i have had 'get a motorcycle' on my To-Do list for several years, but i only decided to prioritize it about a year ago.
i had always had excuses for not getting a motorcycle, it's expensive, i don't have anywhere to keep it, i don't know what the hell i'm doing, i'm gonna kill myself, etc...
but like with all things, eventually one day you wake up and decide that all the excuses to not do something don't really weigh as much as you thought they did and you decide to just do the thing.
it is important to keep moving forward.
unfortunately, about the time i finally decided to pull the trigger on getting myself a motorcycle i also started up at Law School and Law School takes a buttload of my time.

i was able to get myself a motorcycle license [which was a process in and of itself] during Winter break but then it was back to school before i could find myself a bike to ride.
at the end of Spring semester several weeks ago i made another stab at trying to get myself a motorcycle but i just ended up embarrassing myself in front of some White Trash biker from Craig's List.
things would have been a lot easier if i had the PSE working on the project with me, she could have done all the research and logistical support like she does on almost everything we have ever done, but for reasons i'll write a whole 'nother LiveJournal Journal about [see tomorrow's post] the PSE was boycotting this project and i was all on my own.
which makes things so much harder because i'm not really all that competent about some things.

two Saturdays ago i woke up in the mid-afternoon and drove ten minutes down the highway to a place called Freedom PowerSports that is a motorcycle dealership.
it was in the motorcycle dealership part of town, next to a Harley Davidson dealership and an Indian dealership.
i went into the Indian dealership to see what they had on offer but the guy at the counter said that the cheapest thing they had on the sales floor was $11,000.
i didn't even bother with the Harley Davidson people.
Freedom PowerSports deals in Hondas and Yamahas and whatnot.
there is an old biker saying that i read in a Sonny Barger book fifteen years ago “i'd rather see my sister in a whorehouse then my brother on a Jap bike” but, Jap bikes are cheep and American bikes are not, so, sorry sis...
i'm not saying i would ever consider buying a sport bike. i would still be looking at a cruisers.
i'm not a Yakuza.

i spent ten minutes wandering around Fredom PowerSports looking at bikes, none of which had price-tags, until finally some goon named Jimmy came along to ask me what i wanted.
“show me your cheapest cruiser, please.”
“how much are you looking to spend?” Jimmy asked, trying to get ahead of me.
“just show me your cheapest cruiser” i told him, and Jimmy took me to some room in the back customers don't have access to.
Jimmy showed me a 1998 Honda Shadow American Classic Edition.
it wasn't exactly what i was looking for, it was black and brown instead of just black and it had an exaggerated chrome exhaust [chrome is the bling of motorcycles] but, it was the only thing they had in my price range.
on the plus side, it did come with saddle bags, and the exhaust was standard, it hadn't been modified to be extra loud, which is important.
i am not going to be an asshole on a loud motorcycle.
Jimmy said that the asking price was $3,250. that number, of course, has nothing to do with reality.
i told him to come up with his best offer, expecting him to say something like $2,995 and for me to scoff and walk out the door.
to my surprise Jimmy came back with $2,500.
i had been planing to spend between $1,800 and $2,200 on a motorcycle. this was within striking distance.
i sat there staring at Jimmy for a few minutes caught totally by surprise.
it never really occurred to me that my trip to Freedom PowerSports would bear any fruit.
“holy shit,” i stammered, “yeah, that might could work...”

i decided it would be smart to get the hell out of Freedom PowerSports.
it is never a good idea to be caught by surprise by a major purchase.
i went back to the apartment and had all Memorial Day Weekend to think about the pros and cons of closing the deal.
the cons are that even at $2,500, i would likely be paying way, way, way more then the thing is worth.
by buying from a dealership i am signing up to get fucked over.
the pro is that i would finally be getting myself a motorcycle.
i could cross it off my To-Do list and finally get to go out and have motorcycle fun.
even if this is ultimately a bad deal, sometimes you've just got to say 'fuck it' and see where you land.
i woke up last Tuesday afternoon, went to my credit union and took out $2,500 in cash then drove back to Freedom PowerSports.
i found Jimmy sitting at his desk playing on his phone and told him “okay, let's do some business...”

i told Jimmy that i only brought $2,400 with me and that i still needed to get a bike helmet.
he tried to give me some used purple one he had laying around in the back but i insisted on a new one off the merchandise floor.
my head is somewhere between a medium and a large and that proved to be a problem, but eventually i got myself a nice helmet worth $108.
which meant i would be paying $2,292 for my new motorcycle.
that's not a bad come-down from the original asking price of $3,250 but, of course, Jimmy and Freedom PowerSports would still be coming out way ahead in the end.
Jimmy had me sign some paperwork, i handed over my cash, then they took me to the back where a mechanic showed me where the oil and other fluids go.
then they rolled the motorcycle out the back bay door and left me to it.
i told Jimmy that i wanted somebody to show me how to ride the thing.
i took a motorcycle-licensing class back in December but i was afraid i wouldn't remember what the fuck i was doing and i would end up crashing my new bike into the side of Freedom PowerSports.
to my surprise, though, with nobody looking at me to make me nervous, i was able to get my new motorcycle riding just fine.
i cruised on out of the Freedom PowerSports parking lot like a fucking pro and felt proud of myself all the way down the interstate back to my apartment.
look at me, not killing myself yet!

back at the apartment the PSE was waiting with a shit attitude.
[again, see tomorrow's post]
i called up the people at GEICO and paid them $101 for a year's worth of basic motorcycle collision insurance.
as for the title and registration on my new motorcycle, Freedom PowerSports will be taking care of that. they sent me off with temporary plates and the real ones will be coming in the mail.
then i had to set myself to the task of figuring out the logistics of how the fuck to get the TITSwagon back to my apartment. i had left it in the Freedom PowerSports parking lot, ten miles away.
the PSE made it clear that she was not going to be any help out of spite.
i sent a GroupMe text message to some of my Law School buddies to see if any of them wanted to help me run an errand but none of them volunteered.
and why would they?
i thought about calling an Uber, but i don't actually know how that works.
you have to sign up for Uber, right? it's not just something you can summon without having to register?
these days they want you to register for everything.
ultimately i decided i am too old to figure out how Uber works so i decided to take the city bus.
buses are gross and really confusing to the uninitiated, but fortunately Google Maps gives you step-by-step instructions on how public transportation works, which is awesome.
at 10:21pm i walked to the corner and caught the 10:25 bus.
i asked the bus driver how much the bus costs and how transfers work and she was patient with me.
i rode the bus for a few miles until it was time to get off and take another one.
the other bus was full of colorful characters; a crazy elderly White lady kept trying to start a fight with two Black teenagers.
it could have been obnoxious when i was just trying to read the book i packed, but i was in a real good mood all day having finally accomplished a goal of mine, so nothing was going to bring me down.
after an hour i made it ten miles back to Freedom PowerSports and found the TITSwagon waiting for me.
i assured the old girl that i still loved her and valued her as a mode of transportation and that nothing was going to change, and drove back to the apartment to sit in the misery the PSE had been cooking up.

//[ab irato ad astra]

September 2017

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