A GOOD DAY TO RIDE
"Tis still Winter here on the Coast,
And the morning air is cool.
I've had my coffee and toast,
And don't have to teach in school!
What is an old fella' to do today?
I know what I'd like to do!
I'll just come right out and say
I'd like to take a cycle ride with you!
If I had a Triumph or Gold Wing,
I'd crank her up right away
Just to hear her engine sing;
And I'd take a ride today!
Down along the Gulf of Mexico,
Where the white caps are showing;
That's where we'd surely go,
Even though the wind is a blowin'!
Put a thermos of hot coffee in the bag,
Even a sandwich or two;
Passing a Porsche and a Jag;
Just the two of us; me and you!
Good days are made to ride,
For myself and my bride;
Just watch the miles fly by,
With the sun up in the sky!
My bride is seventy, and I am seventy-four.
We'd rather ride the cycle together;
Than to have a Vette with four on the floor;
Even in this Winter's cooler weather!
Dreams can sometimes come true,
If memories are allowed to rise
From their hiding places with you,
'Specially if no clouds are in the skies!
So come along with me,
And riding we will go;
Not along the shore of the sea,
But along the Gulf of Mexico!
Just the two of us together,
Like we used to be;
Riding in Winter's cooler weather,
With all the sights to see!
To all the cyclists before me today,
Talking man to man;
If you'd like to ride along the way,
Right now just raise yo' hand!
Sure is fun to fly a plane,
Or ride a cycle in the rain;
But even more fun
To make a run
In cool weather,
Or in the sun
Along the Mississippi Coast
After having your coffee
and your toast!
When you men grow old as me,
Don't give up cycle ridin"
Along the Coast or the sea;
And never. ever, go into hidin';
For that a pity would be.
Just crank up your bike,
And ride along with me!
If you look around
You'll find an old grey-haired man,
Ridin' a ghostly Triumph or Honda
Somewhere in the wild blue yonder!
Or if you pass the graveyard in Vancleave,
Early in the cool of morning or eve;
Listen as you go by and you may hear
The sound of Caffey's cycle in your ear!
And if that sound is the purrin' of a Honda,
He's crankin' it to ride up yonder;
Where the sun never sets and it's never cool,
And where an old rider is not an old fool!
Youthful days are soon set aside,
When the bikes have all gone to rust;
And the cyclist's have no wheels to ride,
And their youthful bodies now turned to dust!
So this sad tale must now end,
Lest, boring, leaves no friend;
I'll have another coffee and toast,
And leave tire marks all along the Coast!
by C. Douglas Caffey
Addenda: This poem was written about a month before Caffey bought a new motorcycle,
and now (2001) he can indeed go ridin' along the Gulf of Mexico, but not with his
bride, for she just had
open heart surgery, a triple by-pass with a Pace-Maker. We lived on the Gulf
Coast of Mississippi and
Caffey rode a motorcycle until he was seventy-nine years old. At this writing
he is eighty-one and his bride
is seventy-seven. But we have had loads of fun riding cycles in the snow and
in the sun. Not kidding 'bout
the snow, for one day, high in the Continental Divide, near Denver (where we then
lived) it began to snow
hard , and before we got down from the high country, snow was eight inches deep.
If you've never ridden a
cycle in fresh-fallen snow there's no way I can describe it to you...except it was
fun, and ridin' in hail is just about
as much fun...we did that too in the Rocky Mountains one day until we found an old
open barn where four sets
of husbands and wives found refuge until the hail stopped! Those were the
days, not of wine and roses, but of cycle-ridin' !