Friday, March 16, 2007

Green Rider, Not Beer


Beer and biking don't seem to mix well as I found out when I was a green rider.

Before I became a motorcycle owner I had the opportunity to ride a friends bike as we had made a temporary trade as he needed four wheels for a bit and I got the chance to ride his bike.

The bike was a 500cc Suzuki, mid sixties vintage and was my first time up and solo on a motorcycle.

No electric starter just a kick starter to bring the Suzuki to life but one had to remember to first turn the ignition key to the on position before attempting to kick start it.
On one occasion of meeting some friends in the saloon and downing a few quarts, we all departed together and they lingered as I donned my helmet astride the big Suzuki. In a vain attempt of trying to show my worldliness of all things motorcycle, I started to kick the beast over.
I kicked and kicked and kicked some more to no avail, the bike would not roar to life. Burning, swearing and sweating out the beer as I kicked my friends looked slightly bemused and wondered if I knew what I was doing.
When I did figure out to turn the ignition key to the on position the warming glow of the beer had worn off to be replaced by deep feelings of stupidity. Bikes and beer do not mix.
Not having learned my lesson yet, on a later occasion I consumed large volumes of lager and with my intelligence level on overdrive I reasoned since it was only a few blocks home I could make it safely.
Being extra cautious and alert to the consequences that I would pay if stopped by the police I proceeded with caution, obeyed every rule of the road and made it back to my apartment parking spot safely.
As I pulled into the parking spot I was congratulating myself on a job well done and as I slowly came to a stop I only missed one small step in the proper operation of a two wheeled vehicle.
When I came to the stop I had forgotten to put my feet on the ground and over I went.
As I lay on the ground with the bike laying on my leg thoughts of stupidity once again entered my thoughts. I crawled out from under the bike, set it upright on its side stand and retired for the evening.
In the cold light of day the damage was not as bad as I thought and only had to replace the signal light and the handlebars, my attitude and intelligence on the other hand needed a major overhaul.
When I am out biking now I still stop on occasion for a beer, but just one, bikes and beer really do not mix that well.
Happy St Patricks Day.

3 comments:

Steve Williams said...

Having given up drink many years ago after determining my body couldn't stand it anymore I have not had to endure any drinking and riding experiences. I am still amazed though at how many do have a beer and ride. And I mean more than one.

There is a tavern in an isolated section of the state here and I have stopped for a cheeseburger for lunch. At times there may be a dozen or more bikes outside and the riders are downing pitcher after pitcher of beer. And that's just while I'm there.

I hope they will be ok but I can't help but think they will ride off together towards trouble.

Maybe our State Police won't stop a group of riders. Who knows....

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

SilverWinger said...

Motorcycling and saloons seem to be a natural fit and is no problem if not taken to excess. One of my favorite rides here in Alberta is to the Last Chance Saloon in Wayne Alberta for a buffalo burger, onion rings and of course a mug of cold beer.

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