Until now, I did not know accessorizing could be such a spiritual experience. Through out the ages women have worn jewelry, purses and shoes to symbolize power, sexuality and animal magic. Oh, and they also did it believing it made them look darn good. I've now found the perfect addition to my outfit, a 2009 Ducati Monster 696. Frankly, the motorcycle found me. It screamed at me across a show room floor at a giant mega motorcycle mall called Bert's in Southern California. The place is overflowing with hundreds of new Japanese motorcycles, some slightly used Harleys and a vast amount of dirt bikes and boats and a small grouping of Ducati motorcycles.
The model that was playing muse had a motor with 696 cubic centimeter engine. Some Japanese models have smaller less-powerful motors that are 250 cubic centimeters. There are also bikes with much bigger engines. But this size seemed to be a good middle ground. A motorcycle instructor told me the 696 engine size is a bike that grows with your abilities. The red motorcycle called me hither six months ago and I haven't been the same since.
Ducati came into my awareness because a teacher at our kids' school had just purchased one. She had been driving cruisers for twenty years and decided to go sport bike. After driving her Ducati Monster 696 for about a month, she turned to me at a school event and said, "I can't believe I waited this long to get this bike. It fits me perfectly, it's powerful and it turns so easily."
Amen, sister! When I fell head over heels for the Ducati Monster 696 I didn't even have a motorcycle license. I just had an over-booked schedule shuttling kids in a the biggest Ford SUV you can find on the road. Within weeks of seeing that Ducati, I had my license, the bike in my possession, and the Ford parked in the driveway. My schedule miraculously freed up for time to ride my motorcycle. The Ducati was a surprise purchase from my husband. My Harley-driving spouse bought me an Italian motorcycle! We've become the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt parents of motorcycles. We love our black American motorcycle and the shiny red Italian one. Although we do play favorites, Harley is his, Ducait is mine.
It turns out women really love these bikes. Last week I was hanging out at my spiritual portal, Peet's Coffee in Pasadena, when I met a man and his mom. He complimented me on my bike that was parked in the parking lot and told me his mom got him into riding Ducati's. She told me she'd been riding motorcycles most of her life. Her favorite motorcycle brand is Ducati. She loves the balance, size and power of the bikes.
Amen, sister! I've since met more women who drive sport bikes. Those women seem to be self-contained and adventurous. And they have really cool clothes. I myself have a pink and black motorcycle jacket with colorful rind stones on it. My helmet is pink and black with a dragon on the back. It's nearly impossible to find every-day outfits with that much cache.
I don't know if you've seen the movie "Yes Man". One of the best supporting roles in the movie is the performance of a red Ducati. If you ask me, it's no coincidence there's a Ducati featured in a movie with the word "Yes" in the title. The more I ride, the more I feel myself saying yes to life. Another Ducati rider I know who I also met at Peet's Coffee house describes riding the bike as a mystical experience.
I myself don't own a lot of purses or shoes. I've poured most of my money into my kids' education and clothing, building my business and buying groceries. We didn't purchase the Ducati outright, we make payments. But it feels like an investment in me and all the other components in my life. It allows me to recharge so I can be more present to my marriage, motherhood and work.
My five-year-old son regularly tells other parents and kids his mommy owns a monster. They usually get a funny look on their face and probably assume it is some disparaging term I've given him when he's misbehaving. I'm always happy to clear up their confusion by telling them he's actually talking about my Ducati Monster 696.
When I show my teenage daughter a new accessory such as a purse or a pair of shoes, she will say something bland such as, "That's nice."
When I showed her my new red Ducati parked in the garage, a huge grin spread across her face and she said, "It's about time."
Another nice feature of motorcycle riding is that no one asks me for stuff from the back seat, while I'm driving. Secondly, I don't have to carry this Italian accessory, it carries me in style. Third, its look has a timeless quality. Passion never goes out of fashion. Finally, it makes for a great get-away vehicle from one's daily grind responsibilities. Italian shoes may do that if you run quickly enough, but they're not nearly as comfortable or fast. Ducati truly is the perfect Italian accessory.