The day of St.Vincent’s 39th Independence was near, everything was set and I was ready to ride my own self, on my own bike around St.Vincent. But life doesn’t follow your plan, my bike’s fuel pump decided to fail rendering it temporarily useless. I was calling all my contacts and friends alike to find a fuel pump, rent a bike, or borrow someone’s ride, anything at all. Being so close to independence anything with 2 wheels you could call a bike is already in someone’s hands, so I had no luck. I discussed my sad story many times, the last time I discussed it, Mary was there. “How bout you jump on the back of my bike?” She said. I looked at her as if she just solved all my problems. With this idea I could do two things I love, take photos and ride on a bike. However I had never ridden on the back of any bike before, let alone her 600cc ninja bike, and not even to think of taking photos from one. But my imagination wouldn’t stop running, I already knew it was going to happen, one way or another.
It was the very next morning after Mary invited me on her bike along with the St.Lucia crew. I was in my mind getting ready for the moment where I’d hop on. I didn’t know exactly when I would, but I knew I just wanted to try it out at some point. Next thing you know, I became their guide for getting around the island, they have never ridden in Bequia before. How best can you lead a squad of bikes? From another bike. Without any hesitation I was gearing up, Bequia style. The final touch was slinging my camera across my chest, I jumped on the back of her bike and she said, “just hold on tight” I simply replied “yep” and off we went.
After a few turns leaning over and sliding around a little bit in my seat I was comfy. Or maybe rather I had to be comfy and get over it quickly considering my newly attained responsibilities. I was now: a guide, photographer and passenger all in one. I found myself calling out directions, obstacles and hazards, as well as taking photos while not dropping off the back of the bike. Being a rider on the rear seat is a very humbling experience, the rider in-front takes their own path from what you would normally take, inevitably you both reach the same destination.
After exploring for most of the day on Bikes suited for highways more for than little island roads, we were tired. Especially those of us riding on the back gripping with nothing but our knees when taking photos. So a quick swim at Lower Bay was truly welcomed.
I only intended to ride for a little bit to get the photo opportunities. But especially here in Bequia, being on the bike, is the way to get around. The beauty comes at you full speed, letting you taking in as much as possible. From the point I stepped onto the back of the bike, I never chose to step off until we got back to St.Vincent.
With the day having gone so well, I asked to join Mary and the SLU squad yet again for the next day, St.Vincent’s Independence. Which turned out to be a whole different adventure.
Independence Day came with a new set of people to meet. Hanging out with the SLU Squad allowed me to meet up with these ladies the Sesame Street Riders, and many other Lucians’ who all were extremely friendly. The S.S.R. team all had a particular Sesame Street character theme, Count Dracula had numbers on her windshield for instance.
While waiting for the Island ride to start we stepped onto the E.T.Joshua Airport Runway for some drag racing. This young chap obliged himself to start the race here and he was very happy to be between two loud sport bikes.
With almost the entire runway to ourselves we took advantage of the opportunity to pose off on the bike. It was truly a magical place to be with such a space and view to take in. But we didn’t have much time to spend, the island ride was just about to start.
Island Ride - Windward.
I geared up for the Vincy roads, and ninja bike speeds to match. I knew we were going to have to keep up with the other bikers this time, it was going to be even more challenging taking photos.
The speed was the biggest challenge. Everything was happening twice as fast as the day before in Bequia. The traffic in St.Vincent was busy for a Saturday afternoon, leaving the initial ride out to be rather exciting.
There were many people on the roadside, they couldn’t miss the loud bikes. Since I was on the back of the bike, I had time to look around to take in the audience. Many of them would give us a thumbs up, or shout their thoughts in a sweeping flurry of words as we zipped by. Their words would grow from soft to loud to soft again in the short span of time.
All in all it was another great day. With Smiles all round, and the beautiful weather it allowed us to ride all the way into Fancy with beautiful scenery.
A big thanks to Mich for his support driving along with us and Mary for sharing her backseat and perspective. Also big up to the SLU Squad who were very kind and welcoming into their group.
Happy Independence SVG.