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Motorcycles, Life & Furniture by Capt. Crash

Ever sit on a bad couch? I mean one of those “HOLY CRAP! THIS IS LIKE A PROSTATE EXAM GONE BAD!” couches? And the owner looks at you and says “Don’t you just love it? I looooove that couch!”

LIAR! Or maybe they were some kind of masochistic freak. Or maybe they’re looking for something different in their couch than you are. It’s hard to tell. I like my couch medium firm. Leather is nice because it warms up to your body temp and helps you fall asleep. Yes, I like to sleep on the couch. The couch is my friend, my ally, my mistress. I go to the couch to relax to slip into a favorite place and be comfortable. Couches should be stain resistant so I can spill on them. I’m 6ft tall so loveseats are out, a couch needs to be long enough for me to lay out full length.

Couches should be able to double as beds BUT NEVER BE A BED. “Hide-a-beds” are really “wreck-a-couches”. You can’t settle into a couch that has a full size bed wadded up inside it; it’s like trying to stick a hamburger patty in the middle of cherry Danish and call it a “hide-a-burger” IT’S EITHER ONE OR THE OTHER!

Not that I’ve got anything against multitasking…

Here’s where motorcycles and couches cross at the corner of ‘what is it’ and ‘what does it do?’ streets. Right now I ride a SuperMotard or SuperMoto which is kind of a dirtbike with streetbike wheels. (Go Google it, that’ll make my life easier). When people ask me to explain it I often say things like “it’s slow in the fast stuff, and fast in the slow stuff” or “it’s the slappy good fun—I just smile when I ride it”. It won’t go more that 100mph, and the seat is a torture device but I LOOOOVE it.

It’s a vehicle that is just plain fun to ride.

When I ride it, it’s mentally comfortable, I can get to that place where life and riding become hand in glove, things just happen the way I want them too. My bike is my couch, it feels right, it goes where I want to go and does what I want it to do.

Choosing furniture and choosing bikes have a lot in common! When I started to think about moving from sportbikes to motards I was very careful about what I was doing. I was literally redecorating my riding family room. The couch is the central fixture of a good family room. A wrong couch can devastate a room, absolutely ruining the aesthetics of the place; the function--the livability--can be destroyed. It took me a long time to make the move to buy a ‘Tard and once I did, I hung on to my GSXR just in case. The poor Gixxer sat in the garage so long the battery went flat. Selling it wasn’t easy, it was like getting rid of that perfect couch; even if you found a new perfect, it’s hard to let go of the old.

If we’re working the couch metaphor lets explore a couple of other areas it’s very applicable. Here’s one: who ya gonna let sit on your couch? Think about it. Who would you invite over for pizza and red Hawaiian Punch (the kind that really stains)? 10 year olds? Near your puuuuuurfect couch? With a permanent stain in a cup waiting to happen? What about some nice hoity-toity wine tasters? With good red wines. You know, nerds with attitude and little money to back it up; the kind that make grand sweeeeeping gestures with a glass full of merlot? You got the right bike for you, do you have the right people to share it with?

Choosing riding companions is a tough business. Not so tough to start, come on, I’m NOT inviting the Harper Valley Pre-School Artists Club into my family room, those fingerpainting nut jobs aren’t getting anywhere near my couch. I sleep on that couch, I don’t want it smelling like preschoolers, urine and paste. My couch is special and I don’t want anyone ‘special’ doing anything ‘special’ on my baby. Initially sorting out the preschool set makes things easier. In fact, no teens either. And college students, they’re out too. Sloppy people—no sloppy people; OR mechanics start from work. Or butchers, unless they clean up first; don’t come from the killing floor straight to my house. I don’t have anything against butchers or mechanics; I’m just anti-dirt-on-my-couch.

We can go on! I don’t want painters right after work. Or weightlifters after a work out. No sweaty football OR basketball players. New rule: everybody who sits on my couch or gets near it will be freshly bathed, carefully coiffed and NOT have body odor.

I’m not picky though.

Or am I? Should I be? I mean really? If you’re gonna ride your motorcycle, your baby, your place of comfort and peace, shouldn’t you be careful who you let near it (and you)?

Let us use a dirty word: discrimination. Take a deep breath. Let me show you a positive usage of this word: I am discriminating in my choice of riding companions.

Meaning I am: discerning, selective, judicious, astute, & tasteful in my choice of riding companions.

For me a riding companion should:

1. Have the same goals I have for the ride. Enjoyment, safety, exhilaration, & camaraderie. A ride with another person is a social event, not a competition or exhibition.
2. Be willing to allow for my mistakes and strengths. I should be able to go as slow or as fast as I want and not be ridiculed for it.
3. Be willing to bail out. No, not crash but willing to say “Hey, you know what? This ain’t working for me, head on without me. I’ll catch you some other time.” The ability to recognize you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person and be willing to rectify it is woefully missing in America today.
4. Still be a friend after the ride. (See above)

Bottom line? Be discriminating. Choose your ride and your riding companions carefully. Choose your couches carefully. Nothings worse than being saddled with the wrong couch, it’s embarrassing, costly, and difficult to fix. AND remember, we all look for different things in our couches but that doesn’t mean we don’t love them. I sat on this Swedish thing once that I think doubled as a torture device in the middle ages. Hated it. The owner loved it. Everybody at the party loved it.

I didn’t start a fight about how wretched the damn thing was. I just stood. It’s not MY couch, I got nothing invested in it, I don’t HAVE to sit in it. See, getting along isn’t hard, start by being discriminating in what you buy and where you sit. If you see a couch you don’t like? Be discriminating in what you say.

Standing isn’t hard. Biting your tongue is.

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9,331 Posts
ONce again, great read CaptCrash. And yes I too think you should submit it to some of the mags, it really is that good of an article. You're dead on about riding buddys too. I'm a little older and slower and may not always feel comfortable pushing in areas where others do......but I'm lucky enough to have a few good riding buddys that understand that and take me along anyways. I almost pissed myself when I got to the part about the hamburger in the cherry danish bit....:rofl:

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363 Posts
Way to much couch information for me. You must spend way to much time there. I like the part about who your riding with but the couch analogy makes no sense to me personally.

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204 Posts
Good stuff! Good writing. I've only done 2 group rides, one with a friend, and one with a group. Its almost as hard as finding a wife!

Also, you can't just keep trying to make it work, i've tried that, ignored the fact they irritate me and just settle for a riding partner.... doesn't work. Need to be at least "get along together and have a good time" friends, cause you aren't riding 100% of the day.
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