Monday, January 30, 2006

Past, Present and stereotypes

I'm surprised that my digits are coordinated enough to type out the words with these itty-bitty buttons on my keyboard. Or that I can even see the keyboard over my large neanderthal, hairy knuckles. Actually we should all be impressed that I managed to pull myself away from whatever sporting event happens to be on the TV as I was obviously sitting on the couch watching it, a beer in one hand while the other was tucked in the front of my jeans, all the while eating chips or some kind of unhealthy food.

What am I talking about? I guess I've become overly sensitive to the way men are portrayed by the media. What has brought this indignation on? Doritos (I think) has an ad on TV featuring three guys looking out the window of an office building at some construction workers in the street. As they dip their chips they complain how all the other construction workers are watching just one guy doing all the work and how it would never be allowed to happen in their world. The whole time a lady is typing away on a laptop and finally yells out "Got it!" or "Fixed it!". The male office workers then rally around the young lady and laptop, giving each other a high five for teamwork.

Come on!

If the producers of the commercial had switched the roles and had the women at the window while the guy solved the problem, all hell would break lose with complaints of sexism, downplaying womens importance in the workforce etc. The male readers can back me up here, our TV counterparts only care about the latest game, choose beer over women and generally have no clue in life. The women on TV however are smart, hold down a job and raise children as well as put up with incompetent husbands who only want to watch the latest game and generally have no clue in life.

So while we're on the subject of women and Laurence being right (that'll be the day), you may remember I observed in Biker Diaries on Jan 21st that although the Motorcycle Industry Council stated that out of 6.6 million motorcycle owners, 635,000 of them are women I was hard-pressed to think of any local lady cruisers. However since the girlfriends friend, who rode a sportbike, was always talking about the other women she rode with I tried to reason that maybe, just maybe it was down to the type of motorcycle. Well Gymi over at Gymi's Place seems to know a lot more women riding than I do.

While Laurence points out that women riders are as scarce as hens teeth in his neck of the woods, there are quite a few around here. While men out number women by around a 10 to 1 margin, those numbers are shrinking on a daily basis. I know quite a few women that like to get their kicks on two wheels.

This means that either Gymi's just that much better looking and doesn't scare away the women quite as quickly as yours truly, or it really may be traced back to the type of motorcycle we're talking about here or I just need to bath more often. Trying to keep the fragile ego intact, I'll lean towards the type of bike.

Having said that, KT Did seems to have picture after picture on her blog of women cruisers, so maybe I'll just have to revisit that shower schedule.

A law just for bikers
There must be a biker in the South Carolina legislature who sat at one too many red lights.

We all know the hassle of wondering whether or not we've tripped the sensors when pulling up to a red light on a quiet road. The only legal thing to do was hope a car would come up behind you or take a right only to do a u-turn a little further up. Actually that last manuever can get you in trouble depending on the law or the hard-headness of the police.

So it was good news when ABATE endorsed a bill co-sponsored by Sens. Phil Leventis, D-Sumter, and Jake Knotts, R-West Columbia, which lets bikers continue if a traffic sensor fails to detect their motorcycle or mo-ped and they've sat at the intersection at least 20 seconds.

Of course the report didn't say who was holding the timer, but thats a minor detail.

The bill isn't without it's detractors though, "It breeds disrespect for adherence to traffic controls," said Fred Rosendahl, a traffic engineer for North Carolina's Department of Transportation and a member of its motorcycle safety committee. "Rather than let bikers pass through red lights, the Transportation Department should ensure the sensors work properly."

It's an interesting law that a lot of bikers will be keeping their eye on, but what I found even more notable was the last paragraph the reporter threw in.

Preliminary figures from the state Department of Public Safety show 90 motorcycle fatalities and 1,140 injuries in 2005. The department reported 92 fatalities and 1,386 injuries in 2004. Ninety-three bikers were killed and 1,182 injured in 2003.

Does this mean we have a motorcycle statistic going down?


Read the full story in the Myrtle Beach Sun News.

Back in the day
Remember when riding wasn't about laws, statistics and worrying about the car driving beside you? No, I don't either but some of the motorcycles being shown in Laconia, New Hampshire were built in a time when riding was more about the passion rather than the bottom line.

From a press release issued by USCRA
For the third year in a row, the streets of Downtown Laconia will come alive with vintage racing motorcycles as the City of Laconia plays host to one of the most outstanding vintage motorcycle events in North America. Coming from Canada, Europe and the United States are many of the machines and riders that raced the AMA Laconia National from 1938 to 1963. A challenging road course of slightly over one mile is laid out through the City streets. The vintage racers will be running neck and neck down Main Street in an exhibition of speed that captures all the sights, sounds and racing smells of that golden era American racing. Indians, Nortons, Ducatis, Triumphs, Benellis, Hondas, Yamahas, Parillas, BSAs and Harleys gather at the old Laconia Railroad Station parking lot early Sunday morning to set up their pits and prepare for the afternoon events.

Opening ceremonies start at 1pm with the introduction of some of the past Laconia winners and legends of American AMA racing. Exhibition races for the various displacement classes follow and continue throughout the afternoon. Especially attractive and very unique to the event is the fact that there is no admission fee for spectators. Access to all the viewing areas and the pits is completely free of charge. The Laconia Downtown Association actively supports the event and strongly encourages the local restaurants and merchants to showcase their businesses by having many specials for the spectator. Sunday June 11.

Vintage Celebration is going on May 19-21 at the New Hampshire International Speedway and the races from June 10th through the 12th.

It's official, for the first time in a while I'm wishing I lived somewhere else other than Florida which is so far from New Hampshire.

There must be a charity somewhere
I don't even want to count the days of how long its been since I sat on my baby. Between chores to do and a project thats been taking up all my time, I've only seen my Deuce for a matter of minutes over the last few weeks.

I have to think there has to be some sort of cause or charity concert held for people in my situation. 'Biker torn from their rides' or 'Misplaced Motorcyclists'. Surely Bono has a gap in the various charities he campaigns for?

It's gotten so bad I've changed the screensaver to a beautiful picture of my Deuce, bought new riding sunglasses (didn't need them but needed the biker 'shot') and I've taken to wearing my riding leather jacket wherever I can.

But hope is at hand. I'm not talking about a huge fund-raising drive (and if there is one, I'm not going to be one one appearing on stage with Jerry Lewis), but more careful planning. The weather this week calls for a beautiful sunny day of 72 degrees on wednesday. With some hard work I can free up that day and try to get 400 odd miles in on the bike.

Lets hope. A crying biker is a sad, sad sight.

Six degrees of blogging.
Blogs are a wonderful thing. You're only ever a click away from something that'll make your day. The more detailed minded types may've noticed the 50's style pin-up Harley artwork at the beginning of Biker Diaries. I found the link to SD Harley Riders through Your Crazy Uncle's Blog which was listed as a favorite blog on Gymi's place.

I've always enjoyed this genre of advertising and even tried googling it, but couldn't find anything nearly as nice as whats featured on SD Harley Riders site.

You see, we're just one big family here in the blogging community.

Time for a group hug!


Gymi said...

The ladies in the Detoit metro area do like sport bikes, but I encounter an equal amount on Harleys and metric cruisers. Though I have yet to meet her, there is one particular young ladie who I see quite a bit tooling around on her V-Rod. She looks pretty damn good with that long braid and those black leather chaps. I don't think I'm giving anything away in the looks department, but they aren't waiting in line for a ride on my bike either. That may be that Mrs. Gymi is never far away with a kind of laser like glint in her eye. Another great post my friend.

Later, Gymi

KT Did said...

Hi, I love that post...No I don't think you have to bathe...Gymi is in a special place. I think it just might be location...location...location...
here in sunny So. Calif. its riding time most of the year. I, too, was surprised how many of us women ride down here since I knew absolutely no one when I started riding. When I bought my Deluxe there was another woman who had just bought a Road King. My friends with Sportys are ready to trade up. I still can't sell mine. When I went to my high school reunion I found out an old friend of mine from No. Cal. rides a Dyna Low. I am planning to see her during the Thunder days in Reno this year. Who knows, maybe us old gals are riding the cruisers (more comfy on the butt) and the young ones are riding the metrics (which I would like to try-out one day)....who knows, but we sure are having a lot of fun riding...