My brother grew up aruound bikes. He started riding them young, knew how to fix & customize them, built jumps for them, raced them. He got that from our Dad, who still remembers his favorite childhood gift being a bicycle. When I was young, he tried to share that feeling with me. On Christmas Eve, he told me to wash my hands for dinner, where I would be sure to notice the brand-new bike that was to be my present.
I dutifully retired to the wash-room, only to return quickly to notify my parents that I couldn't wash my hands because "some stupid bike was in the way."
There can only be one Lance Armstrong anyway, I suppose.
That long and boring back-story was probably more than sufficient to make the point that Bryan is far more prepared and suited to riding motor-bikes around the small Thai island of Ko Si Chang than I. He had further honed his skills during the preceding 3 months that he had spent in Phuket.
"You push that button, twist that gripper, and then you go," he said.
I nodded, and immediately tried to accelerate and break at the same time. This is a manuever that I may have invented. The resulting action promptly deposited me on my ass, presenting an opportunity to rid myself of some excessive and un-needed skin from my hands, knees, toes and stomach.
Bryan, knowing my history, did not look entirely surprised. He was probably thinking of the time, maybe 15 years before, when I decided that, being the big brother, I should be able to do anything that he could. Hopping on a bike for the first time in years, I immediately hauled ass, heading for one of his more burly jumps. I launched up and out, falling a good 2 feet short, and propelling myself up and over the handlebars, cutting my shin to the bone. But I digress...
I disentangled myself from the downed motor-bike, wiped my bloody palms on my shorts, and got back on the seat. I made sure to ease off the brakes, and we were off. We cruised the entire island, finding small sections of the village where locals were fishing, talking, working and playing. Small children gawked at the three farang as we sped past, bursting into wide grins and calls of "Hal-loooo" when we smiled at them.
We zig-zagged across the streets, getting more comfortable and more daring, powering up hills and around corners.
"This aint that hard," I thought to myself as the guest-house came back into sight. I then cut off several riders coming the opposite way, took the turn a bit too wide, and nearly collided with a stone wall.