Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Take me with you!

'Tis spring, and motorcycles fill the roads. Especially here around Hayward, it seems, perhaps because we are close to Oakland and its many motorcycle clubs but have prettier roads to ride on. It could be that they catch my eye so much because they still seem unusual to me after twelve years in the Northwest, where motorcycles are rare (but not as rare as convertibles).

I've noticed that most of the people riding these bikes are riding big cruising motorcycles, BMWs, Hondas, and especially Harley-Davidsons. Occasionally I see people on crotch-rocket motorcycles but even in commuter traffic the cruisers seem much more common. It also seems to me that the people on the crotch rockets seem to wear much less protective gear, riding in blue jeans and sneakers, and maybe a leather jacket. The cruisers wear smaller helmets, for the most part, but seem to wear more leather or Kevlar - all over their bodies.

While they are loud, I love seeing the motorcycle clubs cruising down Mission on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Between eight and fifteen people, just going along, waiting to get to the open part of Mission south of here and zoom away. I know it's a romantic vision.

Last Friday while driving in slow traffic on 880, I saw a woman on her cruiser bike. A very large woman, she was wearing either light-blue gear or just a denim jacket and pants. She was wearing regulation boots and a half helmet. Her long long black and red braids hung down her back (we were all driving too slowly for them to stream out, which I bet is quite the sight). As you can tell we were driving slowly enough for me to get a good look, but I wish we had been at a full stop long enough for me to take a picture.

I would have been happy to be her passenger!

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