Sunday, February 18, 2007

Midlife crisis?

O.k....I'm not thinking of running out and getting any tattoos or anything drastic, just thinking how cool it would be to buy a retro, old skool bobber. I wonder how the superintendent, the board of education and the local parents would appreciate their middle school principal riding something like one of these to school. I've always enjoyed motorcycles. I can remember burning my leg on the exhaust of my dad's Triumph when I was just a pre-schooler.
(Updated 02/23/07 blogger's note: I spoke with my father the other day and he "corrected my memory". It was my Uncle Randy's motorcycle that I burnt my leg on, not my father's Truimph. Dad also told me that even before this event, he used to take me around town (straddling the gas tank, sitting between his legs) when I was just 9 or 10 months old! Seems dangerous in today's world of seatbelt laws and car seats...but those were different times. I can remember my dad driving around town in a Bug-eyed Sprite as I sat up behind the seats like the grand marshall in a parade...aaah, those were the days!)
When I was in late elementary school, dad bought me a mini-bike. At first, dad put a regulator on the throttle to keep me from killing myself. I remember on one occasion, I jumped the hill in front of our bank-barn and snapped the front fork right off.
In early middle school , we had a 250cc Harley Davidson Enduro. The thing was way to big for me at the time, my feet didn't even reach the ground. I can remember that same summer, dad was having a new septic system installed in the field behind our house. There were lots of big mounds of dirt which made riding the bike a real thrill. One particularly scary spill curbed my interest for some time.
When I was dating my wife, her younger brother was in middle school and had a small Rupp dirt bike. We used to take turns riding it through the front yard and around the barn.
In college, one of my buddies who lived on my floor had a new Harley Sportster. I think this was probably the first time I started thinking about the idea of owning a Harley of my own some day.
I have a friend that is quite the "horse-trader" (see earlier "Shay" posting). Occasionally, he will get a new bike or four-wheeler. When I stop in to see him, he is always willing to let me try out his new "toys". A couple of years ago, he had a really 'sic' Harley. It was bright red with a custom purple paint job. The bike rode well, but he wouldn't sell it to me because he said it was from the "AMF" years of Harley. During the years Harley was owned by AMF, before the Harley workers bought the company, Harley's were notorious for leaking oil. He said I really should buy a later model Harley if and when I buy one.
A couple of years ago, one of my high school students went out and bought a brand new Sportster. The thing was incredible. He would ride it to school and typically park it right near the faculty parking. I'd have to walk by the bike every day to get into the building.
Every week, my wife picks up the free Indiana Auto and RV books. My son and I really enjoy looking through both the "A" and the "B". I'm always interested in looking for bikes that have that old skool look....i.e. wide whitewalls, ape hanger handle bars, etc. On occasion, I'll surf eBay for the same kind of bikes. Tonight I found a couple of bikes that would "fit the bill". Guess I'll have to keep dreaming til the kids are out of the house and I'm drawing those retirement checks.