The Czar agrees with every word of Operative B’s thoughts, below:
Yes, the grand majority of Harley-Davidson riders – among them are Victory and Indian riders – are polite and genteel folk who do indeed pull over to the side of the road to help other riders as well as drivers. I’ve helped change tires, push “dead” cars to the side of the road, and have even bought lemonade from a child-run roadside stand. Many of those heavy cruiser owner’s groups also hold charity rides, raising thousands to tens of thousands of dollars per year for various charities (children’s hospitals, women’s shelters, breast cancer research, et al). Any excuse for a ride, especially a charity fund raiser, is a good excuse.
Do not be fooled by the skulls, evil-looking motorcycle add-ons, sometimes-profane sew-on patches, or various styles of facial hair. These are all meant to say, “If you don’t understand why I’m doing this, leave me alone; if you do understand, we’re already friends.” That appearance is usually enough to prevent the stupid questions (“Isn’t riding dangerous?” “Why don’t you use a car?”) and to prevent the “I know someone who was killed on a motorcycle” comments (I had a very dear friend who died from breast cancer, but I don’t go around telling every woman I meet, in any circumstances, about it).
Yes, there are jerks who ride heavy cruisers, but those exceptions prove the rule: there are old riders, and bold riders, but very few old bold riders. (Indeed, the same is said of pilots.) It is also said that there are two kinds of riders: those who have “gone down”, and those who will “go down”. I have gone down a few times previously, but I got back up and into the saddle each time.
But there is something else that most non-riders don’t understand – and very few rice-burner riders understand: the Biker’s Creed. Those of us who have been riding for a half-century or more are quite familiar with the concepts, even if some have never been able to put them into words. And those who put thousands to tens of thousands of miles onto their machines per year will, when reviewing them, nod knowingly and smile to themselves. To understand is to need no explanation.
We received our first dusting of frozen white stuff last night. For me, the season is now officially over. I typically won’t ride again until the early spring rains wash away the road salt and the asphalt is dry and clear. But I will ride again. Soon.
Indeed, the Harley, Victory, and Indian riders have always been a class act of gentlemen. No, really: forget the biker gang tropes of the 1960s—those are about as accurate today as sci films depicting Venus as a swampy world populated by bikini-clad women. And already the Czar has totally forgotten what he was going to say.
But yes, the Czar expected to get some pushback for his post. This response from Operative B isn’t actually that—it’s more nice.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.