Where I live it is quite touristy in the summer. There are some campsites nearby where residents from here in the village come to forage. One of these is a German who comes to do morning errands on a Honda Monkey during his stay here. One thing he has no doubt brought with him on the back of his camper. When he has almost gathered his breakfast, he puts it in his backpack and goes to the bakery. There he buys a baguette. He sticks that baguette in the neckline of his T-shirt. There were a couple of ladies who looked at that with a surprised giggle. The baker explained: “And when it's really hot, he comes in his swimming trunks. Can you imagine where he puts the baguette?” It took a while before the coin fell to the innocent 50+ girls…
However, in terms of fall, such a summer has its idiosyncrasies. Wearing different footwear can turn out to be surprising. The lace of an expensive, well-protected Meindl hiking boot can catch on a footrest, pedal or kickstarter. The adjusting buckle of a luxury summer sandal can firmly brace itself behind a shift rod of such a highly relaxed custom. It all happens in slow-motion and at a standstill. But the case is no less convincing.
Such a festivity is highly entertaining for the public, but gives few 'knowledge points' for the toaster who wants to get out from under his motorcycle while his shoe is still an essential part of his two-wheeler. Certainly not if a toddler keeps asking his frightened mother with a nagging voice: “What is this gentleman doing? Did that man fall? Is he in pain?”
As true Bikers, we know that the pain in these cases sticks to the ego. Riding in protective, or at least some well thought-out, motorcycle clothing can be seen as a nuisance interference with one's private life. On summer days, being fully protected and in cheering fluorescent colors on a motorcycle seems like having sex with an 8 mm neoprene diving suit and goat wool socks on. The danger of heat stroke and/or dehydration cannot be neglected.
But safe thinking is not 'fold'. Personally, I only dress irresponsibly lightly on days when I'm sure I won't fall. Because I live in a village, I informed the local police about this approach. If the local law enforcement officers don't talk to me about my clothes, I won't talk to them about driving around in an ugly stickered VW.
But falling in the sun is not the only inconvenience. Recently I saw a bunch of doubly tough guys here (plus some buddie beeps) on trikes. They wore bandanas, insect-like mirrored Ray Bans, halter shirts and tattoos. In the soft light of the afternoon I found them again on a local terrace. Apparently they didn't feel it yet, but for anyone who has left their meat on the BBQ for too long, it was clear that the men - and the few beebs - were well burned.
Sometime later in the evening they would regret not having smeared the cucumber from the tzatziki on their burnt skin. My comrade and I have another pint. We had stayed out of the sun that day, in the shade of the garage. We had tinkered. We were not dehydrated, but we were celebrating our pleasant thirst. And we were amazed at what the pleasure was now to drive around on a VW Beetle sawn in half. Such an air-cooled four-cylinder boxer does not sound bad. Yet…
When it was a bit later I grabbed the Posbank. It was quiet. And cool. And it started to rain