Great Expectations

Apr 04, 2012 View Comments by

I just bought a new bike. Well not really “new,” just new to me.

It is a 2000 Harley-Davidson Heritage Springer Softail, with a bazillion miles on it.

At least I “think” I bought it. I remember signing papers three weeks ago and having that sinking feeling that I’d be broke for years to come. I also remember fearing how I was going to break this one to my wife.

Yeah, I remember all that, along with the feeling of “expectation” over when I can take delivery, being able to work the leather cream into those dry bags, and getting out the old tooth brush to shine up the hidden chrome. I could already feel that big twin rumbling through the soles of my feet, yeah baby, I am more than ready!

That was three weeks ago.

As I write this several things have happened, but one has not. The “has not” is the delivery of my bike. It flunked the pre-inspection, seems it needs a front brake cable, and a clutch cable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy the dealer spotted these shortcomings, and is going to fix them. It’s just that it’s driving me nuts waiting! My buds have been needling me to go riding. They will even give me a ride to pick-up the bike – whenever.

Within the span of three weeks I have run the gambit of feelings, from happy expectation, to panicked anticipation, then frustration, to my current – I could care less. That’s right, as of now, I would gladly cancel the order and go out and buy another bike, from a different dealer and manufacturer. All it needs to be is “ready to ride.” At this point, I don’t care if it’s yellow and pink with blue fringe!

In fairness, it’s not the dealer’s fault, if anyone is to blame, it’s the system that downsized itself from a local company owned distribution site, to a sub-contracted distributor located out of state. These people “distribute” for numerous manufacturers, so there’s no hierarchy other than bulk efficiency. In other words, my cables are waiting in a basket for other parts to fill-in for a larger (cheaper) shipment.

In the mean (that’s the way I want to spell it) time, I have lost my karma. Or have I?

It occurs to me that this condition has hit me before, and is at the root of why I have owned over 100 cars in my driving lifetime. It’s not the dealer’s fault, nor the distributors; it’s not even the weather, which dropped from the 80’s to the 40’s! It’s…Me.

I never evolved very far from the cave entrance. I am still a “hunter gatherer,” I’m not concerned about the acquisition of the saber-toothed V-twin. I don’t even care about the skinning out and roasting of its hindquarters. For me it’s only about one thing: The Hunt.

It’s the tracking down, finding, and the kill. Everything else is anti-climatic; I am so shallow, and too old to change. I’ll give them one more day, maybe two. Ride on.



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About the author

A Wisconsin farm boy, I learned how to ride a cow, before a horse and way before a motorcycle. I first started riding on my 16th birthday and I took my first real ride at my party: I pulled a wheelie and dug a trench in the lawn, which sent the bike in one direction and me in another. I was irrevocably hooked!