Monday, October 13, 2008

The Silver Lining to High Gas Prices

The high price of gas has brought with is one silver lining this summer. It has gotten me out of my pickup and back onto the Knucklehead. To my shame, over the past several years, I had just gotten out of the habit of riding to work. Seemed as though there was always some reason not to ride, whether it was wet weather, too much "stuff" that needed to go with, or something.

But, this year was different. Spurred on by high gas prices, I doubt there have been a dozen days this summer that I did not ride to work. And most days I had a passenger with me. You see about 2 years back my wife Jane worked out a deal with our daughter Megan. Since Jane had a hankering for a puppy, and Megan's kids (our grandchildren) did too, they decided we should get one and have "joint custody". It seemed reasonable. Their house was only a few blocks away, and since Megan was home during the daytime, the dog would stay with them during the week, and with Jane and I weekends.

That went pretty well for a while; until Megan and her husband bought a brand new house about 20 miles away. Really, who wants a dog messing up a brand new house? So the "joint custody" morphed into Grandma and Gramps having a full time dog (who goes by the name "Lady"). And since my wife works in an office, guess who brings Lady to work with him every day.

Enter a cheap sidecar from a swapmeet. I never cared much for sidecars, but I did like to at least have the option of riding to work. And besides, who can resist a dog in a sidecar.

Incidentally, if you are considering a sidecar, I highly recommend one of these light weight aftermarket units rather than the overweight H.D. hacks. The OEM sidecars (in my experience) "pull" one direction when accelerating and the other when braking, not to mention hurting acceleration considerably. This 1973 vintage sidecar, weighing in at only 175 pounds does none of these things.

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