Monday, June 30, 2008

More Money Than Sense

From meandering around my blogroll, I see that JD, referencing AD, has a motorcycle story to tell. Never being one to ignore a story when reminded of it, I suppose I can throw something into the ring, as well. Not nearly as traumatic as the others', but interesting in my own way.

I've never owned a motorcycle of my own growing up, they fit squarely into that arena that Momma Murphy knew was A Bad Idea. (Thanks, Mom!) Fortunately for me, I lived in essentially a wide spot of a large highway in Arizona for a few years, and some of my friends had some dirtbikes, wide open spaces, and an excess of courage.

We crashed 'em really, more so than rode them. Thought we were friggin' li'l Evel Kinevils, or something.

A couple of years back I decided that it might be a good idea to look into getting a bike. I thought the smart thing to do would be to attend one of those training classes that I'd heard about, shop around for an older bike, something smaller to brush off the cobwebs, before going big (on bike engine and $$$). I asked around, signed up for a class, and started dreaming of chrome, biker babes, and the wind blowing through my... high and tight.


The class was pretty interesting, all in all.

It was kind of... routine at the beginning, due to the fact that it's designed to accommodate all levels of riders, from folks like me with 'some' experience, to those that have never ridden before. I did feel a little bit like a circus monkey when they put me on what seemed like a 3cc engine dual. Fortunately, they had some ~10cc bikes available for the normal - er - those folks over 6 ft. [insert circus music here]

I didn't have to worry about falling off, because the first thing you practiced was... getting on the bike.

Yup.

Proceeding somewhat agonizingly slowly, as a class we rehearsed getting on, getting off, walking the bike forwards... Comeon already, when are we getting to the jumps!? Next, we progressed to turning the motor on, then off, then on...

sigh... saving $$ on insurance, at least...

It did get kinda interesting, eventually. I found it amusing that when we progressed to actually riding the bikes, it was more difficult than I remembered to make figure 8s at minimal speed. Probably because as a kid we didn't really focus on turns, so much... it was more along the lines of pick up the bike, brush yourself off & and check for anything broken, and then go like hell the other way.

Nearing the end of the first day we took a break, and a few of us started up a conversation. Most of the other folks already knew what kind of bike they were gonna ride, whether inherited from other riders or bought, el cheapo style. I was talking to a rather nice gentleman, a retired Army Major, if I remember correctly, who was telling me about the sales deals in Iraq.

See, they got this program in some places where you can go to the trailers down by the px, sit in some nice A/C and order cars, trucks, and motorcycles for apparently a pretty good deal. You can't take delivery obviously, while you are there, but when you come back to the states, you just mosey on over to your local dealership to complete the last of the paperwork. Sounds like a good idea, right?

Right.

So the Major, like I said, a nice guy was telling me about Iraq, sales, and life in general. I was particularly keen on hearing about Iraq, because the writing on the wall and all the li'l birdies were saying that we'd be making the trip, sooner rather than later.

I asked him what kind of bike he had ordered.

It's been too many years now, to remember exactly what kind of bike he got, but I do remember that it was a Harley Davidson, and not one of the 'cheap' ones, either. All the bells and whistles, a really nice bike, but more than I had paid for my car(s). All of 'em... lifetime, combined.

[low whistle]

How much experience did he have, again?

About 4 hours.

No, this video isn't the gent in question, but it was about what was running through my mind right about then...





Well, I never heard any particularly gruesome news stories about expensive crashes, so I dare to hope that he went on to enjoy a long and safe riding experience. As for me, shortly after finishing the class, taking the test, scraping together my woeful motorcycle fund, I got a phone call... about a really sweet deal on a bike? Nope, from my chain of command. "Pack your trash, we're taking a little trip..."

Figures.

4 comments:

Old NFO said...

OH YEAH!!!! Been there, did that, threw the damn tee-shirt away! Smart move on your part Murph :-)

The Loon said...

Wishing you, and all Marines in your Unit, a very Happy 4th of July! Thank You...one and all...from a most grateful Northern neighbour!

Bobby G. said...

LMAO...another great tale from the duffel bag.
I love it!

And to ALL you Devil Dogs out there (and the other servicemen & women as well), a VERY Happy 4th.

Now...get out there, and detonate something!

Semper Fi!

;)

B.G.

Murphy said...

Thanks, y'all, hope you had a good one.