I have a dream. A recurring one. Well, to be 100% accurate, I used to have a recurring dream but I don't anymore. I will now attempt to explain myself for those few hardy souls that are sticking with me on this.
I moved from the UK to the USA about 17 years ago - I state this just in case you haven't read any of my other posts, or my bio, or my linked in, or have never heard me moan about the lack of ‘real’ sausages / tea / tinned tuna / soccer coverage over here. When I left the UK, the absolute cream of the sports bike crop was the Suzuki GSXR1000R. And I was young and male, so therefore this was the bike that I coveted more than any other. I couldn't remotely afford one, even if I could, I wouldn't have been able to get insured, but lordy I lusted after one.
Anyway, the big move happened and I found myself renting in a new city (Manhattan) and settling into a new office, in a new role and of course, trying to find a decent cup of tea. I was preoccupied with being a stranger in a strange land and bikes were no longer front of mind. So, along with the rest of the motorcycling universe, the big Gixxer that I had been obsessing over slowly faded from my frontal lobes. But it nestled somewhere in my subconscious….
About two years later, I had a very vivid dream. In it, I had travelled back to the UK (as I was in the habit of doing a two or three times a year), and, as it was a lovely summer's day, I had gone to my garage to get my GSXR100R out for a blast around the back roads. To my horror, it wasn't there - there was just a space where it had been standing. I woke up with a palpable sense of loss and yearning that slowly faded as my new surroundings came back into focus. I gradually forgot about it, as you do with dreams, and got ready for work.
About two months later I had the same dream. Then again a month or so after that, with another one two months following that. This carried on for over a decade. There were slight variations on the theme. Occasionally it was an R1 or a CBR1000 that was waiting for me in my garage. Sometimes it was a garage at a friends' place. Once or twice I would just be standing in a carpark looking for my bike and not understanding why it wasn’t there. The narrative slowly morphed over time too - I began to dream that I had placed an order for a new sports bike before I left the UK and when I got back, the dealer had, for some unfathomable reason, failed to deliver it. I would call him up and ask what had happened to it, only to be met with confusion on their part and frustration on mine when they had no idea what I was talking about. Whatever, the scenario though, the outcome remained the same, I’d wake up with the familiar sense of anguish and longing and (in later years) turn and say to my wife "guess what, I just had THE dream again".
A lot of things had happened in my personal and professional life since the start of this saga - I had moved 6 times, changed jobs, got married, grew my hair, cut my hair, travelled through the Far East and became a US passport holder, but one thing stayed constant throughout - my reoccurring dream.
Analyzing it now, I have formulated a theory - when I left the UK, I lusted after the big liter bikes as they represented a biking ultimate, but knew I could never afford one. I was a familiar face at the local dealers, but I never went home with anything but images of pointy ended and wide tyred road rockets indelibly scored on my mind coupled with a fierce envy of the people who could afford such exotica. When I came to the US though, I opened a new business and it went well, so after a couple of years, I started bringing home some reasonable money. I think this new, (and relative), feeling of affluence was the catalyst for re-animating my pent up, but filed away, longing for the big blue and white Suzook and its brethren. And the dreams began.
Fittingly, of course, all the objects of desire in my REM adventures were from the late 90s - always the machines that were covetable when I was younger, cryogenically suspended in my mind at the exact time that I last put down a British motorbike magazine and immersed myself in my new life. OddIy the last mag I read was on the plane over, and because I finished it during the flight, it never disembarked with me into the New World.
The dreams have stopped now. I haven’t had one for over two years and I don't think I ever will again. The last was sometime in May 2015. You see, in June 2015, my wife and I took our MSF test, her to get a motorcycle license for the first time, and me because I needed to take the test in the USA even though I had a UK bike license. She had never ridden a bike before, but she passed and I was, (and am), so proud of her. Two weeks later, we got a little Yamaha and we have moved onwards and upwards from there. I had been off bikes for 20 years (!) but it all came rushing back and within days it was as if I had never been away. My obsession began anew and consumes me to this day. I suppose a mental itch was scratched, sensations, experiences and emotions that had been dormant all these years were finally given voice and made current and familiar again. The years have been bridged and I got back in back in the saddle and lo and behold, it was still warm!
Still haven't got that GSXR though….