|Dedicated to the women who RIDE THEIR OWN motorcycles|
RIDING A PINK HARLEY
by Monica G.
I have always been a girly girl. Growing up, I played with Barbie and Ken for hours in my pink room. As a teenager, I was a boy-crazy pom-pom girl. Now, I am addicted to shopping and romantic comedies. Why would I ever want to ride a motorcycle?
I never had a desire to feel the wind in my hair or experience the joys of the open road. I was content to ride on four wheels with four doors straight to the nearest mall, thank you very much. But the day my husband bought his first Harley, things began to change.
Chad grew up riding motorcycles. He rode dirt bikes as a kid, and his father once owned a motorcycle shop. He feels as comfortable on a motorcycle as he does in the driverís seat of his Hummer H2. When he bought his Harley, I knew he would be riding as often as possible, especially on the weekends. Remembering how much time his skydiving habit required a few years ago, I was certain Iíd be going to our kidsí soccer and basketball games alone.
I eyed his new Harley warily. Thankfully, his rides usually lasted only a few hours. But he had entered a world about which I knew nothing. Knowing how much we valued our quality time, it wasnít too much of a surprise when he came home from a ride one day and asked, "Would you ever be interested in taking the motorcycle safety course? Iíll buy you a Harley if you want to learn to ride."
Hmm. I had to think long and hard before answering.
Hey, maybe I could get a pink Harley, with lots of chrome and black accents. Maybe I could get one that said "Step Off!" and featured the silhouette of a black stiletto. I could just see myself wearing killer black leather pants, pink stiletto boots, and a pink leather jacket as I flew down the road, followed by admiring eyes.
Maybe I would become an expert rideróone who was respected by all the other riders. "Wow, she can really ride," they would say. "Watch her take that curve." My bike would be recognized by bikers the world over. "Oh, yeah, that pink ĎStep Off!í Harley? Totally sick. My wife wants one just like it." Harley Davidson would call me to become their top designer. The Teutuls of Orange County Choppers would ask for my advice. Iíd get to appear as an expert consultant on their show.
Or maybe I could be the founding member of The Girly Girls Harley Club. We would take long rides together and end up parked in a long row in front of Neiman Marcus, pink tanks shining. We could use our saddle bags for our purchases! We would lunch together in our pink leather at La Madeleine, debating the merits of the Road King versus the Fat Boy over tomato basil soup.
With these fantasies in my head, I informed my surprised husband that indeed I would like to take the motorcycle safety course. He signed me up and we got busy searching for Harleys on eBay.
Reality crashed in quickly. There wasnít a pink Harley to be found anywhere! The local Harley store didnít even have one. Every other color of the rainbow was represented, but somehow pink was treated like an ugly stepchild. The nerve, I thought. Donít these people know how hot pink is right now? Donít they know pink Harleys would fly out of the store, much like pink Mukluks? But wait. If I was unable to buy a pink Harley, maybe I could have one painted pink.
I brought up the subject to Chad, who gasped and looked at me in horror. "You canít paint a Harley pink! Thatís practically blasphemous." He went on to assure me we would never resell a Harley defaced in such a manner, so a pink paint job was out of the question. I settled for silver and black.
With one defeat under my belt, I began to search for pink motorcycle gear: pink Harley boots, pink Harley jacket, pink anything . . . I scoured the clothing section of the Harley store and found a black bandana with Harley Davidson spelled out in pink rhinestones. Now weíre talking, I thought. Still, I didnít quite find the outlandish pink motorcycle wardrobe I was hoping for.
Armed with my bandana, I worked my way down. Jacket next. Harley jackets are all blackóor orange and blackó leather. No pink anywhere. Hmm. What about a leather store? I wandered into Wilsonís Leather one day and hit the jackpot. Hanging on the sale rack was a beautiful bubble-gum pink leather jacket with a buckle at the neck and zippered pockets. The sleeves were long enough for riding and it fit perfectly. Yes!
For now, jeans were a no-brainer. And I could always ask for leather pants or chaps for my birthday. What about boots? I could hardly wait to find the perfect pair of pink, pointy-toed stiletto boots, maybe with the Harley logo strategically placed somewhere. I suppose I shouldnít have been surprised to discover that Harley only makes black boots, and the vast majority of them have round toes. Apparently, high heels and pointy toes are not for riding. "They get in the way of shifting gears," a helpful salesgirl explained. With a sigh, I realized that the motorcycle world had not yet caught up with my vision of pink Harley heaven. But I still had hope.
One day, my hope was rewarded. My husband and I had gone to our local chapterís monthly H.O.G. meeting on a Saturday morning. We decided to check out the after-party at the Harley store that afternoon. We wandered in, looking around, when it happened. My well-trained eye for color honed in on a flash of pink among the many motorcycles featured at the front of the store. I did a double-take, swiveling my head back around for a closer look.
Have you ever had one of those moments when the sky opens up, the sunís rays shine down, and the angels begin singing a beautiful chord? There it was. A beautiful black Sportster 1200 Custom, complete with bubble-gum pink flames. All other sights and sounds faded as I slowly made my way toward it, miraculously avoiding the other bikes in my path.
I approached slowly, taking in every angle. I reverently stroked the tank, noting the color of the flames exactly matched my leather jacket. Finally I sat down and lifted the bike. Excitement coursed through me as I realized I was born to ride this particular bike. Disappointment quickly followed as I remembered I already had a very nice Dyna Low-Rider. How could I get this one if I already had that one?
My husbandís voice floated around in my head. He was talking to the salespeople, asking about price and such. I carefully lowered the bike and stood up, casually leaning closer so I could hear. When I realized he was negotiating a trade, I had to bite my tongue hard to refrain from jumping up and down while chanting "I told you so, I told you so!" I figured reminding him of his earlier certainty that Harley would never make a pink motorcycle would not endear him to my cause. Instead I promised I would be his sex-slave forever (well, OK, only for the night), and then proceeded to do a little victory dance while calling all my friends.
"Yes, itís pink! Really! Pink flames, baby!"
I may have to wear round-toed boots, but Iím finally riding a pink Harley. And in my mind, Iím leading a group of Harley girly girls, yelling at the top of my lungs, "Step Off!"
Motorcycle History Report - What You Need to Know Before You Buy a Used Motorcycle.
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