Motorcycle superstitions have been on my mind recently, now that we’re up and running on the ‘Wing again. I know it’s all woo-woo silly stuff designed to give people an excuse if bad things happen to them for no reason, but… bad things keep happening to us for no reason.
Motorcycle Superstitions: #1 – Road Demons & Gremlins
The idea behind this one is that demons or gremlins lie in wait on the side of the road, and as you ride by, they attach to your bike and cause all kinds of trouble. You need a biker bell to ward them off, as they let go at the sound of ringing. Unfortunately, one can’t buy their own bell as that doesn’t increase your luck at all, so it has to be a gift from someone.
Motorcycle Superstitions: #2 – Don’t Ride a Dead Guy’s Bike
Even if the owner didn’t die on the bike, riding a dead guy’s bike is supposed to be bad luck because wherever he is, you’re on his beloved bike and he’s gonna try to push you off of it. I like to think that not every biker ghost is vindictive and crazy, but who knows?
Why does this matter? Because ever since we got our bike, we’ve had bad luck.
The ‘Wing came to us from a guy in Thunder Bay, who, if I have the story right, bought it off the family of a guy from BC who died and left his bike behind to a bikerless family. Problem #1 — we have a dead guy’s bike. Problem #2 – there is no biker bell.
You might think I’m crazy, but here’s a little rundown of all the problems we’ve had in the year that we’ve owned that bike.
When Matt went to pick it up, he had it all planned out that he’d be able to get home in daylight. The guy we bought it off of wasn’t around his house at the arranged time so Matt got stranded in Thunder Bay for a few hours, then had to ride a brand-new giant bike home in the dark by himself with no cell phone.
Almost immediately after we bought it, the kickstand started to fail. It angled the bike lower and lower and lower until it was really freakin’ heavy to pick up. Matt knocked the whole thing over in the driveway the day after he replaced it.
One hour into our bike trip across Canada, we discovered a nasty right-side oil leak that turned my brown shoe black.
Just outside Schreiber, a bird flew into Matt’s helmet, Fabio-style, in the dark.
I lost two debit cards in five days while riding as a passenger.
Our headlight came loose in Wahnapitae, pointing everywhere but at the road.
We drove through a tornado area without even knowing, and the wind was so intense that it literally ripped my rain pants in half.
Going through the prairies, a trucker flew past us on loose gravel and peppered us with rocks, one of which cracked our running light.
Somewhere in Alberta, we discovered our suspension was set entirely backwards, with the front pressure in the rear and the rear pressure in the front.
The battery died halfway through the trip and Matt had to bum start the bike every time we stopped.
In BC, we magically lost an hour on the highway and flat-out missed our ferry. We had to rush to another terminal to catch the last ferry of the night, then were promptly pulled over by the cops upon our arrival in Nanaimo. On the way back, we drove to one terminal to be informed that they weren’t putting bikes on anymore, and had to rush across the island to, again, barely catch the last ferry of the night.
The bike dropped coming out of a gas station in Abbotsford about five minutes after a guy told us, “Don’t drop that bike.”
Going back through the prairies, our speedometer, odometer and trip meter randomly conked out. Matt had to use the GPS to gauge our speed for the rest of the trip.
About five hours from home, the exhaust straight up fell off the bike. It ended up being busted beyond repair and Matt had to replace it this year.
We can never, ever easily get a hotel when we’re on this bike.
We have run out of gas three times (the last time we finally packed a jerrycan) when we were not expecting to run out of gas, in very inconvenient places to run out of gas.
Our seat broke on our last trip, leaving me with Matt sitting in my lap for an hour on the road.
75% of the time we do long-haul travel, it rains. Not just a bit — I’m talking storms, no visibility, lightning, all the good stuff that can kill you.
I know a lot of this can be contributed to a vintage bike, too-tight travel itineraries, the types of places we go, that kind of thing, but put all together it feels like we’re crawling with gremlins!
I’m hoping our luck improves, but…
Motorcycle Superstitions: #3 – Green Bikes are Bad Luck
Something to do with green bikes being used in wars. Anyway, my new (to me) bike is being painted. Guess what colour it’s going to be?