I’ve only ridden a motorcycle once in my life. Many years ago. My then boyfriend who would later become my husband and I were on a rock hunting expedition with friends in eastern Oregon. We were digging to recover quartz, specifically Jasper stone, and other rare rocks with interesting middles. My girlfriend’s brother-in- law showed up on his bike. When I asked a few questions he offered me a ride. I went. About fifty feet. No helmet. Slow and safe. That’s all it was.
My limited experience didn’t qualify me to write about motorcycles, but when my hero in my newest release In Search of Forever entered the story on a Harley I had some research ahead of me.
I know what you are thinking. He’s my character. Give him a different mode of transportation. You are the author.
Didn’t work. The Harley fit.
My research involved a lot of questions. Is there a technique to riding a motorcycle? What does one need to know about riding double? Can a Harley be transported? To my surprise two of my writing partners had ridden motorcycles before and offered insights into the sport.
But I needed more.
I turned to YouTube. There I was delighted to find hours of motorcycle riding documentaries demonstrating how to ride as well as lists of accessories to make the journey more fun. I was shown the proper way to sit a cycle. How to lean into turns and how not to. The kind of clothes a cyclist needs to stay warm and safe. The gear needed: saddlebags, mirrors, folding canes. The newest technology that allows people riding together in groups to communicate with each other. How to load and how not to load a Harley in a pickup or on a trailer. The information available was endless.
I spent hours watching technique sessions. When I began writing the scenes in the book involving my hero and his bike I felt prepared. I had picked up the lingo associated with motorcycle riders. I felt confident I could write an authentic scene involving my hero and his love interest who knows nothing about riding a motorcycle. But he is handsome, and she is love struck and willing to learn. Who can blame her?
The effect was magical for me. Not only had I gained a lot of knowledge, I believed my readers would enjoy the ride as well. So when you read the scenes involving Jayden Clarke and Baylie Summers and the bike know that behind those brief pages are hours of absorbing YouTube videos. Of talking with friends who actually enjoy the wind ripping through their hair as they zoom down a highway with nothing but asphalt and sun to surround them. I can imagine a lot of fun exploring old country roads together. Even if I’ve only experienced this virtually.
Above all, enjoy the story.
Now available on pre-order