Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Defying Expectations

My whole life I've defied expectations. People make assumptions about me based on external appearances but their assumptions are wrong. It happened again today, in a different direction than usual.

Every motorcyclist will tell you we get approached by strangers in public. The encounters are usually pleasant and fall into two categories. Most common are older men who compliment your bike and tell you they rode in their youth. Their story usually ends with "...then I got married and my wife said I couldn't ride any more." These guys are wistful and sad.

The second group of strangers, frequently older women, want to scold you. They tell you that their neighbor's brother's kid got killed on a motorcycle and imply that such is your fate. Explaining the satisfying joy of motorcycle-riding to these people is a futile endeavor.

So I'm out on The Jolly Roger today, my fiery red sportbike. I pull into a parking lot and notice a kid in his twenties mesmerized by my bike. He gawks at my expensive gear and can't take his eyes off me. When I remove my helmet, he really wigs out. From ten feet away, he yells "Dude! You're old!"

I wasn't sure what he meant by that so I didn't react. He quickly turns apologetic and tries to explain himself. "I mean, that bike's got balls! I never expected you to be riding it." Okay, so it was seeing my grey hair that shocked him. He didn't expect to see a geezer like me piloting a motorcycle this sporty. I smiled and said, "You're only old when you choose to be old."

If I wanted to further surprise the kid, I could have told him I'm really a girl. But that would have caused his head to explode and I didn't want to clean pieces of his brain off the bike.


  1. Ha ha! What a story! Talk about a back handed compliment.

    Tis true that you're only old when you choose to be old. Let's hope neither of us choose that anytime soon.


  2. Haha, I'm sure you gave that kid a surprise- now he knows there's no age limit to being cool! ;)

    Le Stylo Rouge

  3. I love this story. Just goes to show how much of a badass you are!

  4. My stock phrase about certain things is "If I have to explain it...I can't.".

    Years ago I did some work for Porsche Cars, NA and jumped at the chance to pick up a red 1986, 944 for a song. Low mileage...great deal. My wife drove it about 1 of the over 100K miles I put on the car before it ended up being traded in for a mom mobile SUV. She said that she just did not understand the lure of the car, slung low, hard ride, no room for luggage, etc. I simply said "If I have to explain it...I can't".
    My older son is a car and speed enthusiast. A partner of mine was ordered by his wife to get rid of one of his four bikes and he offered my son his old Yamaha FJ 1100 rice burner. My wife would never have approved so we had to go to great lengths to get the bike towed to his place upstate. He kept the secret for several years until a neighbor mentioned to my wife that she saw a photo of my son with his hot red motorcycle on Facebook. Busted. He no longer has the FJ 1100 but has a new Kawasaki rice burner. He told me that he has had both bikes over 150 mph on straights.

    About 6 years ago I came across another Porsche deal for a 1992 Porsche 968 with only 11K miles on it. It was in primo condition but the owner had been a single guy who died with lots of toys and his mother was just looking to dispose of his toys. I kept the car for a few years and on his 30th birthday gave the 968 to that son. He has entered it in car shows and has the trophies to prove it.

    By the way, when it comes to explaining my being a cross dresser I use the same phrase..."If I have to explain it...I can't".


    1. Great stories! And how nice of you to give the Porsche to your son. My dad isn't that generous. :-)

    2. That son is the right person to own a classic car. He has always been a huge car enthusiast as well as a closet biker. When he graduated from college we asked him what he wanted as a graduation gift. He said he had his eye on the 264 piece took kit at Sears. He does all of his own maintenance and is very handy with tools.

  5. The other day my husband was told "every time you open your mouth you blow my mind!" I can't think of a better compliment.
    You are a walking talking exploring vibrant cool is that!
    Glad you didn't have to clean brain pieces off your beautiful bike.
    Xo Jazzy Jack

  6. Haha !! I love the idea of the unexpected !!! The reply you gave him was full of wisdom. Sometimes when people stop and say things based on what they suppose they know I cannot but laugh a little and think "if they only knew.. "

  7. Lol! Well my mom ripped open her arm in motorcycle wreck leaving her with a pretty rough keloid scar. However it never stopped her from driving anything she got her hands on.

    It does take balls to be on such a vehicle.

  8. Hilarious and it always slays me that young people don't seem to recognize that most of the time we can only afford those extravagant indulgences like Motorcycles with balls {I Love that quote...} once we aren't so Young anymore. You should have told him you're a Girl, watching his head explode from not being able to handle all the shock would have been even more hilarious! Dawn... The Bohemian


    that's hilarious. I can only imagine how shocked he would have been if you had continued to explain yourself. but you didn't need to. In fact, I think that was the best possible reaction and thing to say to a kid clearly losing your mind over the fact that you were riding the thing. Age ain't nothing but a number, as they say :)


  10. I love it :) And kids don't realize (certainly I didn't realize when I was a kid) that inside every old, older, and real old person is the same person they were when they were younger. Ah well, let's hope that kid you encountered lives long enough to learn that fact :)

  11. I would NEVER think of telling my hunny he can't ride his bikes ... they give him such joy.

    Soooooo glad you didn't have to clean up any brain pieces!!!