Gambling the entire trip on a single, unnecessary pass was stupid. I was wound up with the excitement of breaking away from the office and not thinking about the days of riding ahead of us. The GPz was my first bike, and I’d been riding a little more than two years without incident. It was a perfect thing, the engine glossy black and the tank resprayed with blister-red paint from a Dodge Viper. The original Kerker pipes didn’t have so much as a scrape on them. Neither the bike nor I would ever be the same. Sure, it started up once I righted myself. Yes, I rode it all the way to Niagara Falls, but the GPz would wear the marks of that beating until I sold it—just as I still wince with the pain of torn rotator cuff all these years later. It’s a good reminder of how little patience motorcycles have for the foolish.