7.17.2006,10:16 AM
“Put some pants on!!”

Not only can we increase awareness of bikes and riding for non-riders but to other riders, too. I had a classic opportunity yesterday in the parking lot of the local dairy during my routine Sunday Ice Cream Run.

Gearing up after my ice cream and ready to start the V-strom in the parking lot, a man in his late 40’s pulled up alongside me on a Harley. My initial quick survey warned me that this was a ‘weekend’ rider: shorts, tennis shoes, T-shirt, no helmet or gloves. The only protective gear on his body was his sunglasses. The Harley was covered with limestone-colored mud and any other Harley rider would have grimaced at the befouled chrome.

The conversation went like this:

Harley: "Wow, what the heck is *that* thing?!

Me: “A Suzuki V-strom.

A what? It looks like a giraffe!

It’s a dual-sport bike; it’s designed differently than yours. This can go off-road as well as on the highway.

Oh. Hmm…. I took this off the road today. I suppose I should clean it. I’ve only had it for two days. Never been on one of these things before in my life!

With a bit of skepticism: “Oh…… And you’re riding in shorts and tennies? You’re going to have fun cleaning those chrome spokes.

Yeah, I was warned about that. Well, I went to a swimming thing and, yeah, my legs are a bit warm. Maybe I won’t do that again. I’m trying to learn all I can about these things! So how do I get a license?

Thinking ‘Oh my lord…..’ and removing my helmet: “You don’t have your motorcycle license? Why are you riding the bike on the road?

Well, I just decided to buy a bike and bought this the other day and been riding it ever since. I’m a dependent kinda guy, I like having people around me, and I thought a bike might made me more, ya know, enjoy being alone.

Hey, are you a cop lady? ‘Cause if you are, I guess I’m in trouble, aren’t I?!”

No, I’m not a cop but if I were, you’d have a ticket, I’d have to take your bike away and you would have to find a way home.

Oh…….yeah, I guess I should get a license. So how do I get one of those? How much does it cost?

There are two ways to do that: you can find someone to accompany you to the DMV office where you take a road test, but you still have to have a permit first to ride there. Or you can trailer the bike there and take the test.

I recommend you take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course. There you learn things that can save your life, and you take a road test at the end of the course. If you pass, you get a card to take to the DMV office where you take the written test and get your license.

Well, they told me at the Harley dealer that they had a course there for $200, but, well, you know, it’s about the bucks.

What is your life worth?

Hmm…. Yeah, but how much is it if I go to the DMV and take the road test there?

I don’t know, but you can call and find out. I still recommend you take the course. You will learn a lot about riding and it could save your life. And why you shouldn’t wear shorts when you ride a bike.

I suppose so. Well, I’ll think on that one. But, hey, thanks for talking to me! Have a good ride!

As he pulled away I yelled “AND PUT SOME PANTS ON!

Shaking my head, I put my helmet back on, started Whee and took the long way home.

posted by Macrobe
Permalink ¤