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Soul Mate Search

Looking For Love With Two Wheels in Puget Sound

Satire by Gary Meeker

So, it's been six months since your last relationship and you've had time to dry out, get your thoughts together and now it's time to start looking for your soul mate - again. Only this time you've decided things will be different. You love to ride a motorcycle, but you're tired of always taking your partner around two up and this time you're going to find a woman with her own wheels. What are the chances of that you wonder, and what will you have to go through to find that perfect girl, the one with her own bike?

You start off with a little math. 5% of the population in Washington state rides a motorcycle, and of that 5% only 9% of them are woman. You pull out your calculator and run the numbers. Your trusty Texas Instruments reveals the answer that 1 in 222 woman ride a motorcycle. So you head to the corner of Pike and First and start asking every woman if she rides a motorcycle, figuring that after you ask the question 222 times you will find a woman who does. Of course, you're in for the long haul because you know that that 1 in 222 might be married, or already have another significant other, so it may take going through 444, 666, 888 or whatever, but you're determined, and hence you start your quest. After asking 67 woman in front ofPike Place Market if they ride a motorcycle, the Seattle police escorts you back to your bike and informs you that the market is off limits to you until you can show proof of a confirmed marriage license from the courthouse up the street.

hmmmm... perhaps it would be simpler if you targeted in a little better on your demographic, so you head up Pike street, park your bike near the corner of Summit and stand outside of University Honda/Yamaha asking women who enter and exit the store if they ride a motorcycle. Sales manager Tom Wicken steps out and with a broken finger from his last WMRRA race and points you toward your bike with a stern glance and no dialogue. You get the message and make your way back home to retrench.

That broken finger from WMRRA gets you thinking and you realize if you had a sports bike, some quality leathers and a little training you could be on the course at SIR racing with some of the best women riders in the west and working on locating that special girl in the pits when you're not on the track. So you trade in all your old bikes and invest $27,000 in a Bimota and the proper riding attire, take the training, wire the bike for racing and there you are at SIR launching back into your quest. People are out practicing and there's a swarm of pony tails on the track. You check 'em all out and hone in on one rider. The practice run ends and everyone returns to the pits. "There she is," you say to yourself and hustle your way over to the canvas tent. Before the helmet even comes off you launch into your pickup line. "You looked great in turn two and your butt looks great in those leathers." The helmet comes off, the bearded face of an ex-Microsoft employee looks you in the eye, and with riding gloves still on you take a sucker punch to your mug. Again there's no dialogue, but you get the message and ride back home with your broken nose.

"Those sport bike people are a tough crowd," you say with your tail between your legs. Maybe you need to be with friendlier people that are a little more casual, so it's back to the dealer where you dump the Bimota and invest in a brand new Harley Davidson Sportster. Then you special order every ounce of chrome and leather accessories you can find for it. A few weeks later, you make your way to the classic motorcycle show in Anytown, Washington, and again your single girl, soul mate radar is on. You're sitting at the bar and she walks in alone sitting down one stool from you. She sets down her helmet and keys. She orders a margarita and when it arrives you make your move. "Hi, I just got a new sporty, what are you riding?" Again, no dialogue, just a smile appears in your direction. A sort of incomplete smile you realize - there's something missing in that smile. It takes a second to figure it out, but soon you notice - she's missing 90% of her teeth, which answers the question of why things may seem a little quieter than normal. "I'm sure she's really nice anyway," you say to yourself, then pay your check and leave.

You're getting closer to your soul mate, you know it's true. Now you've actually meet a woman who probably owned and rode her own motorcycle. Wow!

It's the first Wednesday of the month and you've heard about this mass flocking of riders from all over Puget Sound who show up for the Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts meeting at Teddy's Tavern. You hop on your Sporty and make your way to the corner of 65th and Roosevelt, and indeed the rumor is confirmed as you see over 300 bikes out front, many that are pre-1974. You quickly run your math again and realize that, boy howdy, 9 out of every 100 riders here statistically is a woman. And you begin to stroll 65th. There she is, your soul mate with a leather flight jacket that looks like a pass along from her father who must have been a fighter pilot turned rider in his later years. Yeah, baby, daddy's girl and looking awesome. You're getting better with pickup lines now and you roll out what would be the likely standard for a VME meeting - "Hi, do you come to these meetings every month?" "Yep," comes the reply, "How about you?" Oh my god, you're actually getting a two way conversation going with a woman motorcycle rider, some $47,000 and a broken nose later! This is too good to be true. You keep talking, exchanging names, likes, figuring out a few things you have in common and before you know she invites you to ride out for coffee with here at Zooka! Holy be Jesus, you're about to wet your pants. Her bike's over there, yours is the other way down the block. She says "I'll pull up to the light on a 64 BMW, so wait for me to get there and then we'll go." Next thing you know, here she comes and you hook up with her at the light, but she's giving you some kind of sneer as the light turns green and you both pull away. Down the street you go, and then another light. She looks over at you, points at your bike and says "What the hell is that?" "It's a brand new sporty" you say with much pride. "You got any other bikes?" she asks. "No, this is it," Her eyes roll, the light turns green and down the block you both go. You're wondering what the funny look stuff is all about. The answer may just come at the next light. You pull up beside her, she looks over at you and says, "I don't ride with anyone who doesn't have a bike that's more than 25 years old... see ya!" And now you eat her dust as she disappears across 45th. Later that night you drive up Fremont on your way home and see her bike in front of the Buckaroo Tavern next to a 62 Norton, 47 HD and 72 Bonneville.

"Boy, these are some tough crowds," you say to yourself. Maybe you should be hanging out with nicer people who don't have any expectations of who you should be and are just humble little squats themselves, so it's back to University Honda you go where you trade in your Harley for a brand spanking, shiny, red, new Honda Helix scooter. This time Wicken is nice and tips you off to how to hook up with the NorthWest Scooter Enthusiasts. Well, if it isn't your lucky weekend, the group just happens to be heading out on their annual "Dairy land" ride where they scoot past a dozen dairies between Fall City and Snohomish. You meet the riding group at the Pancake House in Redmond that Monday morning and low and behold if there aren't 5, count em, 5 single women, all with Honda Helix' chomping at their 250 cc bits to hit the road. You decide it's time to show off a little, like a peacock strutting through the brood, you start your fancy stunt work driving down the Fall City highway. At 50 mph you're winding your Helix in and out of the other riders and you even manage a wheelie by the time you reach Fall City, which is also about the time you missed the 30 mph sign and the State Patrol pulls you over for 50 in a 30 and exhibition riding. The rest of the group rides on past houses, farms and fields, but you get a ride back to Seattle from your friendly patrolman and your Helix is towed to the yard where you pick it up the following Monday after negotiating your way through the yard fees.

One last shot at finding your soul mate - the web. You start looking at what jobs are available for motorcyclists, and low and behold you find out Kozmo.com needs drivers! Yippee, and the Helix is just what the doctor ordered for a job like that. Surely there must be some Vespa girls riding for the mo. Back up Pike street you go and lucky for you the state patrol hasn't filed your last ticket. You fill out the application, take a test and pass with flying colors and you're onto your new career delivering videos like Meatballs and Jane Fonda's workout to Seattle's elite! Go baby, go! And sure enough in all this there's this drop dead driver with a heck of a frame riding a Lambretta. "She's mine," you think. After work one day you get up the courage - "Would you like to meet at the Elysian Brewery for a drink after work?" "Sure," comes the response and as planned you have a few cocktails. Things progress and you both ride over to your place for a little night music and more libations. "Do you want to..." you ask. The response comes back "Yeah I do, but first I need to tell you something. See I'm kind of in the middle of something... that I haven't had enough money to finish up yet..." And you're just sitting there thinking she must be talking about refurbishing the scooter or something... She takes your hand away from her crotch and says, "I still need to get this operation ya see."

GM/Summer 2000


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