Friday, August 07, 2009

Your Don't Deserve Those Fine Machines

I had eluded to this before during a trip I took to Arizona where just north of Phoenix there was no limit to the number of Baby Boomers who bought Shelby Mustang GT's, but opted to use only 2 of the 8 cylinders those cars have, clogging traffic to a stand-stillish 45 MPH on the interstate, however, let me tell you of another machine these blue hairs don't deserve;


I'm out in the Wyoming/South Dakota area during the depths of the Sturgis rally and as far as I can tell the Harley riders break down into three camps;

1. Youngish Harley riders who know how to drive, appreciate the rally and go 5-10 MPH over the speed limit.

2. Veteran Harley riders who have gone to the rally when they were younger, are seasons drivers and go 5 MPH over the speed limit.

3. Sunday morning, spectator sport, preppy Harley riders who are now having a midlife crisis and decided, as a hobby to buy a Harley, drive it out to the rally and piss off practically everybody on the road by driving 10-15 MPH UNDER THE SPEED LIMIT.

This is particularly pronounced when you're in the moutains, there's no 4 lanes which would permit you to pass, and never any pass lanes, because the road is too curvy. And there you sit, going 40 MPH down a 7% grade moutain, wearing out your brakes because some suburbanite preppy schmuck with too much money on his hands decided to buy a 900 v-twin, of which 50 cc's he's deciding only to use.

Now I drive arguably the smallest interstate legal bike, a Ninja 250. Just a short breath away from a moped, but I can still pass these $20,000 machines simply because I realize there's more than 1 gear to my bike.

Ergo, fellow Cappy Cap readers and motorcycling enthusiasts, I make a proposal. To make the roads safer, let a lone more efficient, if you pass a Harley rider in a;

1. 250 cc motorcycle
2. A truck
3. A semi truck
4. A cement truck
5. A moped
6. A mobile home (which actually do go faster than these spectator sport Harley riders)
7. Running on foot,

You are allowed to pull them over, commandeer their bike and report them to the local authorities where they will be arrested for abusing a Harley and in turn be given what they're only a decade away from driving anyway;

A Rascal.

And come to think of it, I've seen some rascals driving faster than most of these guys.


Anonymous said...

Not related, but thought you should know how economical Congress is.

So much for complaining about bailout companies giving bonuses and giving their executives jets.

Bike Bubba said...

I think #7 should be "on your Schwinn". :^)

Back in college, I used to race mopeds on my Schwinn. If it were a sorority girl who was 85 lbs dripping wet, I'd lose. Otherwise, I'd win--much to the joy of the footballer riding the Spree.

I tried it recently. Let's just say that I was feeling pretty good about keeping up due to the extra pounds and weakness age has inflicted on me.

Anonymous said...

Better watch the goup #3. It used to be if you messed with a Harley Rider you were going to get your ass kicked. Now if you mess with a Harley Rider you are going to be sued by an Attorney on a Harley in their mid-life crisis..

Hot Sam said...

A small aside: Warren Buffett is a major owner of Harley. Recently he and the other major shareholder decided to issue high yield bonds to themselves in order to buoy up the company's stock.

Buffett would cheat at Monopoly to maintain his reputation.

Anonymous said...

I would normally agree entirely, but earlier this week a motorcyclist and passenger were killed when they were driving too fast for conditions on a rural county road here in SE Minnesota.

A farm tractor pulling a farm trailer which they could see for half a mile (it was in a valley between two hills) and going the same direction turned into a farm entrance and they hit the trailer broadside.

Not a thing the farmer could have done except own a newer tractor that had turn signals on the cab. They came up so fast that he never saw them.

The motorcycle driver failed to do standard defensive driving technique, failed to assess the possibility of slow moving farm machinery making a abrupt turn, and failed to slow down.

Second, there are a lot of wildlife in rural areas like where I live, virtually every day during my commute I see deer, sometimes wild turkeys, raccoons, foxes, badgers. dogs, cats and occasionally a wayward dairy cow or horse. The limit on that county highway is 55 MPH, but if you're driving that road in the early morning, evening or night, 45 is a reasonable speed if you don't want to hit wildlife.

In a car, you damage your car or perhaps total it, but you're unlikely to be severely injured. But if you hit wildlife on a motorcycle, you will get hurt, probably seriously and perhaps killed. So 40-45 MPH and avoiding night and dusk is probably a good practice if you want to stay alive on a bike.

I've been out in the Black Hills area, albeit a few decades ago - Sturgis, Lead, Deadwood, Spearfish and on into Wyoming. Most of those roads are curvy, have steep grades, have wildlife issues and aren't anywhere near as safe as a normal two lane road. I wouldn't even consider riding a motorcycle in that terrain unless I was an experienced rider. That said, I can understand slowing down in places to well under the limits, but I can't understand putzing at 40-45 the entire way.

The Sturgis rally is not the time for rookies to learn how to do mountain cycling. If they can't keep up with the traffic, they shouldn't be there during the rally. Come some other time when there's less traffic.

I don't think these class #3 riders ride out to Sturgis - they probably trailer their bikes out there.

Hot Sam said...

I think you should have to win a knife fight to earn the right to own a Harley.