Just follow a few rules to be uber cool.
I’d just bought my first motorcycle and was riding it home, exhilarated. Ever since catching the “two-wheeled fever” riding around on my dad’s dirt bike, I’d dreamt of owning a sport bike. When I found her, it was love at first sight: a 1984 Honda Interceptor, with 750 cc’s of growly, four-cylinder power. After the test drive and trying to play it cool with the salesman (who could read my adolescent infatuation like a book), I paid the bill and rode her away.
That’s how I found myself flying down the highway on a perfect afternoon in June with the engine barely cracking a sweat at 6,000 rpm. Words couldn’t express my glee. In fact, I was so caught up in my own unbridled excitement that I was completely surprised when I saw it for the first time.
Anyone who rides will know exactly what I’m talking about, but as a 21-year-old nerd who’d never ridden (legally) on pavement, I was clueless. Nonetheless, four minutes down the road I passed another guy on a motorcycle. He was on a big Harley-Davidson. Skull cap helmet, black sunglasses, leather chaps, riding vest, permanent scowl framed by a handlebar mustache. You know, the kind of guy you’d expect at a sketchy roadside bar shooting pool. But as we passed, he dropped his left hand from the high handlebars it was resting on and casually extended a couple fingers my way before carrying on his way.
“Wait, what the heck? Did he just wave at me?”
Startled, I craned my neck as he flew by and reflexively waved back, but he was long gone. I had no idea why someone like that would wave to me. Did I know him from somewhere? How would he even recognize me with a helmet on?
The Secret Society
Little did I know that, upon purchasing my first motorbike, I’d unwittingly joined a secret club. Our machines were worlds apart — his was a low-riding, outrageously loud, black and chrome monster, while mine was an ancient red and blue crotch rocket with a goofy-looking square headlight — but our souls were equally driven by premium gasoline, chain grease, and the wind howling by.
Two minutes farther down the road, it happened again. This time it was an old-timer on a huge Honda Goldwing. Hard-case saddlebags, fluorescent riding gear, and a bulky helmet with a microphone for talking to the similarly clad passenger behind him. Same as the Harley guy, he dropped a hand…