You always think it’s the other guy who’s posing. The one with full racing leathers, wildly colored helmet on a superbike. Or the doo-ragged, gloveless, helmetless, bluejeaned cruiser. It’s easy to judge, dismiss, and point out triumphs of corporate marketing over good sense. Especially when it’s in someone else. Especially from the higher levels of the judgment seat. A glimpse in the mirror though can be troubling. For me at least.
I’ve passed the large granite eagle at a small monument company dozens of times before finally stopping to make a picture – wondering who would actually put this thing over their grave. It’s six feet tall and pretty sinister as it gazes down over the world. While maneuvering around with the camera a Harley rumbles up to the traffic light. He sits stoically looking straight ahead as if nothing in the world concerns him. The rider has on black cowboy boots, jeans, short black leather jacket, no gloves, no helmet, and a pair of cool black sunglasses. Normally I would not have given it a thought but on this morning it was 41 degrees F. Call me a sissy scooter rider but that’s cold when you’re riding.
While I’m thinking about Gerbing electric gloves this gentleman is gloveless. Behind him is a similarly clad female though she does have on a half helmet. She is shivering and struggling to merge her body into his in an attempt to stay warm and out of the wind. Her bare hands clutched around his chest must be cold. She is stylish though. I bet she talks to him later about a windshield. As I climbed up to a higher level of the judgment seat they rumbled off down the road.
The eagle and the gloveless rider started the wheels turning and as so often happens things end up pointing towards me. Looking down at my Vespa I wondered what sort of insensible posing I might be up to. I do try to sit up straight while riding. Wait, that’s posture.
When I first started riding I chose the brightest colored armored jacket in the shop when I bought the Vespa. I didn’t care what it looked like other than bright and armored. Pure function. There are more visible jackets available. HI-Viz with lots of reflective stripes. I still buy yellow and black jackets though. I think I have a style that’s competing with function. I may have assumed another posture.
And then there is riding. Things can get blurry between riding for riding’s sake and riding for blogging’s sake. There’s an audience watching now. Perhaps the best thing for me to do now is climb down from the lofty seat and pay attention to myself. There's no need to judge other people's choices. My own backyard might need some weeding.