Saturday, February 28, 2009

The first Saturday of Bike Week.

Yes. That's what it is. We're one county north of the madness in Daytona. (For further explanation, click here.) See?

We're up in Palm Coast, at the top. Daytona is down in the lower left. Not really too far, as the bird flies, or the chopper rides. Every RV campground, beach camp site, hotel, rental condo, and front lawn is full of people with motorcycles, and everywhere you go, there they are.

(That's a buncha bikers at an intersection. We were on our way to Target to buy tooth brushes.)

Now. For those just tuning in, you may think this is going to turn into some anti-biker rant about the counterculture and black leather and things that go vroom in the night. But it's not.

It's a whining post about times gone by.

I make occasional (perhaps regular) references to my hand problems around here, but I don't think I mention the source too often. The source was what I call an auto accident, because by the gods, the accident was caused by an asshole in a car (that fucking bitch... don't get me started). But I wasn't in a car. I was, in fact, riding a motorcycle. Someone pulled out in front of me and I hit the side of their car at about 15 mph. (Uh... 24 kph.) That doesn't sound like much, but when your protection is denim, leather gloves, a helmet, and a pair of boots, well, I'm lucky to be walking around. (Seriously. I have doctors even now read my medical records and say "Are you SURE your back doesn't hurt??")

So, you see, I am a biker. Or used to be one. I may never ride regularly again, but I take the occasional spins on my nephew's dirt bikes, and may some day ride dirt again. But never again will I hit the streets; not with the hand problems and a three year old I'm responsible for. That really bugs me. I've given up a lot due to the hand problems - clothes with buttons, shoes that lace, contact lenses, movies in theaters, drinking - but giving up the motorcycles is the biggie that really bothers me.

For me, Bike Week is like waving an open tequila bottle under the nose of a recovering alcoholic. Or offering a big slice of Linzertorte to a diabetic. If I'd realized it was Bike Week right now (I thought it was later in March), I'd have re-arranged the visit here.


I think I'm gonna hole up in the apartment and knit. Yeah. That sounds good.

Tonight we're going down into Daytona to eat at a favorite restaurant that is favored by bikers (or at least bikers with good taste in food). We have reservations. It will be chaos. Wah.

I want another tattoo. Of Tank Girl. Wah.


Louiz said...

A good friend (in fact my foster sister) lost half her leg on a bike... asshole drivers there too. Yes, and she's aware that she's lucky she's still alive. She had no protection, not even a pair of jeans. Motorbikes are dangerous, yes, but car drivers are more so.

Alwen said...

I'm not a biker, but I have no motorcycle rants.

If you want to get me going, let's talk bicyclists ("Let's ride three abreast across the entire road, including the ONCOMING LANE") or people who can't either talk on a cell phone & drive, no matter what they think.

Amy Lane said...

Okay, as someone who has never driven a motorcycle, but has clung for my life on the back of a couple, I'm TERRIFIED of motorcycle riders. I do everything but take out an airplane banner before i signal... I am VERY conscious of how fragile you are on a motorcycle, and why you'd want to ride one anyway.

NeedleTart said...

I have to comment even though I have never ridden a bike (Big Brother owned one once and refused to allow me on, he was afraid of Dad) and have nothing to say one way or the other.
Verification: proud

Emily said...

I am veryveryveryvery grateful you survived. The car driver was charged, I hope?

I don't ride, but I understand the appeal. Maybe there could be regular closings of roads just for bikers to use? We have a mountain road here that closes after a certain amount of precipitation, because it's cut into the side of a cliff & there's a danger of rockfalls. It becomes a park for walkers & bicyclists.

Roxie said...

I'm trying to imagine how you would keep the Goober on the back of a Harley. I'm trying to imagine how you would keep her off one. Brilliant, confident three-year-olds and motorcycles may not mix all that well.

Anonymous said...

Oh Emily, don't get her started on the asshole driver... For those of us there through court, it was definitely a dark, dark time for our Julie.

Bike week rocks! We have bikes at the ice cream shop every last Thursday in summer. Hundreds and hundreds. I'll make sure you never come to my house then.


Julie said...

Well, though it sucked, my lawyer making The Other Lawyer cry in front of the judge hearing the case was a high point. And one of the funnier moments of my life, all said.

Allison said...

What did you ride? I had Viragos back when I could still ride. My only accident was due to gravel on the road and my own inexperience - I was still on my learner's permit. Fortunately for me, the only real damage was to my hand also but very minor.

Cam-ee said...

My father's a farmer and my mother is a beach born natural rider (horses and bikes). Me? I inherited mum's talent for horses but I have no idea about the bikes. Neither my mother nor my father (who agree on precisely nothing else at this point) have ever allowed me on a motorcycle on public. I've gone pillion with my parents as a child on the farm, but never on my own.

Personally, I've seen too many accidents where the rider comes off second best, and I really wish my sister had never seen that guy's leg bent in two extra places.

The ironic part is mum wants me to get a bike licence, but never to use it on public roads. Apparently it's a good idea to have one, just in case

Sarah said...

Ever since a good friend of mine bought a motorcycle (and had some epic spills off the back of said bike), I've been uber-conscious of motorcyclists on the road - and also conscious of how some drivers just don't get that motorcyclists need room to stop and go, and that if you, say, cut one off, it could be fatal for them.

This is just a long-winded way of saying that I don't think motorcycles are dangerous - I think inattentive/impatient drivers are dangerous.

Sarah said...

Oh! Forgot to add that we're gearing up for Bike Week here in south Texas, too, and the grocery stores and clubs are filled with bike "gangs".

WalterKnitty said...

My parents have their own motorcycles and do their best to get as much time in on their bikes when the weather is nice. I've been on day trips with them. I get it, I understand what the attraction is. A road trip on a motorcycle is a completely different experience than a road trip in a car. Drivers in cars and trucks dont notice motorcyclists. If they see you it's almost like they dont notice you or see through you. Or they're just not paying attention.

Anonymous said...

It was a '91 Vulcan 600