Sunday, August 07, 2005

There are riders and then there are..............

Aren’t people strange when they find out you’ve just bought a bike.

I don’t mean while showing off the new motorcycle or if they happen to see you riding on it. No, I’m talking about the reaction if it comes up during casual conversation as you stand there in the world of suits, banking and commercial lending. And as soon as you mention it’s a Harley, they’re just downright weird.

I understand my family’s reaction of laughter. Actually they tried to hold it in but couldn’t, which resulted in a spitting kind of laughing. You see, I'm the oldest and when both my younger sister and brother decided to use a bike as their main form of transportation (lets not be polite. It was their ONLY way to get around) I called them crazy with lectures of safety. To be fair we were living in England, a country where the weather is cold at best and constant freezing rain at its worst. Also they rode around on the smaller engine motorcycles that whined its way up to fifty miles per hour, assuming of course you could find a stretch of road to go that fast.

Friends on the other hand ranged from over-concerned long diatribes of how riding a motorcycle was like putting a gun to your head with all the chambers loaded, to accusations of going through a mid-life crisis. Everyone felt even more certain about the latter since I had my fortieth birthday late last year.

Regardless of everyone’s reactions though it wasn’t hard to miss their admiring eye cast over the Harley the first time they saw it. Men were envious and women not only seemed to be imagining being on the back but they would look at the bike and then back at me, repeating the sequence with just a touch of apparent confusion over how this clean-cut banker could be the owner.

My niece and nephew were as nearly as excited about the bike as I was and although their parents quite rightly didn’t want them to ride on it (in case it put ideas in their young minds) we did get to take some fun pictures of them dressed in my gear sitting on the parked motorcycle.

I get to go on Uncle Laurence's MOTORCYCLE!!

Looking TOO cool!

Girls can ride bikes too y'know!

But the funniest reaction to allthe reactions was mine. Regardless of the disbelief, lectures, ridicule or accusations I still love my bike, the feeling of riding it and the world it’s opened up too me.

And I guess that’s the most important reaction of all!

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