Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Beginning

At last, I had my first Harley-Davidson® stashed safely in the garage. It was a violet pearl Heritage Classic and I had picked it up that afternoon.

A Harley Davidson Heritage Classic has a beautiful retro look to it. By "retro" I mean it has wire spoke wheels, chrome studded leather saddlebags, a large fat gas tank, large diameter front forks and an over sized headlamp surrounded by passing lights and turn signals. It also has high pull back handlebars and a low seat position. Then there's them mighty fine whitewall tires. The net effect is a modern bike with a look resembling a 1940’s or 1950’s FL Electra Glide model Harley-Davidson®, the sort Elvis liked to ride.

I walked over to the wall of the garage and pulled down a folding lawn chair. Then I went to the refrigerator we had out there, pulled out a beer, twisted the cap and sat down in the chair three or four feet from the Harley. I slowly sipped the beer and stared. I was there for easily over half an hour. I wasn’t embarrassed about the idea at all; in fact, I had the garage door open to let in a little more natural light.

I will bet this very same thing has happened thousands of times in thousands of garages. That is how it is with your first Harley and that is how it will probably be with your last Harley. They are all beautiful masses of chrome, paint and leather. It’s truly an object where form and function come together in a drop-dead gorgeous sort of way.

So what is the motivation to do something like this? I am referring to riding a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle and taking a 4,000-mile tour within a couple of weeks or just climbing on it and taking a short trip to the store, to the country, or anywhere।

Well for beginners it doesn’t hurt to have a fascination with things tacky, with motion, with speed, with sound and a compelling desire to live life large. All those things will get you down the road with a sense of wonder and excitement– truly the best qualities of kids and enduring qualities of adults who refuse to give up being kids.

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