Writer's Ramblings

The Bike

Written by  March 31, 2006

The decision to buy a new motorcycle did not come easily, but it did come quickly. I had just started a new job and the gas prices were eating me alive. I have a ’95 F250 extended cab pickup that refuses to get mpg’s; it prefers gpm’s; that is Gallons per Mile (or minute depending on whether it is up or downhill) and it gets a bunch of them.

Anywho, for giggles, I called our bank and inquired about a loan on a large metric cruiser I had eyeballed at a local sport shop. To my surprise they agreed to loan me the money! Imagine that! I really thought it was a joke and started looking around for hidden cameras. But this really put me in a jam. Now I had the available funds, what would be the bike?

When I was a kid, (and I mean young…5 or so) I used to play around my sitter’s husband’s bikes. He had two, both were huge and had saddlebags. (But everything looked big then). The bikes had levers by the gas tanks that I would use to climb on and off with, much like the saddle horn on a horse. I later found out they were shift levers. It was like a game; I would climb all over the bikes like a pair of jungle gyms and the old man would come out on the back porch with his beer and yell at me, sometimes going as far as to question my parentage! Then, he would turn and laugh very loudly as he reentered the house.

This went on for a couple of summers that I remember. I never got to ride on one, but would watch from the dilapidated back porch as he bounced on the kick starter and the bike would roar to life. I always got a little chill as I watched him pull out of the yard onto the street and disappear. I don’t know why I wasn’t scared, but I did like the bike.
Decades later, after thousands of miles on metric bikes, I was faced with a choice. Buy a high-end metric long-hauler, or pet the pig. After a day or so of deliberation, I decided that I was not going to spend a ton of money on something I didn’t really want. What I wanted was a Harley….specifically, an Electra Glide, from the movie “Electra Glide in Blue.” Of course I couldn’t have one of those, but I wanted the “name.” I also wanted the ride. I had ridden a Gold Wing, a Silver Wing, and several BMW’s. There is absolutely nothing that feels the same as a Harley.

Off to the Harley dealership we go. A spirited discussion with a salesman named Shawn ensued, and we were in negotiations within five minutes of walking through the door. I wanted the blue (imagine that) Electra Glide, and Shawn kept pointing out the features of a new Street Glide. Both appealed to me, but I wanted all the parts taken off the Street Glide and put on the Electra (of course, had to be difficult). The Street was lowered, the Electra wasn’t…I’m short, so something is getting lowered. In addition, there were several other features I wanted to combine.

Okay. We have had breakfast at the dealership, (yawn) we have had lunch at the dealership, and I am waiting for them to roll out the bar for happy hour, but I still don’t have a bike. It seems like folks aren’t paying attention to me—heck even my wife wandered off and left me haggling with the salesman about cruise control. I am frustrated, so is Shawn.

Then my wife returns, and just as innocently as possible asks, “Have you seen the blue bike out on the sidewalk?” I hadn’t. And, as it turns out, our salesman hadn’t even shown me the demos out on the walk. It is within sight of the street, but hidden if you come to the side of the building where most of the bikes are displayed.

The bike is not an Electra, but it is Blue, and it fits me! This bike doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but it only took me a little over a month to put 5K on the odometer. I have had nothing but one wild ride since I have purchased it, and my wife loves it as well. And while not a Glide, it has plenty of room to add options….I get to buy toys! First a set of highway pegs, then a tour pack, then…

Walk Tall, Ride Safe!

By Mike Lousha