A special moron vote. Gypsy cyclists. Bush and the worst. Obama as Pobedonostsev. Plus more.
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I enjoyed your piece on motorcycling, and would like to make a few comments or observations.
Back in the late '40s and early '50s, I, too, was one of the cult of the 2-wheelers. Only I didn’t ride “Milwaukee Iron,” I proudly rode “an imported machine!” First a Belgian Sarolea,and then a British BSA.
Our machines were more functional,smaller, lighter, and simpler than the Americans, with very little emphasis on ostentation.
I made the annual pilgrimage to Laconia at least twice, once with the “gang” and once with my new wife. I believe it was called “The Gypsy Tour” in those days, a term which, in retrospect, was probably well chosen.
Even in those days it was a noisy, confusing, and gaudy affair, with all sorts of add-on chromed accessories or doodads.
But the fraternity of the cyclists was amazing and inspiring. It seemed not to matter how they might appear, if you were a cyclist and had pulled over to the side of the road for no apparent reason, the next cyclist to come by would invariably offer help.
Coming back from some such affair with my girlfriend riding behind me, my clutch cable broke. The next cyclist to come by, after ascertaining that I could handle the clutching without the additional load of my girlfriend, graciously offered to drive her home on the back of his machine, all the while remaining with me to be certain I, too, reached my destination.
I also have to admit that everyone I knew that had been riding a motorcycle for a year or more had experienced a painful accident at one time of another. Thankfully, most of them were not life threatening nor lifestyle changing.
I had my introduction to the school of hard knocks when my girlfriend and I hit a car trying to make it through a yellow light. She suffered a concussion and a broken finger, while I just got badly bruised. But I never forgot the sight of the streetlight seen between my legs as I flew through the air.
I do not agree, however, that a motorcycle is hard to ride. Indeed, my experience suggests that it is even easier to operate than is a bicycle. Granted, however, that to learn to ride well does take more time, given the motorcycle’s greater mass, potential for speed, and probable wider use.
When we rode (in the greater Boston area) we looked for the “open road” which was more often found in middle Massachusetts than near Boston. Riding a motorcycle on a road full of cars is not fun. What was fun was riding on the occasional byway or dirt road that provided exploration, rather than exhilaration.
Looking back, I enjoyed those days. I learned that motorcycling
is a sport: not transportation. But it was FUN!
— John Juechter
East Greenwich, Rhode Island
CUTTING COST CORNERS
Re: Eric Peters’ Obama Nails the Coffin Shut:
Could you please ask Mr. Peters to write on what cost avoidance schemes this will generate among consumers?
For example, Germany imposes large duties on American-made motorcycles. Every few years, the U.S. Armed Forces in Germany uncover a group of military personnel/civilian employees buying (through AAFES) Harley-Davidson motorcycles which they illegally resell to German nationals. Before this recent announcement, I anticipated a similar problem would occur in California because that state raised its emission standards unilaterally. Nevadans and Oregonists would purchase cars, smuggle them across state lines, and resell them as used vehicles to Californians.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?