The only inspiration for a wonder this week is not a person, but, as my friend Bill pointed out, something as beautiful as a woman, with curves in all the right places. This is Lee’s new baby, a Victory Vision Touring bike, 2008 model. What, a motorcycle? I know, not what I expected, either. But one that looks exactly like the side view photo now graces our driveway (still haven’t managed to get it home in the daylight for photo ops).
But look at that front, that side, that amazing back (at the bottom of the post)! The choir director had to drag us all in to sing last night, because we were out staring at its black cherry beauty. Reviews I have read also indicate that Cherry (as I call her) is great to ride, runs well and gets reasonable gas mileage for a behemoth.
Why is Cherry the Wednesday Wonder, especially if you know me and how much I dislike motorcycles? There are a few reasonable reasons.
- This has made Lee really happy, and he has been one worried fellow lately. Being able to buy the new Man Toy means our tax situation isn’t horrible, and he can now figure out what to do with the proceeds of selling some property. This is all good. It means we have a little security cushion. And he didn’t run out and get the most costly thing he could get—this was a good deal, came with a 5-year warranty, and was not too expensive considering he traded in the Honda. It’s just great to see him happy, and I feel better knowing some of the safety features in this one—I’d like to keep him around.
- I’ve had an interesting reaction to this thing. It symbolizes me trying to deal with some of my fears. I feel like, properly armored and after a lot of deep breathing, I just might be able to try riding this. That weird looking back end looks like it would keep me from falling off. And there are hand grips for when I am terrified (Lee asked the salesperson if he thought I could bend those handles). I have never gotten on a motorcycle, even a stationary one. But, since it doesn’t look like I will ever get that horse I always wanted, this may be the only dangerous saddle I’ll be having the chance to get on. I had a good talk with the guy at work who races cars, bikes and boats. His perspective on the danger aspect was good. He confirmed that the biggest danger was other people, assuming you are riding sober (which I assume we would). He said as long as you are always vigilant, you should be able to get out of situations. Then he said he’d had three wrecks on his bike. Yum. But it is red, fast and scary. I notice he always wears a full helmet, jacket, boots and gloves, so he is a reasonable risk taker. And he was right that life itself is risky, and that you are fooling yourself if you think riding in a car, walking in icy weather, etc., aren’t also dangerous. He said you just have to decide what degree of knowing risk you can put up with. So, I have been thinking about that, and think I might try this. I mean, I tried a roller coaster once and didn’t die. I just decided not to ride one again!
- Another interesting thing is that I like this motorcycle. I mostly find them pretty ugly, loud and irritating. But this one makes a nice, throaty sound and it is, from an aesthetic stand point, a work of art. The designers deserve many, many kudos for this thing. I can see why it has been so universally praised. I keep imagining Luke Skywalker coming over to ask for his ride back. It’s just a wonderful blend of form and function, with a low center of gravity, heated seats and hand grips, a windshield that goes up and down, and a fine stereo that I can’t see why anyone would want, but hey, that’s OK. It has a place to plug in your MP3 player, too. I guess somehow the womanly curves of Cherry make her seem less threatening and scary. It’s an illusion, but at this point I will take it—anything to I can share Lee’s family hobby with him and not feel so much like a stuck-up stick-in-the mud when I am around them.
- The thing gets weird reactions. Everyone thinks it’s pretty. But a few of the choir people really looked stricken at the thought of riding it. More than one person has said, very self-righteously, “You ARE going to wear a helmet when you ride this, aren’t you?” I hope I have never said that to anyone. It’s like, “You ARE breastfeeding, aren’t you?” to a new mother. Even if she is, she feels like you must think she’s a dork if you have to ask. Have I told the story of how my kids thought the definition of the word “idiot” was “person riding a motorcycle without a helmet”? That’s because their dad and I consistently used that word in that context, and really didn’t call anyone else an idiot. I guess now I just call them “organ donors.” I really value my brain. And, I do understand people’s fears. I am that way, too, and fighting it. I just really didn’t notice all the non-bike people out there when I was one of them—I have been feeling like I am the only one who isn’t an enthusiastic fan, with so many friends riding. Interesting to change perspective (and I’d rather change on this topic to see how it feels than, say, politics).
- We helped the economy by buying something. And it is made in the USA, too. I am not an isolationist, but I do feel good whenever I can buy something that supports folks like me, trying to make a living here. Any big purchase we make from now on has to be significant in more than one way. If I’m buying things made elsewhere, I prefer to get things that can’t be made here (like lovely Danish or Japanese yarn, ha ha, and I certainly buy enough US yarn as well).
I will let you know if I actually try riding. I’d hate to have Lee buy equipment and then not use it. That’s probably why I rode my road bike so long—the ex had invested so much in the bicycle, the helmet, the outfits, the shoes, etc., that I felt like I needed to get my money’s worth, even if he only rode with me once, ever. So, huh. How about that. Cherry the motorcycle.