Beyond a Tank of Gas


Officially I’m not old. Let’s get this out there right now. Although what little hair I have is quite gray, I’m really not that old. So why do I ride an “old man’s” bike? Well it has so much more to do with being wiser, not older. You see when you ride a lot of miles, you quickly find out it’s not about looking cool but rather feeling comfortable.

There surely was a time when cool was important to me. In fact cool was only something a weird guy like me could hope to be at some point in my life. I know I wowed friends with my sense of humor, but at no time did I hear anyone say to me “you’re cool.” Funny yes, but never cool. But I digress.

Why is the bike I ride considered an old man’s bike anyway? Big seat, cruise control, stereo, CB radio, plenty of wind protection (to keep my flowing locks free from tangles) and storage – lots of storage. Oh, and a trailer hitch. Now I know what you’re thinking; a young man wouldn’t need these things. He would set off on a ride with little or no suspension, a flannel shirt, Chuck Taylors on his feet, and his Ray Bans acting as his windshield. Trust me, he isn’t riding far. Oh, I know he’s cool and the envy of some, but that’s only cool for a tank of gas or so. I’ve seen everything within a tank of gas from where I live. In fact you have to pass the same old scenery just to get anywhere. It’s beyond the 5 gallons of gas or so that I long for. Hell, I would rather be 5 tanks of gas away from anywhere on my motorcycle.

It’s beyond the 5 gallons of gas or so that I long for.

It takes at least a couple of fill-ups to see the unfamiliar landscape we desire and for those of us “old bastards” who like to travel on our motorcycles, we’re just getting warmed up. I’m not trying to take away anything from being young and adventurous. Living on a shoestring, willing to sacrifice your comfort for the sake of it all and to set off completely unprepared for whatever mother nature throws at you is a choice, and who am I to argue? Just because I can’t leave the house without lip balm might tell you something about me. I was young once and that’s all I’m going to say about that. With youth comes learning and with age comes learned. I’ve learned the hard way to not set off on a ride without a pair of gloves if there is any chance the temperature could drop along the way. And I’ve learned my ass needs a soft seat for any ride longer than 20 minutes.

So I don’t want to hear my motorcycle referred to as an “old man’s” bike anymore. It is more of a “dues paid” motorcycle.