Friday, March 14, 2014

The motorcycles

They call to me. For so long I've resisted their calls, disinterestedly observing their technical beauty, but always easily maintaining arm's length from the desire to ride.

Nobody told me that the desire for a motorcycle came with gunblogging. I mean, I'd seen the effects, how so many bloggers have or had one, but I didn't think anything of it. I thought it was safe, that it wasn't contagious. I was mistaken. I got too close, and now it's got me.

Now I just need to build my own because I'm stubborn and don't trust regular motorcycles. If I can get it built vaguely soon, it'll make the possible 45 minute daily commute I might have for work if I land this job much easier on the wallet, and probably easier on the soul too. Trips are much nicer in a good vehicle, and it's hard to get much better than a sweet bike optimized for freeway travel.


  1. You are now officially invited to Florida to see how dangerous it can be on a scoot.

    It's one thing to be riding along with the clueless.

    It's quite another to be aimed at! I blame George Bush. The older one. He's old, old people hate motorcycles!

    I sometimes wonder if it's because Bike Week manages to set such a strong negative impression that people feel they must kill!

    The above is not really fair! It's just over so much of Florida the traffic density is that perfect level where there's solid cars and they're all moving along at a good clip. Hard to ride amongst that.

    When I lived in Iowa there was no feeling of impending doom on two wheels like there is here. Even though 90% of the accidents in FL with motorcycles are single vehicle crashes. I was very surprised to learn that.

    1. I've actually ridden a scooter, down on a tiny island in an out of the way part of Florida. Pensacola Beach, rented the biggest one the place had and still was far too big for the thing. My knees were above the handlebars, so I couldn't turn unless I stuck my legs off the side of the thing or spread them as far as they could go. As of that time, the smallest vehicle I'd ever driven was a 92 Ford Aerostar. Suddenly being TINY on the road was slightly unnerving, such as my first time being in the near vicinity of a semi.

      My mom is a neuropsychologist, which is to say that she measures how broken brains are. She sees a worryingly large amount of motorcyclists. Every person I know who motorcycles has at least one friend who has been permanently maimed while riding. FL does seem like a good place to get carried away and try to drive/ride beyond your ability though, from the times I've been there.

      Hence why I want to build my own, because I think I've worked out a way to get around that whole "straddling an engine on wheels busy trying to deliver you to your doom" thing, if I can afford a beat up donor bike and some steel tubing. I have no doubts I can build one that is both still a motorcycle and has a 3 star safety rating, and bet that I can get more stars than that out of it.

    2. I've lost two friends to motorcycle accidents.

      There's a huge kernel of truth to the old saying, "there are two kinds of bikers, those who have been down and those who will." It's only a matter of time before something happens to dump you.

      Mine was a little patch of pea gravel around a bend. I didn't get more than scrapes and bruises and the bike was scratched up but rideable. If a car had been coming the opposite direction at that precise moment, I'd have been in much worse shape. Luck of the draw.

      The best advice I ever got from my biker grandfather and father was to assume that you're invisible to 85% of the other drivers and of the 15% that can see you, half of them are trying to run you down.