Sons of unmanageability
The Facebook page for Wisconsin Motorcycle Riders is replete this day after Memorial Day (05-26-2020) with photos of motorcycles in sunshine and smiling riders. You can see their smiles because none are wearing COVID-19 face masks.
“Beautiful Saturday out and about in central Wisconsin.”
“It was a rustic road kind of day”
“There was an older gentlemen on a Honda Goldwing … helped me today when I tipped over in a pot hole at Crab ‘n Jacks right after the reservation on 55. Would like to thank him.”
Big pig roast Saturday at the Dirty Hoe bar & grill outside of Burlington. Knucklehead’s in Eagle WI was full up, judging by the motorcycles pictured outside. A band called Crazy Frog provided the musical entertainment at the Vietnam War-themed Bunker in Waterford on Memorial Day. Poopy’s was open in Savanna, Illinois a few miles south of Galena. “Despite governor’s orders.” Held their fifth annual car show Memorial Day. This uneasy rider has ridden to the three last-named places.
They’re called ‘brain buckets’
The motorcycle world is not without controversy, however. Two posts showed “brothers” lying in hospital beds with more bruises and abrasions than the Bayonne Bleeder. Both were pitches for wearing a motorcycle helmet. Both posts got furious blowback from riders indignant that they were being told what to do.
If they won’t wear helmets, they sure as hell aren’t wearing COVID-19 face masks.
Part of the calculus of motorcycling is accepting the trade-off between living life to the fullest or the heightened possibility that you will operate your wheel chair with your tongue. NHTSA reports that motorcyclists have a risk of a fatal accident that is 29 times higher than automobile drivers. Only 20 states require all riders to wear helmets. (Wisconsin requires only riders under age 18 to do so. We do remember the protests against mandatory helmet laws at the Capitol in the late 1970s.) Nationally, one- third of motorcycles let their freak flags fly in the wind.
(The Squire, on the other hand, has gone from a half-helmet to a full-face job. He wants to protect the intellectual property. Who else will hound Comrade Nichols to his grave! Second reason: Better to hear my tunes through the in-helmet bluetooth speakers.)
A recipe for rebellion
Harley Davidson, in particular, cultivated the weekend outlaw image for affluent (their machines are NOT cheap!) accountants and retired state employees. A satire website alleges the Milwaukee manufacturer is offering counseling to riders who thinking they’re in the Sons of Anarchy.
When we crossed over into Canada a few years back, our delegation had to wear helmets. Also made sure to leave our firearms at home. Canada is not the United States of America, for sure.
So you got three ingredients going here:
1) Motorcyclists are risk takers, a bit rebellious and somewhat cantankerous. (We’re just so … unmanageable!)
2) Suddenly, it is summer. Temperatures this just concluded Memorial Day weekend in the 80s. and
3) Some of us are just tired of cowering. We’re ready to do our part for herd immunity.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: You can thank us later.