The Artist Date is a dream-child of Julia Cameron, helping readers learn how to become a better writer. We’ve discussed her book, The Artist’s Way, and highly recommend both the book and the weekly date. An Artist Date can be life-changing. It can open your creativity like nothing else. Today, step into the showroom of a Daytona Beach bike shop.
When I was eight years old I would pedal my bike as fast as I could and fly down the street feeling the wind whip through my hair and across my face. Fast forward ten years and I could be found flying around the beach on a different kind of bike, one with a motor and a lot more power: a black Honda 500cc with red and orange detailing and a matching helmet. Not bad for a surfer chick.
Because it caters exclusively to women, ROAR seems like a boutique. Instead of feeling intimidated like I can feel in typical bike shops dominated by masculine designs and colors, I’m greeted by a female sales person who understands that I’m not built like a 12-year-old boy—this place understands women need a lower bike, and the sales person laughs when I joke that rolling up the legs on my leathers sort of kills the look I was going for.
The showroom is a study in black and white, complete with a checkerboard floor. Having struggled to find motorcycle gear cut to fit a woman, I find myself wanting to break into Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus. I glance around and see everything imaginable: jackets, boots, leather pants, helmets, chaps—all in colors other than black, though classic black will never go out of style. She encourages me to enjoy browsing, so I reach for a jewel tone red leather jacket that captures my attention and pull it on. I zip it up and take a long look at myself in the mirror. This is sharp, I think. I wonder if I should buy it? I’ll always keep my black leathers, but like shoes, can a girl really have too many leather jackets? I think not. I hang it back up again, but keep thinking about that red.
Then I catch a glimpse of the Wildcat, the first production bike designed by a woman for women. With sleek lines that flow like art, the Wildcat is built lower than standard bikes—I’m seduced into mounting it, just to see how it feels. Even sitting still the bike gives the impression of forward motion with its swept-back design. Buttery leather and cushy, the seat feels broken in, comfy, like my favorite easy chair. The paint job is classic two-tone shimmering colors of mother-of-pearl white and teal blue. On the Wildcat, I can imagine myself rolling into town like Lara Croft, Tomb Raider—and it hits me that this place has created a female bikers’ world of fantasy and fun.
I think about my present motorcycle parked out front: a sleek Suzuki VX 800 sports bike, all speed and aerodynamic lines, very popular in Europe. I love it, but as I climb off the Wildcat and glance around the showroom, my thoughts are turning to a touring motorcycle. Something with a custom paint job immortalizing my German shepherd, perhaps? Or maybe a custom motorcycle with a sidecar for said German shepherd. I wonder how he will feel about wearing Doggles?
I spot a hot pink bike with butterflies, another one with purple and orange swirls outlining the Harley Davidson logo, and yet another that has the look of faded blue denim painted along the fender and body, complete with realistic stitching and a pocket design.
A sales person waves me over to view a newly commissioned bike. I gape. Covered with royal gold paint and bling edging the seat—including specialty artwork featuring a purple stone mounted in a regal gold setting—it looks like it was built for Cinderella. I reach out and touch the shiny painted stone. This isn’t my style, as I’m still thinking about that red jacket, but I realize this may be exactly what another woman would want—someone who’s sick of her only options being black and chrome. And it makes me glad that a place like ROAR exists. For me—the person who craves a red leather jacket and dark sunglasses—and for a woman who wants to ride a Cinderella bike with a purple stone and shiny studs on the seat.
I leave without the red jacket or a new bike, but I’m thinking about all the colors and lines as I climb astride my own Suzuki VX 800. I’m thinking about that jacket, and I’m thinking my next bike will definitely be coming from ROAR. And it will fit perfectly.
How to become a better writer? Browse Artist Dates for inspiration, then head out on your own.
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