The Harley

David Epps's picture

A couple of months ago, I announced that I had come up with a “Bucket List” of things I wanted to do or places I desired to see before I “kicked the bucket.”

Actually, it was a “barf bag list.” I decided to make this list while on an airline flight and, scrambling around for some paper on which to write, all I could find was an air sickness bag. So I made a “Barf Bag List,” a simple statement of things I’d like to do before I “choke.”

One of the statements I listed was, “I want to take a motorcycle course and learn to ride a Harley, even though my wife would never get on the motorcycle with me.”

I have purchased a used 1999 Harley-Davidson Road King (police edition) from someone who owned the bike for 10 years and is known for taking care of his “stuff.”

Reaction has been mixed.

Being a pastor, I really do not have a private life — not like most normal people, anyway. The average person can buy a suit, a car, or a house, go on vacation, go bungee jumping, and engage in all manner of activities and face nary a ripple of criticism. Pastors do not have that luxury.

There was a time, many years ago, if I traded cars or thought about buying a home, it would be a topic of conversation and might even be brought up at church board meetings.

“Well, I see we must be paying you handsomely, Pastor,” one man said, “since you were able to buy this nice, new 6-year-old Corvair.” Actually the Corvair — not to be confused with Corvette — had 150,000 miles, no air-conditioning, and used three quarts of re-constituted oil from Walmart every single day.

I didn’t purchase it either. The car was a gift for doing a series of services at a country church that couldn’t afford to pay me but had an old beat-up Corvair. Didn’t matter. I got no raise that year.

We almost didn’t buy a house because I was afraid of the flak that would accompany the purchase, until my wife said, “David, just show me where it says somewhere that we can never have anything nice.” We bought the house.

For the most part, I have gotten way past what people think or say. I have learned that, no matter what one says or does, there are those who stand ready to take potshots — usually from the cover of anonymity. It’s not that I don’t care what folks think, but I have learned not to be swayed by it so much.

Anyway, as I said, reaction has been mixed. Most of the women were aghast that I bought a motorcycle. Their concern was that I would plaster myself all over the highway.

I should add here that I have never actually ridden a motorcycle in my life. Except once. I was 15 and still carry the scar on my right leg that resulted from the crash.

The men, for the most part, gave me high fives and a “thumbs up.” Women are concerned about safety and men understand testosterone.

My wife was in agreement with the decision to buy the bike. All it required from me was an agreement to repaint the interior of the house and promise that I would never expect her to ride with me.

I was okay with that second part since it eliminates the back-seat driver syndrome.

She also insisted that I keep up my life insurance premiums. My mother-in-law told me that she could never brag to her friends again about “how smart you are.” Mostly, the men have urged me to “go for it.”

In a couple of weeks I will take a three-day course designed for people like me who have never ridden (successfully) a motorcycle.

My two older sons want to get a bike (my oldest purchased a Victory) and ride with me — or maybe not ride with me, but it’s a good excuse to tell their own wives.

The youngest son is a bit concerned that I will become one with the asphalt.

It’s a big, powerful, scary machine and I have no need for speed nor am I an adrenaline junkie. I respect the Harley. I even fear it, or at least I fear the possibilities. I intend to be very careful.

I have learned how to start it up and, every day, the roar and rumble of the distinctive Harley-Davidson sound emanates throughout the neighborhood. I have purchased most of the gear necessary to take the course and I have two Harley-Davidson T-shirts and two doo-rags which, my wife says, “make you look like a criminal.”
Cool. Every guy likes to be thought of as being a little dangerous.

I still have to pass the course, get my license, and actually learn how to ride the thing, which is much larger than the bike I will train on.

Still, one needs a challenge. And I have to be careful and be safe — after all, there are things I want to do and places I want to see before I choke.

[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. (www.ctkcec,org). He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and may be contacted at frepps@ctkcec.org.]

Spyglass
Spyglass's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2008
I like bikes..

And I wouldn't mind having one. That said, I want it to start regularly, not leak oil or sound like an old John Deere Tractor. :)

In spite of all that, I say ride what you like.

Some good advice on this blogs in regards to safety.

Cyclist
Cyclist's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/15/2007
When I get old like CHR$....

and can no longer pedal a bicycle; I want one of these.

Round airplane engines are the best!!!!

Spyglass
Spyglass's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2008
Cy re bikes..

It's amazing what a little bike riding can do. I've been averaging 6-7 miles a day (not much I know) for the last 4-5 months or so. I've never felt better. As a 47 year old, I need all the help I can get.

I'm getting very familiar with the bike paths, etc. for sure.

Cyclist
Cyclist's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/15/2007
Spyglass

You're so right!!! Perhaps we can hook up when it gets a little cooler and do an easy 20 miler.

Spyglass
Spyglass's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2008
Cy...re a bicycle..

It is amazing what a little bike riding regularly can do for your health. I've been averaging around 6-7 miles a day (not much I know) on the paths around PTC for the last 4 months or so. I've literally never felt better. As a 47 year old, I need all the help I can get.

AtHomeGym
AtHomeGym's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/18/2007
Cy & Getting Old

A MOPED with your name on it has already been manufactured!

Cyclist
Cyclist's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/15/2007
Nooooooooooooooo!!!

Mopeds have those nasty 2 stroke engines.

AtHomeGym
AtHomeGym's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/18/2007
Cy & MOPEDS

Forgot to tell you that you won't be allowed to travel the golf cart paths in PTC! Somehow,I think you'll get over it.

Cyclist
Cyclist's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/15/2007
Yep.......I suspect they might chase me down

and hurt me. ☺

Git Real
Git Real's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/17/2006
Cy's Old Man Bike

Ummm.... Cy??? When you get old; I just can't see you scootin' round town on a bar hopper like that. Come on....

Now I could see you on an Ultra. And hey. You ARE old. Now go get you one so we can ride.

http://www.harley-davidson.com/en_US/Motorcycles/ultra-classic-electra-g...

bad_ptc
bad_ptc's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/18/2006
Git, now I understand

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a86DtZi61Ac

Just how much money do you have?

Does Mrs. Git know?

P.S. Welcome back!

You would have loved the river.

Git Real
Git Real's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/17/2006
Bad Knows......

That tape is ***IT***. Guess you can tell what I spend my mental health funds on. Rather than getting male manicures and whining about lifesaving exhaust noises I've discovered one of the best forms of middle aged crisis therapies known to man. I think the river comes in second.....

Beartooth??? Wow... funny you should post that video. I crossed through Beartooth pass and over that mountain very, very recently.

Go get one buddy. And don't ask for permission. I can already tell you what the answer would be. Remember those PM's we had talking about riding New Zealand?

Cyclist
Cyclist's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/15/2007
Git, it is sure good to have....

back on The C. Anyways money is a bit tight right now. The youngest one and all the money is going to a university in Denver. I'm dirt poor now.

bad_ptc
bad_ptc's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/18/2006
Cy, I had

the same conversation with Git a few weeks ago.

Auburn is $43,000/yr. and I'm on year number 5.

Git Real
Git Real's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/17/2006
Well Cy.......
Cyclist wrote:

back on The C.

Boy are you desperate for company. LOL! Got to get together sometime soon. Hit me up for lunch. We'll race bikes for it.

Cyclist wrote:

Anyways money is a bit tight right now. The youngest one and all the money is going to a university in Denver. I'm dirt poor now.

I fully understand. Did you ever think about selling your kid to another family? At least until he graduates. They're just like owning a horse or a boat.

bad_ptc
bad_ptc's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/18/2006
Git, an airplane would be cheaper

:)

Git Real
Git Real's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/17/2006
How Would You Know Bad???

Something you ain't tellin' us?

Cyclist
Cyclist's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/15/2007
Git,

He's right.

Git Real
Git Real's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/17/2006
So Cy

Which one you guessing he might fly. That was my thought.

eodnnaenaj1
eodnnaenaj1's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/20/2006
Git,

Cy is absolutely right, oh, and I also need some days off, like what was it 18 days on the road!! Shoot, I kept this place running for you, the least you could do is give me time off now that you are back.

Cyclist
Cyclist's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/15/2007
Heap it on Jane1,

Let the boss-man know who's really in charge!!!!

Git Real
Git Real's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/17/2006
Get To Work Jane

http://www.youtube.com/user/idahobikerrights#p/c/8B881527CA2CABF0

Don't have this new site figured out (yet) in regards to links and such.

Cy.... you are gonna git her fired. I'm tellin' ya.

CarDealer
CarDealer's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/17/2006
Advise

Always glad to hear of another person joining the ranks of us riders! You purchased a splendid bike also! Harley-Davidson...You either own one or you don't own a motorcycle. When I purchased my Harley some years back, a very well seasoned rider gave some very good advise. He told me to ride like I'm invisible. Plainly put, like no one can see you at all. Next, never exceed the post speed limit. Lastly, be aware of the fellow in the oncoming left turn lane. That tends to get 75% of riders. That's it. Ride safe pastor.

Git Real
Git Real's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/17/2006
Gawd I Need To Get Back On The Road
CarDealer wrote:

ride like I'm invisible. Plainly put, like no one can see you at all. Next, never exceed the post speed limit. Lastly, be aware of the fellow in the oncoming left turn lane. That tends to get 75% of riders. That's it. Ride safe pastor.

Point number one: Agreed. They don't want to see us and if they do.....

Point number two: Disagree. There is no way a sane man can ride the speed limit when crossing Montana, Utah, Idaho, Nevada and Oklahoma.

Point number three: Agreed. Never watch the driver's eyes. Watch the front tires. They'll tell you which direction they are turning and if they are proceeding.

CarDealer
CarDealer's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/17/2006
Sane?

I think you have it wrong, a "sane" man does ride the speed limit. I have been a rider for years and know that following the rules concerning speed limits works. Secondly, who said "watch the drivers eyes"?? Watch the front tires?? What's that about?? There is a great chance that the car in the left turn lane will have his tires pointed in the direction of the turn, I already should know that he plans a left turn since he's in that lane. I'm stressing that you need to position yourself on the road to be the most visible and to drive as defensively as you possibly can. Of all accidents involving bikes, 75% of those accidents are from a driver turning left in front of them. The other accident are mostly a result of speeding. If you are a rider I wish you the best, but you should consider re-thinking your ideas for safe riding.

SPQR
SPQR's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/15/2007
family a favor

do your family a favor and provide them with a living will.

Git Real
Git Real's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/17/2006
Ummmm......

Everybody needs a living will. Nice public service announcement.

MajorMike
MajorMike's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/20/2005
Living will

Oddly enough I just finished a new one this morning. They don't stamp any warranties on our backside when we come into this world. Still ... it's both sad and disturbing to see a young person go out this way.

carbonunit52
carbonunit52's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/05/2008
Harleys

"I have learned how to start it up and, every day, the roar and rumble of the distinctive Harley-Davidson sound emanates throughout the neighborhood."

Harley-Davidson, the machine that takes perfectly good gasoline and turns it into noise.

CarDealer
CarDealer's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/17/2006
Yep!

Ahhh, but a wonderful noise it is!

Git Real
Git Real's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/17/2006
It Sucks To Be This Guy

You are such a fun-sucker. Simply put.....

carbonunit52
carbonunit52's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/05/2008
Git

Good to see you back. I had a hunch that my post about Harley's would get a response from you. Fun-sucker eh? Pretty lame insult, you can do better.

Git Real
Git Real's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/17/2006
Insult?

Insult or observation?

Cyclist
Cyclist's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/15/2007
Actually, I think carbon...

would look good on a Harley.

Git Real
Git Real's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/17/2006
Yeah

He could prolly use a bit of wind in his face and a taste of freedom as a result of being let out his cage. :)

eodnnaenaj1
eodnnaenaj1's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/20/2006
Well, well, well

a new blogger among us!

Git Real
Git Real's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/17/2006
JAAAAAAAAAAAAANE!!!!

Hi Friend!

Cyclist
Cyclist's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/15/2007
It's about time Git...

BTW, Jane1 needs a bigger office and much more pay. She wants a Harley too.

Git Real
Git Real's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/17/2006
Hey Cy

What is with that girl?

Courthouserules
Courthouserules's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/02/2010
Sturgis

Have you been gone to Sturgis this week? All the female riders are there.
Many are in jail along with their providers.
Ear plugs are issued at the end of town.

Git Real
Git Real's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/17/2006
No

But I was there 3 weeks ago. Dollar???? Got you a new monicker? Who else are you on here?

bad_ptc
bad_ptc's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/18/2006
Carbon, please remember

Loud pipes save lives.

Not that gas powered golf carts make any noise, a Harley will at least let people where you are.

bikerbelle
bikerbelle's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/13/2010
Go for it!!! My friends and I

Go for it!!! My friends and I call riding "bike therapy" - cheaper and better than regular therapy. I hope you are taking the class at Great South Harley Davidson, they will take care of you there.
Best of luck to you Pastor, Happy Riding...see you on the road:-)

Recent Comments