Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Motorcycle emptiness


During our week in the US we unwittingly stumbled into a strange netherworld where monstrosities like the above are considered attractive, even desirable: there was a Harley convention in Kona while we were there and thousands of Harley riders on lovingly-rendered custom bikes like these descended on poor tiny Kona town to ride mindlessly around, with the apparent highlight of the whole tour being the humble, grass-covered mini-roundabout outside our hotel (I've ridden on a Harley, and an extremely boring and uncomfortable experience it was too: a perfect example of form over function). Helmets aren't mandatory so no one wears one. I know they are going more slowly than a horse and cart, but to my mind (and I speak as someone who had several near-serious accidents riding my scooter in London traffic) it makes the legal principle of "eggshell skull" seem a little more descriptive than necessary.

It reminded me of the leaked comments of a Harley executive about the appeal of their bikes: "We sell Harleys so that a man whose job title is 'accountant' can roar though a small town and feel good about himself".

2 comments:

LottieP said...

For the sake of accuracy, and for want of a footnote, I should point out that the bikes pictured are choppers, not Harleys. But that doesn't make it all right!

Max said...

I haven't read a blog as good as this since 1972.....