Friday, November 16, 2007

Virtual Wind Therapy

Tom carried in the newspapers and dropped them on the breakfast counter. We both stood looking at the headlines. Our heads bent, I spied a small photo in the top left corner. I squinted at the fine print to be sure I was seeing correctly. With confirmation that I was indeed reading correctly, I shrieked with excitement! Tom, thinking I was still reading the headlines, was completely confused. He mistook my excitement for shock at reading some bit of bad news. It wasn’t bad news at all. Here I was, in California for somber reasons, but the small inset photo was telling me I had arrived smack dab in the middle of Bike Week!

As many newspapers do, this one came complete with a set of inserts. One such insert, dedicated to the California Bike Week and Love Ride, (a charity ride sponsored by Harley Davidson) listed events and schedules. As our Saturday's free, we make plans to attend the event in Pomona at the Fairplex. Tom had given us the use of his truck for the week, but I turned to him and asked if they would like to join us. “Sure” they would join us, although they have never been to such an event, they seemed curious about our recent motorcycle talk.

Nothing starts the adrenaline moving in my veins then a sea of motorcycles parked at such an event. Add to that the roar of engines and the rumble of pipes and the flesh ripples with excitement. We make our way to the entrance and pay our admission. As is typical, the first booth upon entering is “manned” by some very lovely young women in skimpy clothing. I make Andy pose for a photo. Donna seems a bit shocked that I would encourage such a thing. If I want to continue to enjoy such events, I have to make sure everyone is having fun. That includes not being upset at someone taking in a little eye candy. What’s the harm?

We check the schedule and see that we are in time for the first exhibition called The Wall of Death. .Using vintage motorcycles, these guys race around a vertical wall traveling at speeds in excess of 50 mph. Yes, that’s correct, vertical! I have never seen this act before, although they have been at events in our area. Around and around they zip while doing stunts of every kind. They defy gravity using centrifugal force. The audience stands at the top on a platform, and the motorcycles get closer and closer to the top. All the while, I’m thinking one stalled engine would do them in. Or, if they misjudge, they could shoot over the rail and take us all out. They must really trust their bikes! I took some photos, which you can see below, but they are blurry. (Gee, I wonder why?) The best photos are at their website. The link is above.

After the Wall of Death, we continue on to visit the vendor booths. I’m inspecting an item at one, when I here “this bike has balls!” Turning, I expect to see some impressive motorcycle with lots of power. Instead, I see a buffalo-skin draped motorcycle, with what certainly appears to be a set of gonads hanging below the tail. Good grief!

We spend a good part of the day shopping and looking at motorcycles before the next event of stunt riding. Jason Pullen gives us a great show, complete with blowing the rear tire for a grand finale. . However, the best was yet to come. Back toward the far end of the venue, we spy the demo rides.

To Andy’s delight, and my dismay, there are trikes just waiting to be test ridden. It had taken me a year to convince Andy that he didn’t really want a trike. He eventually became the proud owner of a great motorcycle and I believed the trike wishing days were over. Before I know it, he’s marched himself over to sign up for a ride. He selects one and climbs aboard trying to convince me to join him as a passenger. Now I know there are many people who love trikes, but I’m not one of them. “I’m not going to leave Tom and Donna standing on the pavement waiting for us!” I proclaim as an excuse to stay off the trike. We go back and forth, and finally, I say to Tom “why don’t you go with him.” To my surprise, Tom says “OK!” without hesitation.

Helmets donned, they both mount up. I stand near them looking at the gauges and noticed that there is no clutch. “It’s automatic.” Andy tells me. “Automatic!” I exclaim with disbelief. “Geez! Get a convertible!” Andy waves me away, Tom chuckles, and off the two of them go. It all ends well, however, when upon their return, Andy has decided that a trike is not for him after all.

If you happen to be without your motorcycle during times of stress, the next best thing is to be around them. Motorcycling gives me pleasure, but the true benefit is the wind therapy it provides. California Bike Week was for me, wind therapy of the virtual kind, and well worth the price of admission.

1 comment:

fasthair said...

Ms. Pat: Eye Candy!!! Funny lady. And to think some people have issues with the “pin up girls” on my blog. I just ask them “have you seen TV lately?” I like the art of them.

I’ve never done the Love Ride before but it sure looks like a great time! I’ve been going through your ride photos and they bring back so many memories of rides past. I did these all before digi-cams. But I’ve got plenty of photos from those rides that I am slowly getting scanned in so I can post some blogs with them.

I also added a comment to one of your photos. It’s the one of Andy’s flat tire. Please take my words to heart. I really don’t want to see what happen to me happen to anyone else, ever. It really is scary as hell to be thrown off your bike at speed like a rag doll. It is get offs like this that can sour a person on motorcycling to were they never get back on one.