Jonathan Foust

August 21, 2008

Bye Bye Bikey

Filed under: Cool Things, Observations — jonathanfoust @ 3:14 pm

Oh the humanity of it.

I’m selling my beloved KLR 650.

 

I got my first motorcycle at 15, a Hodaka Pabatco 125cc dirt bike.  I’ve had about nine bikes since then – usually used ones that fell apart as I drove them to their deaths.

I particularly loved the KLR.  After living on the edge of the Sahara desert in West Africa for over two years and getting to know some of the maniacs who traveled the globe on these stripped down, simple bike-as-tractor machines, I’ve always wanted one.

So I joined the KLR cult about five years ago.  I wrote up an article in Cool Tools here and loved owning a bike that was simple enough even I could fix it.  One cylinder.  One piston.  One big momma of a gas tank. Nothing electronic on it.

After riding every day I could in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, I sobered up fast in DC.  My first ride, a woman in a Land Rover (drinking a cup of coffee and talking on the phone) made a left hand turn right in front of me, forcing me to a full stop.  What unnerved me was that we had made eye contact and her failing to give the right of way didn’t seem to bother her in the least.

 

I sent my friend Audrey Ten Reasons Why I’m Selling My Bike.  Here it is, slightly modified from the original:

  1. Noting that DC is populated with distracted, rushed, angry inattentive drivers.

  2. Noting that I was never able to actually cruise for more than a few miles without stopping for a light, slowing to a crawl on a highway or puckering up trying to figure out which driver near me was the one on crack.

  3. Noting how often I’d be sitting on the beltway surrounded by acres of parked cars trying not to breathe sodden clouds of exhaust I could actually SEE.

  4. Noting the moment I finally intuited my wonderful wife prefers I don’t die a horrible, premature death.

  5. Noting that it took about 12 months to heal a wrecked wrist after laying the bike down on a wet road last year.

  6. Noting that when I’m out on the road I’m usually off to a teaching gig and that I look truly laughable with helmet hair.

  7. Noting I could no longer take pleasure in just ‘going for a ride’.  Rather than burning gas on a highway I would truly rather be in my kayak , biking or hiking in the woods.

  8. Recalling Jerry Seinfeld’s commentary on sports where you’re constantly repeating to yourself, “Don’t die!  Don’t die!”.

  9. Noting that as I age, sitting still is starting to get a lot more interesting than going fast.

  10. Noting that I’m already getting laid.

 

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2 Comments »

  1. Hi Jonathan – I ride too. I have a 1993 K75S BMW that I ride often. Okay so what happens when that emergency you talk about comes and all the roads are all jammed with cars and no one can get through….I can (and also uploaded with rations and basic supplies). Where will you be then…”dont die” on your bicycle! And where will Tara be?

    Comment by steve — February 9, 2009 @ 9:47 pm

    • Great bike. I think I’ll be paddling upstream on my kayak, wondering why I sold the #*@$ KLR.

      Comment by jonathanfoust — February 10, 2009 @ 8:43 am


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