This used to be my Living Room
A friend of mine who used to race Stock Cars, Ride Harley’s and fly high performance racing gliders (and wondered why he couldn’t get life Insurance) once told me that his wife knew she had a problem when she came home from work and found him rebuilding the engine of a Harley Davison Motor Cycle on the coffee table of his Living Room. I think he later hocked his wife’s wedding ring to buy an outboard Evenrude for his fishing boat and I think that was the real reason she left him, not because he was rebuilding an engine on the coffee table. But at any rate, all these things seemed very “normal” to me.
I came home last night and stumbled over the Motorized Bike I was building and as I knocked my head against the coffee table, I sort of decided that I might have a problem with having this new hobby of mine turned into a form of addiction. No one can doubt that hanging a lawn mower engine onto a bicycle is one of the greatest forms of enjoyment, second only to sex, and the verdict is still out on how far back it is from being second ;-) Some say it might very well be tied for first place. I’ll let you know in the coming weeks the answer to that one…
But at any rate, here I am, tripping over a hand full of motorized bikes wondering why this was becoming an obsession with me. The answer must have been that “it is in the Gene’s”. I had to go way back on that one as it all began when I broke all the rules and left the “hood” to venture out to the world beyond on my little bicycle all the time day dreaming I was riding a real motorcycle. Venture was the key word as in Adventure and oh what a trip it has been ever since. I am sixty years old and I can’t seem to hang up my spurs and old six shooter. We hang engines on bikes because “it’s there….” We ride off into the sunset because we can. We refuse to go quietly into the night and instead choose kicking and screaming before we settle for the rocking chair and the shawl around our shoulders. I may end up in a nursing home but it will take the under-takers three days to get the smile off my face as I refused to “let go of the bounds of earth and gravity” and rode my little Schwinn off into the wind. We hang engines onto bicycles because it is the purest form of freedom that we have known since we were a kid.
Peter Pan once sang that he refused to grow up and I think there is a little bit of old Peter in every single person who ever hung a motor onto his Bike. We refuse to go quietly into the night. We recapture just a little bit of that childhood every time we pop the clutch and hear the sound and the roar our little 48cc Chinese motor makes. So if you are like me, getting a few gray hairs and refusing to go quietly, then go ahead, hang that engine on your Schwinn and take off to parts unknown. Break away from the surely boundaries of earth and ride off to parts unknown. For in the end, it’s not how a man dies, but how he lived. Happy Trails and May you find that pot of gold…
The Chinese make them, but it takes an American to build them better....