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June 28th, 2008

To Kilt or Not To Kilt?

Tomorrow is the annual Gay Pride parade in Seattle, and as always, the "Dykes on Bikes" are the lead group who start the parade.  Generally it's been a group of about 25 Lesbian bikers who start the parade off.  However this year it may be different.  You see the person who puts the Dykes on Bikes together each year is my friend Vik who is also the Assistant Sales Manager for Downtown Harley-Davidson, and who has sold me my last two bikes.  She asked me and my buddy Randy who is President of the Border Riders, another club I ride with, if we'd get some guys to ride with them.  Apparently this is something of an honor, allowing men to ride with the Dykes.  And having seen the picture of me riding in a kilt to Tony's cousin's wedding last year in Pennsylvania, she asked if I'd ride in a Kilt, maybe shirtless, with some pasties on my chest as the women do.  I'm definitely NOT doing the pasties, however the kilt sounded somewhat intriguing.   So this morning I figured I'd best test it out first.

By noon it was already almost 80 -- a veritable heat wave by Seattle standards.  I want to ride the Red Rocker in the parade since it's such a sexy bike, but it has exhaust pipes that are very very hot and very very close to exposed skin when one is in a kilt.  Even when one isn't, the pipes are uncomfortably close, and I actually caught my pants on fire once riding it -- it burned through the fabric and onto my calf which still has a nasty burn scar.  So this morning I donned my tan Carhartt Utilikilt and set out to test the ride. 


Point #1 -- seats exposed to the sun get hot -- remember to tuck kilt underneath naughty bits when sitting on leather seat.
Point #2 -- high speeds tend to cause the kilt to billow up and expose naughty bits.
Point #3 -- exhaust pipes are extremely hot and will burn calves when they touch them, even when the bike is not running
Point #4 -- my God my legs are white!  Fortunately most of the parade audience will be wearing sunglasses

Given that the parade will run at a slow speed, point #2 shouldn't be an issue.  However, the slow speed will cause the air-cooled engine to heat up more, and the exhaust pipes as well, so point #3 becomes an issue. 

I made a couple of loops around the neighborhood, and even ran down to the credit union to make a deposit (about 10 miles), and managed to only burn my calf once -- in the driveway as I was backing out.  As much as I can I'll leave me right foot up on the foot-peg, as it's only when I put my right foot down that it comes dangerously close to the exhaust.  The ride to the credit union caused a few interesting looks by pedestrians and folks in cars, trying I think not to either point and laugh at the big bad biker in a dress, wondering if he'd get off and knock their block off if he noticed them looking.  I figure if Paul Teutul Sr. from Orange County Choppers can ride a scooter while wearing a kilt, I can certainly ride with the Dykes on Bikes as they kick off the Seattle Gay Pride parade in one.  I'll just have to remember to put some Neosporan and some burn cream in my pocket (and yes Kilt's have pockets). 



The question remains -- kilt or not?  We'll see tomorrow.

Just how white ARE my legs?

OK, yes I live in Seattle, and yes the sun is a somewhat rare treat here, and yes it's hard to keep a tan.  But DAMN when I look at the pictures of my legs under the kilt riding the motorcycle, I can't help but cringe.  I'm reminded of the pictures from the Mt. Everest expedition that found the body of the late George Mallory, who attempted Everest in 1929 and was lost.  In 1999 his body was found, and it had been preserved in the cold and been exposed to the elements for 60 years.  His legs were very white.

I have to ask the question now -- who's legs are whiter?  Mine?:


Or the late George Mallory's?


In my book it's probably a tie.  Pathetic isn't it?  Time to run down to get some spray-on tan before tomorrow -- perhaps in the shade of the Carhartt kilt fabric.

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