It’s been raining or misty here for days…the roads almost constantly wet. When it wasn’t pouring, the roads have been greasy and slick…the road mist thrown up by my and other vehicles’ passage gray and filthy. It sticks to everything.
My machine is a mess. Covered in this stuff from top to bottom. I’ve had to use my thumb to wipe the mirrors enough to see more than a bright blur of headlights behind me.
Today was the first sunny day…and even then the roads were still wet this morning.
At the gas pump this morning:
I nodded at the rider fueling up his bike across from me.
He looks back and says, “Man that’s a shame.”
“Your bike, don’t you care about it?”
I look her over quickly…it’s been a tough couple weeks…and I’ve run a *lot* of miles. I suppose I could have knocked some part or other off, or perhaps I’ve damaged a tire…that commute can be rough…but she looks fine to me. Ready, in fact, to go fly.
“What do you mean?”
“It’s *dirty*.” Somehow he made the word sound like profanity.
I glanced at the big Valkyrie. Dirty? Sure she was! Of *COURSE* she was! It’s what happens when you ride in the rain. Hell, it’s what happens when you ride at all!
I look over at his bike. It is absolutely spotless. So spotless in fact, that I know it hasn’t seen the light of day in weeks.
I love clean bikes. I love them so much in fact that I frequently ride them till they get dirty…and yes…I do occasionally clean them too.
The ones that have never been dirty though? They seldom venture outside the garage. The poor things languish, longing for the day somebody will ride the piss out of them…truly use them for what they’ve been made for.
Bike Purgatory. ‘Butt Jewelry’.
I couldn’t think of anything positive to say so I just said, “Have a good ride then.”
He didn’t let it drop though.
“Well I think you should wash it more.”
I just looked at him a moment. There was no experience there…no respect. What I wanted to say was, “I think you should ride more.” but instead I just pulled away. He’s got a ways to go before he’ll understand. Clean is fine. Clean is good. Clean is what you do so you can see how dirty you can get her.
But what she’s made for is to ride.
I could clean…or I could fly.
Me and the Valk…we are gonna go fly.
Ride ’em hard…or just take ’em on home.