HOW CAN WE BE HUMBLE?
We are the fastest racers alive on the fastest two-wheeled rocket ships in the galaxy. We need to lean on our brakes to let lightning bolts catch up so we can grab them, give them a twist, and re-launch them into the sky in the shape of a Lizard “Z.”
Wellâ€¦maybe some of us are not THE fastest racers alive, but we certainly ride the fastest bikes.
Wellâ€¦maybe for some of us, we are not quite riding the FASTEST bikes, but we definitely ride!
Andâ€¦wellâ€¦maybe some of us are not actually real, bona fide, smiling-for-the-TV-camera kind of “racers,” but we do arrive to work faster than our bus-riding neighbors.
And…well…maybe we donâ€™t really catch lightning bolts, but we have ridden in rain, thunderstorms and torrential downpours all over North America. And perhaps, a few of us have even ridden through…a hurricane?
So who are “we?”
We are the Confederation of Motorcycle Lizards who ride through any manner of wet weather.
So you know one thingâ€™s for sure…we definitely ride. And we ride lots of different bikes. And this tale regards a multi-state race with Hurricane Arlene a few years ago (which preceded its more famous big sister, Ms. Katrina).
But if you are a little wiser than a rain-drenched lizard, you wouldnâ€™t partake of such an endeavor. But we ainâ€™t talkinâ€™ about no rain-drenched lizards! (We ride with rain gear).
So picture yourself in Tampa, Florida, having enjoyed a ride from Los Angeles a week earlier. One day before departure back to the left coast, you check in with Mr. Weatherman in light of the 40-pound raindrops banging on your door only to find him yelling, “Yo! Lizard Breath! Change your riding plans! We are gonna beat this part of the country with the first hurricane of whatâ€™s gonna be a whoppinâ€™ season.”
Hmmmmm. So what would you do?
Well…if you are a little wiser than a lizard, or a little less adventurous, you would change your riding plans and stay in Tampa longer while the Sunshine State gets battered for a few days.
Now letâ€™s switch gears and suppose you are a lizard that doesnâ€™t mind a little research. And letâ€™s suppose you learn the speed, path and landfall (east of Louisiana) of this storm. And letâ€™s suppose your lizard-brain figures thereâ€™s a chance you can beat this blustery puppy churning away in the Gulf of Mexico by racing around the coast: up through Florida, across Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, with the ultimate sunshine payoff west of the hurricane path.
Are you game for a hurricane race? (Those wiser than a wet lizard say “No.”) As for the rest of us…well…weâ€™ve been warned.
With our gear plastic-sealed and ensconced in hard saddlebags and with ourselves in wet-weather riding apparel, the Lizardmen leap off into the late afternoon of 40-pound rain drops (at least there isnâ€™t much wind to speak of…yet).
We take the lead a few hours into the race with our first good news: The rain settles down half-way up the coast from Tampa.
Better news: We make it into the Florida Panhandle late in the evening. Now the game plan is simple – we just ride all night and pass well in advance of Arleneâ€™s landfall tomorrow for an easy victory!
Bad news: This particular lizard is fully tuckered out. Itâ€™s time for a pit stop in a warm motel.
More bad news: Even with an early departure tomorrow, we are going to become pretty intimate with the current landfall projection. Read Motorcycle Lizards Unite! (PART II)