Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hooray! So You Got Yourself a Harley

This is what I said to my husband when he came home on a brand new Harley Davidson Soft Tail. Up to this point in my life, my relationship with motorcycles was one of afar. I was not looking forward to climbing on the back of this 600 pound over exaggerated, motorized two-wheel scooter, which is capable of traveling at the rate of 100 mph or more. But safety precautions have been established and presumably it is safer to ride motorcycles than before.

Under the direction of our esteemed California law makers, it is mandated that all motorcycle riders and passengers wear a helmet in order to be protected from head injuries. The helmet law surpasses the absence of a seat belt law for motorcycle riders. This thought occurred to me one day, as the bike hit a pot hole and I rose 6 inches in the air while shrieking, I could fall off of this thing! My life span shortened dramatically.

The handle bars on a motorcycle serve a three-fold function, 1) the driver can guide the bike and 2) the driver can balance and hold on to the bike, 3) the driver can apply the brakes. While there are no such accessories for the passenger, (except to hold on to the driver, who at any given moment could be thrown over the handle bars) there is an optional add-on called the sissy bar. This piece of equipment is attached on the top of the back seat and is about 8 inches wide and 10 inches tall with a padded pouch that will fit just in the small of the passenger’s back, when leaned upon to give support to the passenger. Instead of flipping backwards into oncoming traffic, I guess it is better to flip sideways onto the side of the road.

This strengthens my case for seat belts on motorcycles. They strap down their packages and bed rolls, don't they?

It is not my purpose to take the fun out of riding motorcycles. Riding motorcycles can induce a sense of liberation, with the wind in your face and being outdoors in tune with nature, not to mention the camaraderie between bikers. When you ride a bike you are no longer a stranger. In a sense, riding a Harley is like writing on a blog. There are no strangers.

This action falls in line with risk taking. What kinds of risks are you willing to take for fun? As you get older do your risk taking days decline? Come on, live a little. But that’s the crux isn’t it?

Write it down,