It drives me nuts when we encounter someone on a Harley who does something stupid that epitomizes the negative Harley-owner stereotypes; it makes me embarrassed to be a Harley owner.
I should probably remind readers, in addition to being life-long motorcycle enthusiasts and Harley owners, we’re also big-time cycling enthusiasts. If it’s got two wheels placed in tandem, then we’re into it. With that in mind…
The lovely Miss Debbie and I were out for a 30-mile ride on our tandem bicycle in far west Cobb County, Georgia headed west on Mars Hill Church Road around 10:00am on Sunday morning. As we’re riding along I’m thinking about sending off a note to see if the folks at H-D motor clothes might be interested in joining the Voler Cycling Apparel partner program by offering up some H-D logo cycling jerseys for folks like us who like pedal power and horsepower.
Mars Hill Church is a quiet, two-lane road with mix of homes, entrances to small subdevelopments and some undeveloped wooded areas with a posted limit of 35mph, but folks routine blow through there at 45mph – 50mph. We’re used to that and most folks who get held up behind us pedaling along at about 18 mph will hold back and wait for any oncoming traffic to pass before safely passing us. Yeah, there’s the occasional motorist who floors it as they pass because they’re generally intolerant of cyclists: I don’t blame them. There are cyclists who ride in packs or side-by-side out where we live and ride who truly do screw up traffic and endear less than favorable treatment to all cyclists: after all, cyclists are cyclists, right?
Today as we’re enjoying the morning I hear a couple of motorcycles coming from behind, check my mirror and confirm there are two baggers back there and just a lone car coming the other way, but it shouldn’t slow the bikes down as the car passed us well before the bikes were within 100′. Yeah well, the lead rider on what looks like a Red Hot Sunglow Street Glide flying a pair of American flags off the rear backrest apparently isn’t a fan of cyclists and instead of giving the legally required 3′ of clearance when passing — not like he or 90% of the motorists in Georgia even know such a law exists or would heed it if they did — decides to “buzz” us and go wide open throttle (WOT) so we could enjoy his loud pipes. The second bike was ridden presumably by his wife or girlfriend and she just motored-on by responsibly at the speed limit as her hubby / boyfriend was flying away from her at 55 mph after his little demonstration of “power”.
I’m not exactly sure what kind of statement that makes, other than “I don’t know you but, because you’re doing something I can’t or wouldn’t do, I don’t like you and want you to know it” since that what intolerant self-indulgent people like me do. You know, the typical Harley owner. Because, well… Harley riders are Harley riders, right?
Frankly, I take exception to someone that narrow minded and irresponsible riding around flying American flags, as if they even have a hot-clue what being a patriot and good citizen is. “Terrorizing” a couple of middle-aged cyclists out minding their own business and cycling responsibly on public roads — something we’re clearly in our rights to do just as much as we do when we’re on one of our three motorcycles — certainly isn’t practicing good citizenship. I wonder how this gentleman would have felt if we had been startled by his little stunt and veered into the path of his female riding companion?
So, way to go. Thanks for upholding the negative stereotypes for the rest of us who try to be good citizens on Harley’s.