Jan 2, 2016

Running True to the Stereotype

I’m currently reading League of Denial, Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru’s terrific book about the NFL’s cover-up of decades of knowledge about the permanent damage caused by repeated head injuries and concussions. You’d think that there would be no motorcycle-related content in this reading material, but you’d also be in denial if that was your wild hope. Motorcycle racers suffer concussions on a regular basis. Hell, I was a hobby racer who rarely practiced more than once or twice a week and raced once a month and I was knocked out cold at least a half-dozen times in my short and unsuccessful racing “career.”

However, the real motivation for this rant is picking on the dementia that inspires people to buy overpriced, oversized, insanely useless cruisers. When the authors of League of Denial are demonstrating how quickly Iron Mike Webster’s mental capabilities disintegrated after he retired from the Pittsburg Steelers, one clear sign of his dementia was that “he bought a speedboat and a pair of Harley Softail Fat Boy motorcycles, toys for his retirement.” Where did the money come from? Webster “stopped paying taxes, and drained three annuities that had been setup for their retirement and the kids’ college fund.” Sound familiar? Remember good old H-D begging for $2.3B in federal bailout money when their credit division went bust in 2007?

So, kiddies, the first sign that ole’ Dad is going senile is he starts shopping for a Harley (or an Indian, Honda Valkerie, Victory, or some other hippobike). Once an old person gets a craving for a cruiser, the end is near, the brain is dying, and the old person needs to be isolated from credit cards, checking accounts, and Amazon.com.

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