The Wing Thing
XXXXXXXXX I ride a Gold Wing. There. I said it. Now I know how gays feel coming out of the closet. At thirty years or so I said to the Little Woman, “If I ever buy a Gold Wing, kill me.” It’s just such an old man’s bike. So I guess I’m admitting it. No, I’m not I’m not I’m not! I ride dirt bikes, crotch rockets, land speed bikes, and I am NOT OLD! Fifty is the new thirty. So how do I explain the Wing thing?
Here’s how it started. My friend Ofer invited me to go to Sturgis with him and a bunch of buddies. That sounded like fun. Except the only street bike I had was my R-6 sport bike. Not a distance bike. “Buy a couch!” he said. Huh? “Yeah. Get an old Gold Wing. Ride it up there, bring it home and sell it. It’s cheaper than renting one. And they ‘re comfortable.” This from a guy that’s ridden a hardtail up to Sturgis.
So I found this old ’97. 42 thousand miles. And here’s the kicker;
The Little Woman loved it. Because it had a big, comfortable rear seat. We could ride for hours. With Ofer leading the pack, we did. 750 miles one day. Thank God we’re riding the bus!
It really is a tour bus. The thing is huge, the poster child for American indulgence. I’ve seen five people on a 100CC Honda in Haiti. This is the other extreme. And actually, I’ve dropped it three times at below two miles an hour. And here’s the bad part. I need help to lift it. It’s a two man job. Not even a man and the Little Woman. The bike just screams Old Man.
Oh, yeah. The windshield. We rode through rainstorms, and with enough rain (I mean a LOT of rain!) and slower speeds I could see better than anyone. Also, the shield and the fairing keep me out of the wind, which beat you down after hours of pummeling.
Cruise control. Yes, it does. My shoulders are jacked from so many trips over the bars on my dirt bikes. What utter joy to be able to remove my right hand and give that shoulder a break. And it’s another reason one can ride so long without paralysis setting in.
The trunk. I can stash all kinds of junk in it, even two helmets. If we’re riding for two weeks, believe me, storage is nice.
The radio. Nice for commuting. Purtneer 40 miles per gallon and listening to tunes, what better way to get to and from the sweat shop?
The turn signals automatically cancel. So I’m not riding an Old Man’s bike, looking like an Old Man.
Being a ’97, it has a cassette player. Ask your dad. Okay, ask your grandfather. Got any old cassettes? Send them.
And wonder of wonders, the thing handles well. I lean that thing over, and it sweeps through turns. It’s no sport bike, but handles turns efficiently.
A vanity mirror in the trunk. How thoughtful.
So there. I ride a tank. A quiet, smooth, dependable, and yes, fun, tank. Like an old man.
I’m not I’m not I’m not!