31. The Motorcycle Rider


Jay was born to ride. Just after learning to walk, he got his first tricycle. A year later he was on a bicycle with training wheels. At the age of five he was a skilled bicyclist, able to jump off ramps and fly through the air. His father made sure he did everything safely. Jay wore a helmet, a chest pad, elbow pads, and knee pads. He fell a lot, but he was never hurt badly.

He got his first motorcycle when he was seven. His father put the motorcycle in the back of his pickup and drove Jay out to the desert almost every weekend. Jay became a skilled rider. He entered motocross races all over the county. By the time he was 15, he had won 30 races. His future looked bright.

When he was 17, Jay took his girlfriend out for a ride on his motorcycle. A truck ran a red light, and Jay and his girlfriend crashed into the side of the truck. Jay went into the hospital for three months. His girlfriend died immediately.

Jay didn't ride a motorcycle again for 10 years. Then one weekend he bought a used Kawasaki. He took it out for a test run at dusk. It felt good to ride again. He got it up to 110 miles an hour on the local freeways. A highway patrol car chased him for about ten minutes, but he finally lost it in the freeway traffic and the dark. When he got home, he was excited. That was fun, he thought.

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