory. Enjoy that new bike!

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  3. How lovely that choosing a name, what some might call a frivolous passtime, can bring all that along with it each time you use it! Really wonderful Ally. I'm sure Geoff would approve. We all want to be remembered fondly.
    Now, I hope you have a better lockup for this bike. No more thefts! Xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. Thank, JJ. I'm glad you understand. I worried that some might think I was being bathetic or silly. We do all "want to be remembered fondly" -- I have pondered if any of my new, young friends will remember me after I'm gone. Learning that they named a makeup-case after me would put a smile on my face.

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  4. A beautiful tribute to your friend, and a lively story. This time of the year also makes me remember those I've lost. Most importantly my mother, who died on Christmas day 19 years ago, just one week before her 55th birthday. Yes, it puts everything in perspective...

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    1. It does, doesn't it? My sympathy for your loss. My mom also died at age 54 (in 1990). We hang on to our memories of them.

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  5. So sad, but a loving tribute. Our friends have to live in our memories - I'd rather have them here. xox

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  6. Naming your bike for your departed friend is a meaningful gesture of remembrance. Well done!

    Odd ducks? Bikers are definitely a different breed. A colleague of mine lost his battle with cancer Thanksgiving week. His circle of family and friends gathered at an elegant garden mortuary for the viewing -- and some of us were startled to see his huge Harley "hog" parked beside his open casket. When I stepped forward to pay my respects, I spotted a can of beer tucked down among the ruffles. I daresay this is the only time I'll ever exchange smiles with a widow on such a sad occasion...

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    1. Yes, we are. I've been to more than one funeral on my motorcycle. My sympathy for your loss.

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  7. Well this brought tears to my eyes. I love the idea of naming your bike after him, this way he will keep riding!
    xo
    styleontheside.com

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  8. I have a little something in my eye here...

    What a lovely tribute to your friend, Geoff. I'm sure he would approve wholeheartedly. A great way to remember your friend, Ally!

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  9. This is beautiful and I think it's a wonderful name for your new bike. I love that you are honoring his memory every time you take it out for a spin, which sounds like it was one of Geoff's favorite things to do, too.

    XOXO and see you soon!

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  10. A wonderful way to remember your friend and how touching Ally that you made the effort to befriend him when others backed away. From that you now have wonderful memories especially more poignant because of his illness and passing.

    http://petitesilvervixen.blogspot.co.uk/

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  11. I am so sorry for you loss, It is a quirky thing to do, but I am glad you named your bike after him. I happen to really like the odd duck. I hope this bittersweet week is sweeter than bitter. xx, Elle
    http://www.theellediaries.com/

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  12. A wonderful way to keep your memories of your friend burning brightly.

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  13. How lovely to name your bike after him- I am sorry that a bright, young man was cut down in his prime. SO sad when that happens.xx

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  14. Awesome way of keeping his memory alive!!!

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  15. That's a lovely story about Geoff and such a good idea to name your bike after him. I know Geoff was very happy to be your friend because if I believed in angels I would believe you were one. xoxo

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  16. That is a truly thoughtful tribute, Ally. You're an amazing friend.

    ♥ Jessica

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  17. Geoff is a great name for a motorcycle. And a very fitting one. I'm sure you'll have lots of fun together :)

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  18. sounds like you have wonderful memories together...and those memories will live on thru new Geoff.

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  19. Gosh, what a well writen story. As Suzanne says, sad but lovely story. Ever thought of becoming a writer?
    Greetje

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