Happy Traylor

“Well that’s a different ride. Very nice.”

The grey old man next to me points at the trailer to make sure I know what he is talking about. Meanwhile his likewise grey old dog sniffs at my leg. I return the remark with a polite smile. I am packing the last luggage on my bike. My day has mainly been me cleaning the whole house, preparing it for my tenant. I would love to crush on the couch and watch stupid television. But I can’t go into my house anymore, for the next three months. Rented it out.

“Is it different to ride the bike with that attached?”

Apparently the man is in no hurry and eager for a conversation. The dog already knows a lies down on the pavement.

I respond: “Yeah, it’s just like… riding with a trailer…”

Mr. Grey Old doesn’t get irony. He continuous.

“You’ll probably will notice it in the curves.”


“How fast are you allowed to drive?”

Right, let’s do this. I chose to get me such a notable trunk, I can have the included attention for free.

“It is attached with a cross coupling which makes it a third wheel so I am not bound by regular speed limits that go for trailers

I want to avoid the discussion about the license plate: “But it has a white license plate which is for trailers, shouldn’t that be a regular plate then?” I don’t know. The legislation is not very specific on one-wheeled motor trailers attached by cross couplings. This is my version of legal.  my guess is that the police doesn’t really know either, and I am sweet, blond and ignorant.

“I won’t be driving more than 100 km/h otherwise is will wag, as it is called”, I continue. I have just learned that the wobbling moving of a trailer when speeding up is called ‘wagging’. I consider to rename Traylor to Lassie. Happy Traylor wags his tail off at 100 km/h because he’s not as levelled as it should be, but it was the only option. And when Traylor wags, the whole bike wags. Not good.

I look at the dog. His tail wags too, when he returns my attentive glance.

“See”, says the man.

I look up in astonishment. Did I miss something?

“I’ve been riding my moped for years now and I do my own maintenance. I often ride it from Amsterdam to Zaandam. I used to ride a motor bike myself, but not anymore. Too dangerous.”

‘Oh…’ I think uninterested and a little annoyed. I swallow my cynicism politely though. I pat the dog on the head and then tighten the last tension straps. My quiet hint is putting my helmet on. The man smiles at me, his eyes are shining. I can tell how he would love to get back on the motor bike and set out for an adventure with a blond young girl. If only he was younger. I fulfil not only me dreams, but those of others who can’t make it too. Such a responsibility.

I smile, wish him a good day and take off. He looks after me, almost waving goodbye. The dog standing next to him. Ready to go home. He’s almost there. I am not. I drive of with a too heavy loaded, so majorly wagging bike. Traylor is happy. And me? I am happy when I can sit down on the couch with a glass of wine in my first guest home. Cheers!