So I finally decided that the Harley Sportster was my bike.
You know how, sometimes, you just know these things? Two weeks ago, I dragged Larry to the Harley dealership in Durham. I had planned to stop in and see a friend who was working there, maybe get these boots I had seen in Long Island. And, you know, while we were there, we sat on a couple of bikes. I threw my leg over this Sportster Extra Low, and was immediately like, yep, this is my bike. It's short enough, it's got a low center of gravity, it's heavy enough that it can accommodate even my weight without shifting said center of gravity up too high to be stable. It was comfortable. The pegs were in the right place. And there was something ineffable...
But no, no. That was way out of my price range! I couldn't afford it. Maybe for my second bike. Moving on.
And then last weekend we went to the other Harley dealership in town to look at their used bikes. Frankly, we went to look at a Yamaha (they have a bunch of pre-owned bikes that they've taken in trade). And lo and behold, they had a used Sportster. Which, that one felt a little high, but the salesman assured me the seat could be lowered a little more. And it had clearly been dropped, but Larry and Garth assured me it was cosmetic damage. And it was only a little out of my price range. But still...
So THEN. Wednesday. I have minimal work commitments, so on my way out to State Hospital, I drift by the first Harley dealership. And, you know, ask what they've got. And we're looking at this one that was priced roughly the same as the first one I'd sat on and he says, "You know, I've got a 1990 Sportster in the warehouse. Why don't you come on back?" So he started it up and let me out on the range and I rode gleefully in circles for five or ten minutes. And the price? Was right. But it was a 20 year old bike...
What do I do?, I asked my boys. Larry said, not an obvious mistake. Garth said, you can do better.
Truthfully? I think they were both right.
And ultimately, Garth prevailed, but only because he did better. He found this bike online, which was a consignment sale through a local independent dealership. It was a 2007 Sportster 883 Low. The price was crazy. And it had - are you ready for this? - 57 miles on it. 57! It's basically a new bike. With engine guards! And street pegs! And standard controls! And stock pipes! And...well, it's black, which I'm not thrilled about, but I'll just have to get a fuchsia jacket or something.
And today? It's all mine.
Garth and I went to check it out. They didn't let us test ride it, which I wasn't thrilled about, but, again, basically a new bike. We fiddled, we looked, we sat, we proverbially kicked the tires. I looked piteously at Garth. He said, you aren't going to find a better deal. I looked piteously at the bike. And I took a deep breath, and said, "I'll take it." And I did.
Isn't she pretty? I've decided it's a she, because apparently the Sportster is a "chick bike." Which, that's fine. I'm a biker chick.
Garth drove it home for me, because I've still never gone above 20 mph. We stopped by Jen and Bill's, and showed it off to them. And then, Garth being the good, good man that he is, we went over to the local high school parking lot, where I rode in circles for a solid hour while Garth froze his ass off watching me (it was not warm today). It was blissful. I didn't hit anything. I didn't drop the bike once. I just rode. And I love the bike. It handles well, the clutch is good, it's not too loud.
It's my bike.
And this whole process has been great for recognizing (again) what an awesome bunch of people I've landed with. Garth, Larry, Bill, Jen - all have been infinitely patient, tolerated my neurosis, soothed my anxieties, and have been amazingly supportive. As they are, to me, in most things. Thanks guys.