About a year and a half ago (on August 29, 2011 to be precise) I drove off the lot at Rawhide Harley Davidson on my brand spanking new 2012 Harley Davidson FLD Switchback motorcycle. I hadn’t actually intended to buy a motorcycle that day. I heard one of their commercials on the radio on the way into work. They claimed having lots and lots of used motorcycles with special interest rates on them. I had been wanting a bike for a long time. I’d looked at several brands and styles. The 5/8 and I made a deal, once I got hired on somewhere full time again (I had been contracting for a few years – nice money but not completely steady income) then I would get a bike. An easy deal for me as I would not want another loan without that steady reliable income that only comes with either a full time permanent job or winning the lotto and taking the annuity option.
So I thought I would take off work a few hours early, drive on down to Rawhide there in Olathe and see what they had. As I said, I’d looked at brands and models over the past year or so. I’d decided the bike for me was the Fatboy. I know I could have got a Yamaha V-Star (very nice looking bikes) for quite a bit less. I could have got a Victory (also an American company). Both of those are nice bikes, however, no matter how nice they are, the aren’t a Harley. Waiting for me when I got to work that Friday was an email from Harley Davidson. I had been on their email list for the last 8 months or so, ever since I made my decision that a yellow Fatboy was the bike for me. The email was promoting an all new model, the Switchback. It has bags and a windshield, however they can be quickly and easily removed (leaving nothing behind that makes the bike look like you’re missing something) to strip the bike down to a more basic street cruiser instead of a kind of Road King, jr.
They had a Switchback on the floor when I got to the dealership. I liked the idea. If I got a Fatboy, I’d have to buy bags and a windshield for the commute to work anyway, and this one had already bags and a windshield which I could easily remove to the weekends. In addition, it was a few grand less expensive than the Fatboy. We ran the numbers on it and I drove it home that day.
Since then I have put more than 25,000 miles on the odometer. That’s quite an achievement when most people put at the top end about 4,000 miles a year on their motorcycles. I ride her most every day. Cold, hot, cool, windy. I got heated gloves for the cold days – and I’m trying to figure out how to keep my helmet’s visor from icing up on days where the mercury drops below 30F.
The bike has been dubbed “Ruby” – thanks to the suggestion by one of my best friends in the entire world. The 5/8 calls it my mistress. I think there truly are some people who are “born to ride”. In addition, I truly believe I am one of those people. No matter the weather, I’d much rather ride than drive. Anywhere. Last summer the 5/8 and I went to the Harley Owners Group rally in Junction City. This year the rally is in Wichita, and we’ll be there. Additionally we’re planning a trip to Fayetteville, Arkansas in September for the Bikes, Blues & BBQ rally. One day, I’d like to take on the Dragon’s Tail in Tennessee (or is it South Carolina, I can’t remember off the top of my head ) and of course spend a week riding the Rockies over in Colorado – but that’s probably a few years out yet – one thing at a time.