Wednesday, April 02, 2008

What's with all those bikers?

How many times did I see this scene repeated today? I didn't stop to count the ways. However, anybody who was out and about around noon probably saw the many clumps of bikers headed through town on their way to ??? I even saw a clutch of them parked briefly on Coronado just across from Lincoln School.

I thought perhaps they were headed up to Mormon Lake for the un-Sturgis event there. However, a quick consult with The Google dismissed that idea; Too Broke for Sturgis takes place in late July. Last year, over 1200 cyclers made the scene in the high country (above). Further research uncovered the facts that 1) this is Arizona Bike Week and 2) today there was a 260-mile Riding for Kids Charity Run. Figures; the bikers we saw today were coming up Iron Springs Road, the wuss-route, instead of taking the curves of the White Spar through the mountains.

Once the weather warms up here (and gets too hot down in the Phoenix area), the motorcycles begin their regular pilgrimages to Prescott. One sees all sorts of bikes parked at the Square and on Whiskey Row.

I can't decide whether to dream of a proper all-BLACK machine -- or indulge my weak spot for R*E*D! A Harley, of course.

Today the Harley is such an American icon that we support a chain of Harley shoppes for leathers, bandanas, Ts and all manner of paraphernalia. But then, it took the taming of the Easy Rider image to rescue Harley Davidson back in the early 80s, when the company was about to go belly up. Now, you know when you see a flamboyant bike that the owner is probably a stock broker living in one of those $-million built-from-scratch "lofts" in the big cities of America. Once in a while -- just once in a while -- we see a group of gray-bearded, over-the-hill bikers in their black leather vests and bandanas roar into town. Oh, nostalgia!

Thank goodness the rebel image lives on in the cartoon strip, Rose Is Rose, where that sweet wife and mother at left harbors an inner biker who periodically surfaces when the suburban life gets to be too much.


Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

The RED Harley and the blue one with pseudo-leather panniers definitely are not 'real' bikies vehicles--one probably wouldn't get much change out of $40,000.


Anonymous said...

I think Brando in The Wild One is a classic. Lots of Harleys in Germany, where there is a demand, but the prices are much higher.

Lucy said...

There's a really pretty one in the retail park where we shop, duck-egg blue and canary yellow with tan stitched leather. If it were mine I couldn't bear to leave it out in the rain. I gather the kids just want those horrible tinny scooters now.

I liked that broken glass ground mulch too.

JesseL said...

Thanks for the reminder!

I need to get my old rice-rocket out of storage and give it some TLC.

Riding it would make a whole lot more sense than my car right now. 50MPG and $75/year insurance are strong incentives, beyond the visceral appeal of the wind in my hair and bugs in my teeth.

Granny J said...

Bro -- oh, no -- those are bikes for MBAs & junior partners in law firms.

steve -- of course, you're right about Brando! The prices are high enough here, BTW; I should think prices are getting better in Europe with the falling dollar.

lucy -- the scooters are probably all they can afford.

jessel -- It's too bad that we Americans drive such BIG vehicles, thereby making the smaller gas guzzlers more dangerous. I have a standing offer from a friend for a ride on his Harley; I'll have to take him up on the offer one of these days.

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