February 2012 –-> I receive an email from Zoe thanking me for the advice provided on the Triumphrat.net site for her upcoming coast to coast solo ride. At the time I was quite active in this forum promoting my own ride to Central America, trying to learn as much as possible via the forum. It turns out that the Triumphrat.net folks had no clue about Central America and all they did was warn me not to ride in Mexico.... (that is a blog in itself). Promptly I responded to Zoe, and offered my services as an American, in my beautiful country – USA.
June 2012 –-> I receive another email from Zoe, she was in the Boston area and would love for us to meet. Wow!!! I was thrilled to receive such a wonderful email. Promptly I respond, we scheduled a location and meeting time. Here was this woman who flew from London England, arranges to get her Triumph Bonneville to Boston, has a very tight schedule to accomplish her goal (coast-to-coast ride in 30 days) and manages to squeeze to see me. What an honor to have a woman contact me from England and actually meet me. I was "tickled pink" with excitement (an American expression).
I rode to Boston and met her. As soon as we saw each other on our Bonneville's, it was an instant connection. As she pulled over in the parking lot, we looked at each other, DELIGHTED for at least 30 seconds. It was like in a movie when two people meet for the first time and things are in slow motion. I could still see the glow on her face as she saw me sitting on my bike. Those are memorable moments that cannot be captured in pictures or written to describe the feelings. I am sure she noted how I was glowing with happiness to see her pull up. She was wearing an amazing black leather Triumph jacket with the most fantastic European helmet, our American trademark -- blue jeans and brown boots. She looked so nice on her bike.
We met, shared ideas, hugs and I head home in the dark Massachusetts Turnpike. As usual, I miss the exit because there was construction with blinding lights. A ride that would normally take 40 minutes, took me 2 hours. The next day, it is pouring rain and I could not get my thoughts away from the fact that Zoe was riding in that horrible storm while I was in my computer room teaching, looking out the window watching the storm. I thought, "oh, poor Zoe, the first day of her journey to start off like that, in a terrible New England cold rain storm." Later that evening, I receive a message from Zoe sharing her first day experience. Well, did you think I was going to write what she told me in this blog? HA!! You will have to purchase the book to find out.....
We stay in touch via Twitter and text messages. A week later, I straddle my Triumph Bonneville and head west towards Chicago for the start of my crazy Central America adventure. A year later I receive the typical awesome Zoe Twitter private messages mentioning her book. Another year goes by and more Twitter messages about the book saying that I am featured in it, my excitement grows. Bang!! March 2014, another Twitter private message, BOOK PUBLISHED, wooh hoo!!! I was ecstatic and could not wait to get my hands on a hard copy of the book.
I finally receive my book from Amazon, dig in and right away I find my name as a character in her book. OMG - I could not put the book down. It felt like I was in the ride because I can relate to so much of what she wrote...... It turns out that I was the first one to purchase the book as I had promised. Now, I need my book autographed by Zoe. However, my plans are to have her autograph the book in person when I stop in England during my round the world adventure -- stay tuned for that blog entry.
The love for the Triumph Bonneville created such an amazing connection. Could it be the bike? Could it be the desire for adventure that brought us to meet? Either way, the book has captured my heart and I wish Zoe all the luck in the world with positive sales. The book is a gem of adventure and details of places she visited with all the amazing people she met during her journey featuring her awesome Triumph Bonneville.