NEXT STAGE: Geraldene Provost is saying a sad goodbye to her Harley but will “get on” with life.
NEXT STAGE: Geraldene Provost is saying a sad goodbye to her Harley but will “get on” with life. CONTRIBUTED

Goodbye bike, but it’s not the end of the road

AT 72, Geraldene Provost has decided to hang up her helmet and sell her much-loved Harley Davidson 883.

"Now that I've made a decision, I just want it to happen quickly," she said.

The bike is a reluctant but necessary sale.

Geraldene's ankles are cold to touch. Her feet are finding it hard to work the pedals.

It's the result of neuropathy, damage to the nerves in her lower legs.

The neuropathy has been caused by Hydrea, which she has taken for 15 years.

Geraldene, of Kawana Forest, has a myeloproliferative disorder, which means her body churns too many blood platelets.

Hydrea works on her bone marrow to keep the platelet production in check but it comes as a cost, as she is starting to notice.

Selling the bike means an end to Geraldene's days as a freewheelin' granny.

With her friend, Sheila, she has done many a ride, including the Long Ride for Prostate Cancer to Alice Springs in 2008.

Handing in her membership of the Ulysses Motorcycle Club, of which she was once president, is also on the cards.

"If you want to walk the walk, you've got to talk the talk," she said.

Geraldene has been drawn to wheels all of her life.

She remembers helping her father load trucks as a child and she still dreams of one day driving a semi-trailer.

She learnt to fly planes and ride a motorcycle through her second husband, who did both.

Geraldene regards marriage as a mistake she repeated but is grateful she repeated as she ended up with three children and seven grandchildren

Life has not been easy. She became the woman of the household when her mother died at 14.

She has buried one of her own children - "the only thing time does is smooth out the rough spots. It's been 44 years and I cry more now than I did then" - buried a husband, and rebuilt after a house fire.

In her spare time, she volunteers with the Homicide Victims Support Group and the One Punch Can Kill anti-violence campaign. Next month, she is going on a cruise.

"I've had some horrific things happen in life.

"You can't walk around being negative. You have to pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and get on with the next thing."