From: Thomas_Price@KANGA.FAC.CS.CMU.EDU
To: danampersanderic+@ANDREW.CMU.EDU
Subject: O German Engineering!
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 95 12:51:11 -0400
Saturday morning I jumped onto my big blue bike and rode it to Washington. My epoxy job on the left saddlebag, where it had cracked when I dropped the bike on it (oops) failed. I had to put a strap through the handles and over the passenger part of the seat to take the load off the cracked lip that held the bag on. Okay, no big deal. The day was bright and sunny and beautiful. Whee! Except for the tremendous 1/2 hr thunderstorm (with hail!) through Frederick. I never thought I'd see traffic go 40 mph on I-270, although I was doing 85 until the visibility went down to about 200 yds. I'd already taken off my gloves so they wouldn't get ruined, and put on my rainsuit.

Raindrops sting a lot above 60 mph.

I-270 had no less than an inch of water on it and in places up to four inches. I recommend to everyone that they ride a touring bike in the lane where the water is not pooling and then have a Jeep pass them on the other lane, drenching and blinding them in a huge warm muddy rooster tail at highway speeds with like no visibility to start with and giant lightning bolts crackling in the distance. Then it hailed a little. Yes!

Great fun, until the rainsuit stopped working so well and I got a little cold.

I called the two guys who responded to my ad in the Post; one wasn't home but the other one was very eager ("don't sell it to anyone else until I see it!") and was impressed that I rode it through the same storm that had knocked his power out. It turns out he owns a 1970 Triumph show bike that he can't ride outside the garage or it'll get dust on it, and he wanted something more functional. We got yer function, right here!

He looked at it and wanted to ride it or at least on it and suggested the beltway, so okay I went inside and changed into my leather pants and put on my engineers' boots w/ no socks and got on and he got on and we went up Connecticut Ave to the beltway feeder road and just before the exit he tapped me on the shoulder and said "uh, maybe we'd better not ... I'm not used to riding on the back" so we went a little farther and found a housing development which was very quiet so I pulled over and said, "here, try it out," and he gingerly rode off and I lay back on some total stranger's lawn, no idea where I was, at least five miles from where I was staying, with no wallet and no change and shoes I couldn't walk in and ridiculous bright blue leather pants on. Hmm, I thought, I hope he comes back.

I ended up selling it to him for the same amount that I paid for it one year ago. Unbelievable. I bought a fantastic bike, rode it around for 3000 miles, dropped it over and trashed one of the bags, and then sold it for what I paid for it. The rumors of BMWs holding their value are, uh, true.

Then I took the train home and on it there was this dyke who looked just like Ludwig Wittgenstein, and I should know because I have a 2'x3' reproduction of his passport photo on my livingroom wall.

- Tom Price

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