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On a Thursday afternoon in the beginning of August, my new motorcycle helmet arrived via UPS. The one I had before was a hand-me down from a friend. It never fit properly. Every time I wore it I was convinced it would fly off my head, smashing the window of the people behind us, forcing them to lose control of their car, which would cause the driver to run me over, thus killing everyone in said car while crippling me (I realize how dramatic I am). Thank god I bought a different one. The new one smoshes my face a little and makes me look like a pudgy child that has a love of dairy. But anything is better than intense paranoia. At least I know I will not die.

That Saturday my husband and I decided to ride his motorcycle to Coronado. Aaron always insists that I wear sensible clothing while on the bike, like boots and ugly jackets that will protect my skin. It’s kind of a nuisance. I want to wear normal stuff like jeans and ballet flats or a nice summer dress. The boots make me feel like I am playing the role of some biker chick that chews tobacco and scratches her crotch in public. But Aaron insists and gets all fatherly about my safety. I feel forced to comply.

Coronado is one of my favorite places in the world. It’s even more amazing from the back of a bike. Going over the Bay Bridge on the back of a bike is such a rush. There’s the water and the sailboats, and the view on the city, it’s remarkable. Sometimes I forget just how stunning San Diego is.

When Aaron first bought his bike last summer I was vehemently against it. My reasoning was that I didn’t want him to end up as road kill. Also I don’t want my kids to ever end up riding motorcycles. He persisted and wore me down. In the end I agreed to it.

I’m kind of obsessed with it now. I’m not big into speed. But that changed the first time I rode on the back of Aaron’s bike. I love it. It’s therapeutic. It’s a whole new way of exploring our city. I now understand those people who devote their lives to their motorcycle, hanging out at biker bars, the posters, the outfits of leather chaps and fringed biker coats, and the vacations geared around their motorcycles. I get it. I don’t think I will take it that far but I am considering taking a motorcycle course so that I can learn how to ride myself.

The Imperial Beach sand castle competition was going on that weekend and I remembered just as the Coronado Bridge dumped us onto 3rd Street. At a stop light I asked Aaron if he minded driving down the Silver Strand so we could have a look. I have never driven past Fiddler’s Cove so observing South Bay to my left—industrious and trailer- Park lined, and the Pacific to my right was quite the experience. It amazes me how different Imperial Beach and Coronado are when they are such close neighbors. It’s almost a culture shock from the upscale sweater around the neck type of people in Coronado to the gritty truthfulness of I.B.

The Sand castle celebratory street fair was just wrapping up when we found a parking space. The sun was low in the sky surrounded by clouds, its light peeking out from the bottom in that Jesus way, the kind of look you see in inspirational ads on Sunday school walls.

We walked over to the pier to watch the sunset. The pier was heavy with foot traffic, mostly drunken teens in short shorts and smeared eye make-up. Leaning against the pier’s entrance was a pretty transgendered gal with a Marilyn Monroe piercing, fake eyelashes, talking up a young baggy-shorted guy. Everywhere were Fishermen with bait guts at their feet. From off the pier I saw three dolphins and two preteens riding waves with the effortlessness of seasoned pros.
In front of us a stocky women in a thong held the hand of her boyfriend. With each shift of her leg you could see an interesting tan line. I couldn’t help staring. With every step she took I saw tan, white, tan, white, like one of those patterned necklaces I used to make at day camp as child. “This is way better than Coronado.” I told Aaron. “The people watching is incomparable!”

I could’ve stayed on that pier for hours. We walked down the beach in hopes of viewing some professional looking Sand castles, only to learn that the sand castle building would be taking place the following day. It was getting dark so we decided to head back for dinner plans in Coronado Back on the street, we saw tons of cops stomping down the street in a line. “Get on the sidewalk!” one of them growled at me, “The street fair is packing up. We need to clear the area.”

I have never seen that many cops in one place.

On the drive back the sky was bruised purple. Cars whooshed past. The sound of the ocean was therapeutic. I thought for a moment that the lull would put me to sleep and I would let go and fall right off which reminded me of a shirt I had once seen on a biker that read “if you can read this, the Bitch fell off!” I gripped around Aaron’s stomach tightly.

Back in Coronado the street was bustling with tourist with happy expectations for their evening. We peered in store windows and stopped in Lamb's Player Theatre to check out their upcoming productions. We ate at an upscale Mexican place which served overpriced burritos to the sound of live music. I secretly wished we had stayed in I.B but it was too late now.

On the way home, while driving back over the bridge, from the back of Aaron’s motorcycle, I could see fireworks lighting up the skyline. It was the greatest way to end the evening.

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Comments
23

You and your husband should not ride a motorcyle together. In the event you are both killed in an accident, there would be no one to care for your children. Statistics indicate that if you ride a motorcyle casually for a period of only ten years, you have a 25% chance of dying in an accident. Don't be a Darwin Award winner, sell the motorcycle before either you or your husband are killed. If you continue riding, you're going to wind up either dead, or in a wheelchair for life.

Aug. 26, 2010

DOG BURWELL!!!!

u r such a downer today...actually Wedsnesday...hahahahaha

don't listen to him siobhan...my HB and i rode for years and never had an accident

and i rode with my first hubbie 2 and had an accident we both walked away from

that stretch would be a very cool ride and my only advice would be something u already know...cars aren't respectful of motorcycle riders sometimes so be alert...and i loved this motorcycle blog...

Darshan and ride on!!!

Aug. 27, 2010

Riding a motorcycle also allows you to park without hassles just about anywhere, imagine not worrying about Parking before you go some place, that's freedom!

BTW: they even have an electric motorcycle that only costs about a penny per mile to operate and it will go over 6oMPH and has a range of over 50 miles which makes it the commuting KING:

http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/zero-ds/

They have Energy Rebates: http://energycenter.org/index.php/news-a-media/latest-news/2001-clean-vehicle-rebates-under-way#IDComment62416326

Aug. 27, 2010

Lack of sleep can take off years of your life, so can eating red meat, you can die by choking on a tablespoon of water, and sneezing can give you a brain aneurism.

I'd rather just live my life. I do appreciate the concern though :) If it eases your mind my husband is the most cautious person I have ever met to the point that it is a little bit infuriating.

Nan, I can picture you on a Harley :)

Aug. 27, 2010

Does not matter how cautious hubby is-it's the driver of the vehicles who are careless......

Which brings me to my motorcycle story.

Early 1980's, bought a brand new, beautiful Honda 400-4 Super Sport. The very FIRST hour of the very FIRST DAY I had it I had a person pull a left turn in front of me, when they were supposed to be yeilding, and down I went.

Hard for people to see motorcycles, and I loved that bike-but the fact is it is extremely dangerous.

Aug. 27, 2010

Some people don't say anything unless they have something positive to say. Burwell is not one of those people ;)

In Burwell's defense, people who ride motorcycles are going to dump the bike eventually. Doesn't matter how careful one is, other people aren't always so careful. Siobhan, it IS something that you and hubby should always keep in mind. I hope that when it happens, whoever is on the bike escapes injury.

Aug. 27, 2010

The story was terrific. Now, about the motorcycle. I hate to jump into the anti-motorcycle fray, but I am scared to death of them. I have seen first-hand the after-effects of a bad accident. Before that, I would hop on the back no problem. "Steve" had to literally be pieced back together. The UCSD nurses called them "donor"cycles.

Aug. 27, 2010

Reply #5 - #7 SP I had a Honda 500-4 and it was sweet!

Like everything, there are risks; one must ride like they are being attacked by every other driver on the road, suit up and remain FOCUSED on what they are doing...

BTW: Riding a bicycle is much more dangerous than a motorcycle, yet everyone is urged to bicycle more!

I believe that many folks will replace their gas powered motorcycles and bicycles with electric versions, as more folks realize that cars are not for everyday use unless you are hauling kids and or stuff.

Aug. 27, 2010

Reply #9 Did you even look at the link on comment #3 above, (you might like it)?

Some folks don't prefer "rumble" and would gladly trade that sound for no gas stations, no gasoline bills and great acceleration; especially if you are using it around town and not going long distances. Oh, they also make a on-off road version and there is some video of both to check out...

These are not, "a custom with an electric motor."

Aug. 27, 2010

If you keeping riding the bike, you may wind up like the motorcylce rider in the UTube video below.

Aug. 27, 2010

BTW: Riding a bicycle is much more dangerous than a motorcycle, yet everyone is urged to bicycle more!

LOL...fuuny you said that-I was T-boned on a bicycle before too, I was riding very fast at night w/o a light and was coming up t a T- intersection where a Camero was making a left turn onto the street I was riding and it happened, he didn't see me and boom, T-bone city. I went flying thru the air doing somersaults-and praying I would not land on my head-I landed flat on my back, had the wind knocked out of me and was very lucky-my bike pedal went right into the Camero's plastic bumper and was stuck-that is how hard I was hit. No helmet either-could have been killed.

I always try to ride on the sidewalk if possible even thought it is illegal. I hate sharing the road if the speed limt is above 25 MPH.

I keep thinking of that Reader article that ran a few weeks back of the guy that went down on his skateboard and suffered severe head injuries, and think I am so lucky I never had a head injury from some of these wipeouts on bikes and motorcycles, even though they were not my fault. I never wore a helmet riding either.

Aug. 27, 2010

This is an near Stockholm. The two in the car were killed instantly along with the rider.

The rider had only recently passed his test, and his body was found inside the car. The car had actually flipped over, with the intensity of the impact. http://www.motorcyclenews.com/ImgGalleryTn/59/307959/80722_271743.jpg .

Aug. 27, 2010

I always try to ride on the sidewalk if possible even thought it is illegal. I hate sharing the road if the speed limt is above 25 MPH.

==========

It's legal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in San Diego anywhere except in business districts.

Aug. 27, 2010

"It's legal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in San Diego anywhere except in business districts."

I thought it was illegal to ride a bike on a sidewalk anywhere, but Burwell is correct according to this (see 84.09):

http://docs.sandiego.gov/municode/MuniCodeChapter08/Ch08Art04Division00.pdf

Aug. 27, 2010

ALWAYS wanted a motorcycle, or at least a Vespa. Maybe an electric? When I make it back to San Diego, I'm seriously thinking of dumping my car & getting one of those three.

Guess I won't have 'you' to tool around SD with, Grantie! :(

Nan? :)

Aug. 28, 2010

Only if everyone else rode one and they couldn't go over 25 MPH! I'm gonna get a Rascal and ride it on the sidewalks with impunity. I'll go Rascal-ing with you, Anti. We could soup-up the engines and go tearing through Wal-Mart.

Aug. 28, 2010

auntie yesterday Bobby and i took a drive out 0ld 94 and the motorcyclist were out bending the curves..Bobby practically had to bolt the car door or i'd have been standin' on the side of the road thumbin' a hitch on the back of some bad boy's Harley....hahahahahahaha

hey!!!

me and Lauren Hutton...hahahahaha

i could still get a ride...hahahahahahaha!!!

beautiful day...bending the curves on a quiet road...maybe takin' the right to Tecate for some Mexican food

it's not always the motorcycle thats dangerous...but the other auto drivers can be...my asphalt bouncing came from a driver who didn't yield puppy...some hellish looking bruises but otherwise OK

Crystalcove...u scamp i KNEW u were a Harley Man...good on ya!!!

Motorcycles r the modern horse...saddle those bad boys up feel the power!!!

Vespas...lots of fun to putter around on...but if i had to choose between any riceburner and a Harley...well...hahahahahahaha

and if it was old completely restored Norton or Indian....well then i'd be in heaven!!!

VVVVROOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!!!

Aug. 29, 2010

hey Grantie ...ur much to young for a Rascal...my dad had one and it was a fancy electric wheel chair??

Aug. 29, 2010

i do like the idea of tearing thru Walmart tho

Aug. 29, 2010

that's VERY interesting about the biking on a sidewalk Burwell..good info and certainly a good option sometimes

Aug. 29, 2010

founder Riding a motorcycle also allows you to park without hassles just about anywhere, imagine not worrying about Parking before you go some place, that's freedom!

very cool...so many possibilities with a motorcycle..and those electric ones do look very cool!!!

Aug. 29, 2010

I would ride a motorcycle off-road. The Rascal has handlebars, nan. But I don't think they go over 5 MPH. That's why we would have to modify it. Maybe drop a two-stroke in it.

Aug. 29, 2010

Ms Grant!!!

Hell yes!!!

Aug. 29, 2010

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