Weather is full-on for the motorcycle riding season, and I am happily commuting via Harley to work every day now. Yay!
But… I have a sad story about a hot dog biker who had a problem….
Another guy who rides a Harley with very, very, VERY loud pipes shows up about the same time that I do at the parking garage where I park my Harley when I commute to work.
He sails in the garage, revs his engine so the loud pipes produce a deafening echo throughout the garage, and sails down a level to park closer to the building where he works. He dresses real “bikery” and by the way he rushes to enter the garage first when he sees me coming and revving his engine as much as he does (in an empty garage at the time we arrive), I can only think that he is showing off to me. (We do not know each other.)
Yesterday, though, this guy got his comeuppance. While I never would wish anyone harm, especially a fellow biker, this dude’s behavior has made me shake my head often. He doesn’t have to rush into the parking garage before me, cutting me off. No one is there at oh-dark-30 except us.
He doesn’t have to rev his engine to make such a deafening roar. As a rider on many group rides, I make it a point to ride behind others whose pipes are normal. My hearing is more precious to me than being subjected to someone else’s “loud pipes save lives” noise.
He doesn’t have to ride like a hot dog around the garage to show off. He enters the garage, then speeds up toward the end where one has to make a U-turn to go to the next level.
And this is where the problem happened yesterday. That parking garage floor is slick concrete. It is covered with a film of oil from all the cars that drive on it over time. The garage floor is seldom, if ever, cleaned with a detergent to remove that oil film. Concrete itself provides little traction, but with that oil film — it’s like ice. It was just a matter of time before that combination got the better of this hot dog show off.
Yesterday, this guy saw me coming as we both approached the garage entrance. He rushed to get there first. I slowed down because I knew he would do that and I have no need to get there before he does.
He revved his Harley’s engine loudly and roared down the straightaway. However, he took the U-turn to the next level “too hot.” That is, he entered the turn too fast. Screech! Crash, bang. Down he went. Slid sideways.
I parked and hopped off my bike to run over to help. Fortunately, he was dressed appropriately (helmet, full leathers and boots) so he did not injure himself. But his Harley was damaged. I helped him pull up his bike, and listened to him swear about “that oil slick” causing the “accident.” He never mentioned that his hot-dogging just might have something to do with the crash.
I asked him, “didn’t you take that turn too hot?” His icy cold stare and grunt of a reply was, “no way. I do that all the time. There’s an oil slick. It’s all their fault!” (I don’t quite know who the “they” of “their” are, but I assume he was referring to the owner of the parking lot, which is the local government.)
I did not want to get into an argument. Guys like this are always defensive and their machismo bravado prevents them from considering that they may be at fault. I have dealt with bikers like that in my riding group. So I just helped him move his bike to a place to park it, and made sure that he was not injured. Then I wished him well and returned to my bike and rode it to the place where I usually park it. Dismounted. Deleathered. Went to work.
Life is short: there is no need to show off and be a hot dog. Real bikers eat hot dogs for lunch.