Riding off into the sunset, biker style
Autumn is that time of year when you can decompress from a busy summer and take a break before you engage in the start of an even busier frantic winter.
We understand, as year-round residents in a resort, that many visitors are stressed out when they arrive. It’s all the planning, driving and hoping for the right weather. The thought of being in a motel with six kids is enough for you go out and do something impulsive, like join the Peace Corps at the next light.
Scientists tell us if you are from New Jersey, you are stressed over taxes. If you are from Washington, you are stressed out over your job. And if you are from Pennsylvania, you are stressed out over the last two minutes of any Eagles football game.
And by the time you are through with us, the whole peninsula is berserk. Nerves are stretched so taut, even the blink of an eyelid can sound like tin cans banging together.
Nowhere was this need to decompress more evident than when I pulled up to a stoplight the other day. They were to the left of me. They were to the right of me. With the roar of their engines reaching the decibel level of a fishmonger calling out an order of calamari, they waited patiently for the light to change. They never made eye contact. They don’t have to, for they have what is called instant respect. OK, maybe it is fear.
Yes, you probably saw them too. Motorcycles! Last week, on a beautiful sun-kissed weekend, you couldn’t help but notice the groupings and think that this is the ultimate stress buster.
There is something about motorcycles that makes you envious, as your bank-owned vehicle idles pathetically beside them. The best it can do when the light changes is to cough and go forward hopping like a bunny rabbit.
No, motorcycles conjure up images of being free, just you and that open road, the wind whipping through your hair and no worries. No hybrids for these guys.
In this age of technology, it’s nice to know you can be out there without being a slave to every piece of equipment beginning with the letter “i.” These guys don’t worry about messages telling them if they would like to make a call, hang up and dial again. Their reputation is such that telemarketers don’t even call, for fear they will be beaten up over the phone.
Who can forget Marlon Brando and his gang of hair gelled, rolled-up-dungaree-styling 15-year-olds taking over the town soda shop?
Revving the engine next to you is a big hulking rider, with his black leather jacket, alien-looking helmet and leather boots. There is always some babe perched behind, with a bandana and matching leather jacket. Look again. Mom???
That’s right. What we used to daydream about the call of the wild today isn’t limited to motorcycle gangs anymore. Former riders have grown up or at least conquered their midlife crises. You can image that CPA who one day throws down his pen, looks at the row of figures in red ink and says to himself, I think I want to get a Harley!
And that lawyer who looks across the table at the two bickering clients in divorce court and says to himself, it might be cool to just go out in the desert and find a biker gang.
Sure, you can decompress with weekend excursions to see the fall foliage. But how exciting can it be when you can’t even spell the names of leaves turning color?
And you can be sure that the wind doesn’t whistle the same on a bald head, and you might need a stepladder to climb on because of all your replacement parts, but it also might be time to answer that call of the wild. It’s the autumn of you.