I didn't know Cliff when he had the Harley. He bought his second motorcycle (in picture number 2) from my cousin, who was getting a bigger one. The trouble with the second one was, a 350 CC motorcycle isn't big enough to haul two big people around. So it wasn't long before we became the proud owners of a new 750 Honda. At that time, all our friends had motorcycles, and we had some fun times riding as a group. The problem was that we had to get a babysitter in order to ride. You can't go far with two kids squeezed in between two adults. The babysitter was always my mom, and my conscience wouldn't let me take advantage of her often.
Cliff still had the 750 when we moved here in 1975, but he didn't ride it much any more. It's always too hot, or too cold, or there's rain in the forecast. So he ended up selling it.
Ever since our kids grew up and left home, we have thought it would be nice to find a good old used bike just to take out on short trips... you know, maybe out to eat nearby, or visit Cliff's brother or sister, both of whom live within thirty miles of our house.
But something else always takes priority. Cliff's John Deere, or a horse. Or my Dove guitar, or a machinery shed.
Cliff's sister and her husband recently bought a Harley, and they are on that thing constantly in their spare time. It's great to see them enjoying it. This past weekend they put over 650 miles on it.
Now, I have no desire to go 650 miles on a motorcycle, believe it.
However, in a couple of weeks, the nearby Harley-Davidson manuafacturing plant is having a day when anyone with a motorcycle license can come in and ride any of several bikes there. And you can also tour the plant. All you need is a motorcycle license. Cliff let his go, several years ago.
Today his sister's husband came over on his Harley, let Cliff tool it around the local park to make sure he could handle it, and then drove it to the nearest town with a license bureau. Cliff passed his test! We'll have a field day soon.
Oh, one other incentive for him to get his license: He found out you can rent a motorcycle for the weekend, for $150. Why buy one (those Harleys are awfully expensive) when you can get it all out of your system that cheaply?
There is a risk here: The reason the Harley people let any Tom, Dick and Harry ride these brand new bikes is this: They know a certain percentage of people will want to buy one, after trying it out. Since I recently quit work, there is no room in our budget for a new Harley. The worst that could happen is, we'll start once again searching for an old, reliable motorcycle for under $1,000. There are several on Ebay right now.
Yep, that's the worst that could happen.
And I don't think we'll do that.
(Methinks she doth protest too much.)