21 October 2010

Bikes Vs. Cars

I've told the story before how after riding for a few hours in the rain on a 60-ish degree day some years ago, Sara Jean and I were stopped at a light in a small Indiana town when a tiny Chevy (Metro?) pulled up next to us with Dad, Mom, and two kids aboard. We were waiting on the light, shivering in the rain, while the kids sat warm, dry, and comfortable, waving at us from the rear seat of the sub-compact car. All I could think was "That car is getting almost the same mpg as this bike and it carries four, while keeping the four of them warm, dry, and reasonably comfy."

I'm always a little surprised to see the complications and expense hard-core bikers will endure to ride. Getting back into leisure riding I'm remembering how expensive it can be... helmets, gloves, footgear, and body armor.
If you really want to use the motorcycle as serious transportation it gets even more expensive... heated gloves, socks, vests. Some bikes these days also come with heated handgrips and heated seats, allowing you to ride even when the bottom drops out of the thermometer.
Is it worth all that expenses to arrive ON two wheels instead of IN a four-wheeled steel cage?
Lots of folks seem to think so.

I thought of all that as I read George's Blog. He's a guy that takes his riding seriously, and probably has spent a ton of $$$$$$$$ on comfort and protective gear.
Gorgeous photos and interesting stories told in interesting fashion, his latest piece details being delayed by an encounter with a fairly large herd of Bison on a street in a small Montana town.
I think you may find it worth your while.

3 comments:

Timothy Frazier said...

I'll check it out.

The old saying holds true: buying a motorcycle is just a down payment on accessories.

Bumps Stump said...

Hi Greybeard . . I managed to get so damn old that I really value comfort. I've owned several bikes before Korea came along and interupted everything.(Whizzer/Cushman/Indian Scout/BSA Thumper/Triumph Thunderbird). Once out of the service along came college. Then marraige to a neat gal who doesn't like bikes. 50 years went by before I bought another. A Suzuki GZ 250. My friend Joe is older than I and has a Goldwing. We've gone on several rides where we switched bikes from time to time. Two results: It made the rides more fun, and showed me how neat and comfortable a road bike can really be. You wouldn't like to buy a little one lunger would you? Bump

Greybeard said...

I think my thumper days are behind me Dix. Me and my gal rode 60 miles on the Wing today and I'm simply amazed at how smooth this engine is. I literally was able to feel the front tire hitting pebbles on the road because there is just NO engine vibration transmitted to the handlebars. (But you've ridden one so I'm telling you nuthin', right?)

But what about that trike? I KNOW the boss rides that with you, right? What's the powerplant on that thing?