Monday, April 23, 2007

The choice of bike

If I am to ride to Miami--and really, there is no reason why I would, other than to be able to say I did. I don't know anybody there. And if I got all the way to Miami, I can't imagine not humping the last hundred or so miles down to Key West, just to get to the bottom of things (honk)--the question of what bike to ride certainly merits serious consideration.

The original concept was to ride my bicycle down there. Actually not my current bike, but a bike better suited than mine to long-distance travel. One with a rack for panniers, for example.

Then the question of Harley Davidsons came up. Not having ridden a motorcycle since I was, say, 19 years old, I could be asking for trouble with this strategy. But still, the idea of tootling about on a V-Rod ... I mean, look at the damned thing:



Now imagine it in red. I mean, honestly!
That boy could sure eat some beets!
Additionally to be considered: you can carry more on a motorcycle than you can on a bicycle. And you don't have to be constantly ramming energy bars and Snickers down your throat. I could include in my kit a sketch pad and some pencils, thus making the whole thing tax deductible.

Conversely, wrecking a motorcycle at 65 miles per hour must really suck. And there is always Dave's story about how a bug feels when it hits your face at that speed.

Conversely, you won't have thighs like granite (mine are currently like soapstone) and have dropped 40 pounds when you are done if you take a motorcycle.

Me? The worst wreck I've had in the last couple of years was southbound on Tenth Avenue (or maybe 9th) when a passenger-side cab door opened unexpectedly and there was no place for me to go. I was going maybe 12 or 15 mph when I identified the situation. I remember mumbling the words "gracious me" while reaching for my brakes. I was probably going about 5 mph when I hit the door.

You're familiar with the famous Tony Bennett song "I left my heart in San Francicso"? I left a considerable part of my shoulder, back and thigh on Tenth Avenue (or maybe 9th). And that was only going five!

Of course, had I been wearing my red leather jacket emblazoned with the words "That boy could sure eat some beets!" I likely would have suffered less damage to the derma. But still.

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