I find the etiquette of bike week very difficult to manage. Even though my motorcycle with all it's luggage impedimenta looks as though it has arrived from far away, I am in fact commuting from Mile Marker 27 when I get caught in the ebb and flow of Bike Week on the Overseas Highway.
These motorcycles all look the same because they are the same, the American Spirit enjoying a prolonged weekend of mild debauchery...
...beer and no stakes contests on Duval Street, in the land of perpetual summer and low stress motorcycling.
The views are lovely but Flatistan does not challenge a rider with curves in quick succession or hills or complex map reading skills.
This is novice riding heaven, straight lines, low speed limits and perpetually warm weather. And they come in droves this weekend, to get tiddly on light beer and instant fleeting friendship.
Me? I am stuck in my own awkward world of trying to fit in, not to pass clumps of pirates even when know I can because I don't want to seem rude by apparently challenging the nice, monied visitors.
I behave by riding at the back of a long meandering line of slow moving orange and black clothing and underdressed women perched like dead fish trophies high on the hogs.
I ride a motorcycle therefore those that know me assume this is my weekend, not the Conch Blowing Festival, the Beer Festival or the Taste of Key West Festival, or Writers Week or the Lobster Festival or Lesbian Week or the Seafood Festival. No; bike week is when I revel in the company of like minded riders. Moi? Hardly.
I ride because I enjoy it and I enjoy it mostly alone. When Chuck gets back from Asia we will ride somewhere I am sure and if Riepe gets his life back perhaps him too next year. If not it will continue to be my lonely pleasure.
Not that I have anything against everyone expressing their individuality en masse, but it just isn't for me. I am not an individual, I am a misanthrope and I ride my own well muffled ride.
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