Classifieds: (links may be dead by now; all spelling in context)
- Randall’s winning “What is a Billy?” Answer:
I had an encounter yesterday with a “Billy,” though he something of a darker side as well. I pulled into a gas station for a water and snack break, and backed into a parking spot next to his bike, a 600cc sport bike of some vintage, though less than 10 years old. His first question of me on my KLR was what mine was geared for? I said “Dirt” and he looked confused. He then proceeded to tell me how his bike had been jetted, bored, stroked, and exhausted and he’d had it up to 159mph. “That’s great, I can do almost half that.” I said. He continued by proudly telling me it had 7000 miles on it, was valued at $13,000, but he only had $3000 in it. All seemed normal up to this point. It wasn’t a great looker, but it was ok, just showing some mileage in the no longer new black paint.
I asked where he’d been riding, and he told me he was on house arrest, so was trying to keep a low profile. I said, “That’ll put a damper on things, I suppose.” It was then that a blue “tuner” or “ricer” or “yard dog” (whatever they call them this week) with a peeling-primer-black-hood car with a loud pipe pulled in with two girls, and they started chatting Billy up as they apparently knew him from “rehab class.” I tried to appear uninterested as they weren’t including me in the conversation, but I couldn’t help overhearing them discussing his pulling a gun on two people, and how he was probably going back to jail on Monday for violating his home confinement while he was on work release. It seems that a sheriff’s deputy caught him violating, but let him have the weekend to work. After he talked the girls into maybe coming to visit him later that evening (he’d be home, of course, home confinement and whatnot), they drove off, and he asked me about the plastic thing on my helmet and how to get one. “You mean the face shield?” I asked. Yep, he was talking about a face shield. I replied that they usually came with the helmet but might be available on-line. I looked closer at his two battered HJC helmets (I guess in case one of the girls wanted a ride), which looked to be 10 or 15 years old. The one he was holding only had a couple screw holes where a face shield mounting mechanism should have been. I suggested a newer model might be easier to find than a face shield assembly. He then threw out his cigarette, put his backpack on over his tee shirt, and plopped his strapless full-face helmet on his head, started the bike, gunned the motor to probably try to peel out, but had to stop 30 feet later before running out of parking lot, then merged into traffic and was gone.
I’m not saying all these qualities are in a typical “billy,” but this guy certainly contained all the requirements and more. It _was_ a great day for a ride after all… I just wish this story wasn’t true.
This week, we have on Andrew Pain. He’s going to be talking about his book: Going Small – A Guide to Lightweight Motorcycle Touring. Andrew’s written a concise intro to the idea of forgoing the large-tourer in favor of something below 600CC. He’ll talk about his own touring on a lightweight and why he’s convinced that’s the way to go and why he’s encouraging everyone to give the smaller bikes another look. In addition to his book, he also has the sites:
Check him out!
Want to hear yourself on our show? Ridden a bike (like your own) and got an opinion? Got a cool piece of gear or farkle? Got a story? Know some jokes? Record an MP3 (or whatever) and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll throw it on the air and talk about it, too. That’s right, you can be the first on your block to be openly mocked by the Wheelnerds.
Or call our voicemail: (801) 917-4136
Or, leave us a voicemail via Skype! Our skype ID is wheelnerds.
Just go ahead, call, and leave us your story there! (We still read your emails, too, and will answer them on the show). If you got something really cool, shoot us a line and maybe we’ll talk to you live, too.
As always, you can listen to the episode above or download direct here:
To subscribe to the podcast, either hit the link in the sidebar to the right or even right here. Copy that address into podcast listener/getter/subscriber of choice. We’re also listed in the Itunes Store podcast section, just do a search for Wheelnerds.