The Journey

Crazy things I do: Play dress up

Even the embodiment of evil knows
it’s important to wear a helmet.
Apparently, I should never have been accepted into the motorcycle-theme Google+ community of which I am a member, since I am not yet a motorcycle rider. I don’t own a bike; I have never owned a bike. But I desperately want to change that situation, and perhaps that was good enough for the moderators.

I haven’t got a motorcycle but I have got a whole lot of crazy. If you’ve been following this blog over the last month that will have become pretty clear. I think about motorcycles in every waking moment, then I go to sleep and dream about them. And that’s a sort of thought process that can manifest itself in some pretty odd ways. Perhaps the most ridiculous effect motorcycling has had on my behaviour is that it has reverted me to my childhood self. So intense is my love for and fascination of motorcycles and motorcycling that sometimes – and, oh Lord, am I embarrassed to admit this – I find myself playing dress up.

When I was a boy, my grandmother made a Superman costume for me, which I wore until I grew too big and it ripped. Thereafter, I spent several years running around pretending to be professional wrestler Kerry Von Erich (it’s OK if you’ve never heard of him – seemingly no one has; which has come as a great shock to me in adulthood because as a child growing up in Houston, Texas, he seemed to me the most important man in the world). But that’s the sort of thing children do: they put on costumes and pretend to be something or someone they wish they were. Eventually we get older and grow out of that sort of thing, right?


My obsession with motorcycling is so over the top that I have been known to put on my jeans, Doc Marten boots, leather jacket and snow gloves, and sit there with my eyes closed making motorcycle noises. No, not blatting Harley noises, but the tuned and steady whine of a Triumph cruiser. I open and close my left hand for the clutch, timing it with the roll of the imaginary throttle in my right. I ease into curves, trying to make sure I am fluid in my movement. I imagine potential obstacles and skillfully maneuver past them. From time to time, I’ll spot another motorcyclist on this imaginary journey and offer that all-important wave to a fellow rider.

(I am still uncertain as to which is the better wave: the two-fingered gun-style wave, or a loose open hand? Which is cooler?)

I sometimes worry my wife will walk in and catch me doing this. It would probably be less awkward if she were to instead catch me looking at porn.