Day 14: Louisville to Nashville – Motopeople

There’s the motorcycle wave. If you are motoperson, you know the wave.

As Motorcyclist cross paths, they give a low wave. It’s like a “hey, you’re in the club” thing; a tribal signal. All motorcyclist do this. Well, almost all. The only people that seem to fail to offer this little gesture of comradery are infrequent. But, they tend to come in the tough guy on Harleys who wear little more than a bandana and a holier than thou attitude variety.

Oh boi, am pretty sure I am garnering some nasty comments in this one.

I wave anyway. It’s all good. We can’t all drive a Rolls Royce that is poorly tuned, a gas guzzler, a noise nuisance and is also unreliable. I get it, that makes you more daring than me and, thus, a rebel. But, I am on a Rebel. I’ve ridden nearly 4000 miles on my tiny little bike. I had little soft side bags. I wore a full helmet and protective gear. Granted, I don’t face your reliability issues. Hondas don’t have those. But I figure that makes me smart, not tough. I’ll give you that.

Anyway, I digress. My informal survey of those who don’t wave back says they are usually Harley dudes and I am just saying, I understand.

That’s not really what I want to talk about though. I know I am painting Harley riders with a broad stroke, but my observations is they are their own club. Many are happy to wave. Most won’t talk about bikes other than Harleys. A few are into bikes of all flavors and varieties. But, generally, I would say most Harley riders are Harley centric and prefer to only talk about Harleys with other Harley people. And they are kind of indifferent to other motorcycles.

However, I don’t want to talk about the wave or the Harley sorts in general. I want to talk about the motorcyclist enthusiasts who don’t give a shit about whether your ride conforms to their standards. They just love motorcycles of all shapes, sizes and flavors.

When I parked in downtown Bowling Green and before I even took my gloves off, there was a guy next to me asking “What is this bike?” As this incarnation of the Honda Rebel only made it to the US in March 2017, I understood his confusion. It turned out my new friend, an instructor at Western Kentucky University, was really into motorcycles. He said he saw this woman on this motorcycle and he had to check it out. Judging from his excitement over the bike, I seriously believe he noticed the bike before he noticed it was a woman riding, but thought the latter was pretty bad ass.

This was not the first time a motorcycle obsessed person has approached me. I mentioned the guy in Stockton, CA in a previous post. And there was the fatherly type on a Honda Fury outside Zion…and the woman on a Harley at that same gas station who was concerned about my coolant spill…and the guy driving cross country with his son…the other Harley guy in Nevada who gave me a USB outlet…and my cousin’s husband in Pacific…the new friend in Pollock Pines who just was in an accident on his Harley . Okay, maybe I was a bit harsh with the generalizations about Harley riders. Most are awesome motorcycle lovers. There’s more than a few of you out there giving y’all a bad name.

So, my new friend in Bowling Green currently owns just one bike, which was apparently unusual for him. It was a Suzuki DR200S. A fun little bike for around town, a little off-road and an occasional highway trip. That last one seemed like a white knuckle prospect to me. We grabbed lunch and talked about riding.

Just the night before at a BBQ and Bourbon joint in Louisville, I was talking to the guy on the stool to the right of me at a bar. The guy to his right was on his own motorcycle trip across country. He keeps his motorcycle in storage at the end of a trip. When he wants a vacation or a long weekend, he flies to where he last left his ride a hits the road. The guy to my left then chimed in with his own story of riding in his younger days. Perhaps that’s why I got too carried away with sipping bourbon.

And that how it goes. It’s like the Hawaiian “Talk Story,’ but it’s all motorcycle story all the time.

Happy cooking and happy talking story.

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