I’m no longer the proud owner of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It’s been two days since I sold my bike. And, I’m still a bit sad. There’s a bit of a hole in my identity, just as there is in the garage where the giant bike sat for the last four years.
I had wanted a Harley since I was five. I had one. Now…I don’t. But, having that Harley in my garage was a bit like having a German Shepherd in a small apartment – such animals need open spaces, they need to get out and run. I know my bike is in a better place and that makes me feel better.
As much as the bike was a reminder of what I could do, it was also a reminder of what I wasn’t doing. With each sunny day, I’d see scores of dudes out on their bikes. I merely knew that I could also be doing that, and would feel bad that I wasn’t. There’s really no good reason why I wasn’t riding more often. That, of course, only made me feel worse.
I’ve known for the better part of a year (maybe two) that I needed to sell the bike. I wasn’t riding it enough and it was losing value with every passing month – not to mention the fact that I was making payments on it with each of those passing months. But each time I came close to posting it for sale, I’d take a short ride and that made selling it more difficult, or even impossible. And, when K-Man started asking if he could sit on it, I was able to justify the bike’s presence in the garage for him…not me.
All the while, however, I knew it was time. I received a number of offers for the bike before the final buyer. My favorite was the guy who suggested that he trade his 2001 pickup truck and $14,000 worth of construction tools for the bike. Ummmm…as tempting as that was, I had to pass. I did, however, tell him that if he sold his truck and tools that maybe we could talk.
I was thrilled when the buyer arrived at my house. From his first email, I knew he was a good guy. Better than that, though, he fit the part. Lots of tattoos, jeans, tennis shoes and a hoody sweathshirt. He would ride while wearing a half-helmet and goggles. He was younger than I am, but bigger. He was sporting the goatee and had a raspy voice that just screamed Harley. I like that. In a way, he was an image of myself that I always kind of wanted, but knew I could never truly pull off. I’ve always wanted a tattoo (or two), but didn’t want to be a total poseur, which is how I would have felt. This guy, though, was the real deal. I liked that. My bike went to the right kind of owner.
Frankly, I get a great deal of pride out of the fact that such a guy would want my bike. Sure, he bought the bike for an absolutely smoking deal, but that’s not the point. He wanted my bike because he said, “This thing is badass. You did a great job with the extras.” Damn straight I did. The Howitzer endcaps on the pipes that look like the fins on an old Cadillac are a touch I haven’t seen on many other bikes. And, yes…they are freaking badass. But, alas, they aren’t mine anymore.
Besides, before I had that bike, I had the dog named Harley. At the time, I figured, I’d never have a real one – so, he was my insurance that I’d “have one.” He’s still around. In the end, I’d rather have him than the bike, anyway.
It’s a shame that the longest ride the bike ever had was the one that took it away from me, but at least I won’t have to see it on the road on weekends.
But, I’ll always be able to say that I owned a Harley-Davidson. I lived that dream. I rode it (though not enough) for four years. Nobody will ever take that away from me.