Thursday, December 3, 2009

How Not To Look Cool On A Motorcycle

This pic really has nothing to do with the post, but I got tired of looking for a photo of a biker nerd.  Apparently there aren't a lot of them around.  If it helps you to visualize me as a dog then go ahead, my feelings won't be hurt.  Besides I've been know to have fleas and scratch myself in inappropriate places. 

 When I was about ten I had my first ride on the back of a motorcycle. Although it was a simple tour around the block at what I'm sure was a reasonable speed, it scared me.  Actually it scared the shit out of me.  I recall feeling like I was going to fall off as I held onto the bar on the back of my seat for dear life.

As with horseback riding I knew I couldn't let one bad experience hold me back from trying something again; it's always good to conquer those fears. Growing up I was never exposed to motorcycles as I didn't know anyone who rode.  So that experience of long ago faded from my mind.

Fast forward nearly thirty years (about seven years ago). It's a beautiful summer's day, and Sandy and I are on the front lawn doing yard work. A casual acquaintance of mine, I'll call him Thor, rolls up on his hog. Thor was a towering wall of a man.  I didn't know much about him, but I do know he could be bad news in the crowd he ran with.  Who they were, I never asked.  Didn't want to know.  I do know he was a dedicated family man.

Seeing this moment as a perfect opportunity to erase a bad childhood memory, I asked if I could bum a ride for a few blocks.  His answer was a very reluctant yes.

Let me paint the scene for you.  Thor was about 6'3 of solid mass, dressed in full black leather riding gear with requisite beard and looking every bit the badass.  I on the other hand came in at 5'11 and 168lb.  The best part of the deal is I was wearing a tank top and lime green shorts, not exactly the poster-boy for Easy Rider.  And not being a biker this was the attire I would go out in.

So...on goes the helmet, which feels about two sizes too big for my head.  I hop on the back, hold onto him (I learned from the first time) and off we went. The ride was a rush!  We get to the plaza where I dismount and struggle with the chin strap seemingly forever, my oversized helmet all the while bobbing around on my undersized head.

Worse part of it is, if I remember correctly he had to help me loosen it, which is about as cool as having your mom wipe something off the side of your face with that old used tissue she keeps up her sleeve.  Right after she's licked it. We ride back, him looking every bit the part.  Me hanging on like his bobble-headed biker bitch. 

The moral to this story...well, I don't know if there is one but next time I go out I'll be the one riding, and I'll have my own chaps.  Black, not lime green.


  1. Yes Barry, not lime green. I can imagine you at the back of the bike hanging on to dear life wearing lime green shorts. You were a poster boy for surfing not biking. Hahaha!

  2. Hahahahaha!!! This post made my day! I'm so glad I read it in the morning. Now I will be smiling for the rest of the day at work. ;)

  3. PS. I'm glad you overcame your fear though. I feel bad I just totally ignored the moral of your story in my last comment. Hehe. :P

  4. Thanks Leah, I'm sure the surfing in Manila is better than in Toronto. :) Perhaps one day!

    Jen, I know you don't have as much time at the computer these days but I'm glad you still get a chance to leave a comment. I'm glad it made you smile; you just returned the favour.