Why Ride at All?

I’ve been thinking a lot about riding a motorcycle–obviously. And you know what? I can’t explain why I want this so badly. I know it can be dangerous. I see completely crappy drivers here in Southern California every day. I almost had a guy whack my truck on the way home today, making a lane change while yacking away on a cell phone. Nurses, as a commenter pointed out, call motorcycles “donorcycles.” As in “Organ Donor”.

And I still can’t wait to get back on a bike–my very own Harley!–and roar off down the road. I can’t explain it. All I know is that it’s a weird hunger that I can’t ignore. It’s something I have to do.

I dream about riding every night. It’s the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning. I already have rides planned. It’s a desire that overcomes the knowledge–the certain knowledge–that I will dump my bike at some point.

If I had no experience on a bike, or if I had never dumped one (two actually), then maybe I could explain it by just saying that I think motorcycle riding will be all fuzzy kittens and fluffy bunnies. But I know it won’t be.

And, when looked at rationally, riding itself, for the most part, shouldn’t be all that fun. In the summer, leathers are too hot. You sweat like a pig in your helmet. Here in the desert, if you take any of that stuff off, you get seriously dehydrated and wind-burned. If it rains just the slightest bit, the roads get all slick and scary. If it’s foggy, you get damp and cold. You can’t enjoy a delicious beverage on the road, or slip another CD into the stereo.

It’s just you, the road, the wind, little comfort, and even less protection.

And I can’t wait to do it.

What We Have Here…Is Failure to Communicate

Huh. So, remember the two grand cash card my Harley salesman gave me to buy accessories? Well, they were supposed to pay for all the extra mods I bought with the bike. So, I now understand how they could afford to comp me all that stuff. They didn’t. I learned that when the parts manager called today to ask where the two grand was to pay for my mods.

Unpleasant discussion followed.

You see, the salesman didn’t explain clearly what the cash card was for. Had I understood it was supposed to be to pay for the parts and labor, I never would’ve spent it all on riding gear, obviously. It would’ve been nice to have gotten a clear explanation of why he was giving me that cash card.

And unpleasant discussion with the salesman ensued. He said, “Well, I usually just give the cash card straight to the parts manager, but I knew you needed to buy a helmet and stuff, so I went ahead and gave it to you so you could use it to buy riding gear.”

Yeah? Well, it would’ve been nice if you had explained that to me on Friday, wouldn’t it?

So, I had to take some time off work this afternoon, pick up all the gear I could return, and go back to to the dealership to pay for my parts. Unfortunately, I had already cut the extra length off the chaps, so they’re mine for good ($295). I also wore the boots this weekend, so they couldn’t be returned either ($150). My chick’s sparkly belt, clothing, and dog scarves stayed here ($200).

The helmet and gloves, of course, I have to keep, but I loaded up the rest of it in the truck and returned it, getting $1,044 back.

So, then it was off to pay for the parts, now with $1075 of my own money. Whereupon the parts guy informs me that, since I hadn’t paid for the parts, they didn’t schedule my mods to be installed, so now I can’t pick up the bike until 6 July, this, despite being told repeatedly by the sales staff that I could pick up the bike on the 2nd.

At that point, I went from slightly disgruntled bald gentleman to shaven-headed, menacing asshole. “How about you keep the f*ckin’ bike, and I take my business somewhere else? I’ll walk out of here right now, and never come back.”

Ah. Well, that was a different story then. It turns out that I can, in fact, have my bike by the 2nd. In fact, I can pick it up on the 28th, if I want. Once the sale itself was at stake, the parts guy stated scurrying around to find every part I wanted. He even called other dealerships to see if he could get a back-ordered windshield from them, which they let him have.

Oh, and several of the parts on my list were the wrong ones. So, that was all screwed up, too. We had to go over the parts list line by line to get that straight, and he pulled every part from stock he could find, to be sure it was set aside for my bike.

Why isn’t anything ever easy any more? I mean, I finally got it all sorted out (although I ended up with a three hundred dollar pair of riding chaps I didn’t need) but Jebus!

Customer service is dead. You almost have to threaten people with physical harm just to get them to do the bare minimum they should already be doing just to keep their jobs. Act all nice and accommodating, and they just screw you.

Riding this motorcycle better be be some damn fun.