The 2009 Harley Softail Springer "Cross Bones" has the classy, sexy lines of a biker's bike.
The rider on the left sported a chrome half-helmet and aviator-style glasses. The chopper's fork stuck out further than the reach of my second's wife's lawyer. The bike was a gorgeous metallic green, framed in chrome. I couldn't really see the Springer as well as I would have liked, but the rider seemed the part, with tattoes of hell and a grimace to match.
"Damn," I thought. "I should move over and let them by."
Rolling off the throttle slowed my '86 Beemer K-75 down a hair, a move these two guys simply copied. Surfing on the surge of sound, it occurred to me that this is what is must be like to lead a small -- but elite -- motorcycle gang.
I twisted the throttle out and the two bikers followed along like we were part of a synchronized Olympic event. This suited me to a "t." For a brief moment in time, it appeared as if two iron-horsed strangers had elected me leader and were determined to do my bidding. (Bear in mind I am also under the impression that most of the women I pass in cars want to have sex with me.) There are those who believe I read a lot into things.
The left turn signals on the trailing bikes winked on as we approached an intersection, and I realized my tenure as leader was about to end.
"Screw that," I thought, switching on my left turn signal as well.
We all banked into the turn like the Rocketts going through a routine at Radio City Music Hall. I was a bit more aggressive with the throttle now , as I didn't want this odd coincidence to prompt these guys to zip around me. They appeared to take my maneuvering in stride.
Nothing says "biker gang" like the classic "chopper."
Two miles later, their turn signals blinked on again, telegraphing a turn to the right. Once again, I also signaled a turn to the right. This prompted a quick exchange of glances between the other riders, who were beginning to catch on. This stretch of road ran us through a residential section, bracketing a small park. The speed limit dropped to 35 mph, which brought loud growls and staccato barks from the Harleys. To my delight, this happened at the entrance to the park, in which a dozen or so women were walking or jogging around a track.
Every head snapped around to the sound of the Harley pipes.
"Boy is this great," I thought. I had often envisioned myself at the head of a small biker gang, roaring into a village. In my mind, women would bite their upper lips, and run out on balconies -- while lifting their shirts -- at the roar of the exhaust. This wasn't quite the same thing, but it wasn't bad.
It must of looked somewhat odd though: two lean, tough-looking Harley riders, following the Michelin Tire Man on a futuristic BMW from 1986. I made the best of it, and attempted to look tough by jutting out my chin in a scornful pose once used to great effect by Benito Mussolini. I was noticed by two ladies, who then seemed to share a private joke as they busted out laughing.
It was at this juncture in the ride that I lost my gang. An explosion of sound behind me announced my escort was disappearing down a side road. I couldn't help but notice that neither rider bothered to signal this time. They had figured out that their leader, a biker lamprey, had been attracted by the light of their turn signals. They were taking no chances this time. I thought of pursuing them but gave this idea up as being beneath the dignity of a leader.
I figured an impression had been made on the ladies at the park, however, and I turned back hoping to get a little skirt action. I jazzed my engine while passing again through the epicenter of lovelies. The Beemer snarled like a wild electric razor running over a tough patch of chin whiskers. I'm sure this sound would have melted some cast-iron feminine resolve, if it hadn't been drowned out by the noise of the crickets in the park.
My arrival back at the house was shrouded in private humility, as I was sure the ride's details were known only to myself. However, it seems one of my girl’s friends was in the park that afternoon, and had called her to report I was being pursued by two biker toughs, who looked like they were going to beat the shit out of me.
©Copyright Jack Riepe 2005
AKA The Lindbergh Baby (Mac-Pac)
AKA Vindak8r (Delphi)
AKA The Chamberlain -- Perdition’s Socks (With A Shrug)
Jack, that is a wonderful post! You had the best of both worlds there. Biker dude and respected motorcyclist!
I enjoy reading your blog.
More like a biker Pilot fish. The little fish swimming in front of the sharks, staying just out of reach. Lampreys attach themselves to the shark and are true parasites. I could call you many things, but never a parasite.
I'm looking forward to your month-long diary/blog as you traverse the continent next year - right??
Dinner Bell Doug
'01 1150 GS-P (you know the one!)
I enjoyed this account of you emulating the "Leader of The Pack."
I've arrange for the two Harley guys to come over to your house and "kick the shit" out of you right after I read your MOA article about the Haggis run.
Your riding buddy,
Thank you for your kind note. I'm glad the story made you laugh. And like most of my stuff, this one was based on a real incident. Please feel free to recommend my blog to your friends.
Damn that line about the biker pilot fish is good! Rest assured it will find a good home in one of my stories. I had thought of moving to Paris once. Wouldn't that make my a Parasite?
Now that you are famous in another one of my stories. MOA ON, August 2008, you should look forward to finding yourself in print here too on occasion. Let's do a crab run as soon as I can ride decently again.
The pen is mightier than the sword. Unless of course I happen to be writing with a sword too. Stick and stones ma break my bones... Come to think of it, they did a number on you too!
The Lindbergh Baby
West Chester, Pa
"Surfing on the surge of sound"
There are always some linguistic jewels to be found in your posts Jack, this is one of my favorites in this story, which is great by the way. I had to snork quietly here in cubeville. :)
another fine example of our exaggeration and fantasies. i have to go get out the shovel again. Clyde, West Grove PA
Correction....Make that your exaggeration and fantasies. I could never claim to be so smooth.
Thank you for your kind note. I write it like it happens to me. The noise of the average Harley with straight pipes can literally pick my bike up off the ground. I;m glad you liked the story.
Read the piece again. If anything, it is understatement.
I'm glad you got a laugh out of it. It's time for us to hit the pavement again.
Entertaining as always, Jack! I liked the bit about the Beemer sounding like a razor hitting a tough patch of stubble... too bad it's true!
Darn thing wouldn't let me add the "BWSEG" on that comment... I know YOU know I was just yankin' yer chain!
It is true. The K75 sounds like a friggin' blender. My friend Ricky (the guy who showed up at the BuRP Rally with me) says it should have push buttons like a blender to change gears.
And I knew you were just yanking my chain.
I'm glad you got a laugh out of the piece.
Does this mean you will be turning in your Joe Rockets for a set of leather chaps? If you wear yours, I'll wear mine.
"Biker Chick" Patty Cakes
What I read all thru the story was perception, and with all the different bikes and styles out there I hope everyone gives the other biker the benefit of the doubt. I hear it all the time, It's about the ride, not what you ride. Shake the hand of someone who is riding something different than you. Your perceptions might change. Maybe my perception of the story is all wrong.
But you asked for comments.
Great stuff as usual. Your description of the K75 sound is priceless. (However, not as good as your description of women in jeans.)
I used an html tag because it said I could.
I have one problem with leather chaps. When I see a woman wearing them, I am compelled to think of how she looks without them.
Use whatever tag you like. The K75 actually sounds like a Messerschmidt in a power dive. It is the most distinctly quiet noise to be made by a motorcycle. Good to hear from you again.
I tire of reading the drivel of these suck-ups that you'd like to call "friends". Do not be deluded. If it weren't for the possibility of stuffing their pie-holes with free chow, they'd sew your pants to the seat of your motorcycle, then set your toes on fire just to enjoy the smell. Particularly that Lessen fellow. He's a real ringleader. Never trust anyone from Kansas.
I am your one true fan. And I am dying of malnutrition. For pennies a day, you can keep me alive by providing me with key lime pie from Cootie Brown's. Oh, yeah, and the blog is great and all that crap.
My sentiments exactly. But you have to make do with what you've got. I'm making a Key Lime pie at the moment. When it's done, it's into a FedEx envelope and straight to you. It is always a thrill to hear from you.
If you bring anyone to "kick the shit" out of Jack, you had better advise them to bring a manure as well. Preferably the Frontier HydraPush model with a large 175+ bushel capacity.
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