Black Betty
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Black Betty

Black Betty
Black Betty

Black Betty the Motorcycle

Created On: 04/19/2016 19:11:57



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Motorcycle Touring with Black Betty | BEHIND BARS

Created On: 04/19/2016 19:08:42
Edited By Black Betty On: 04/19/2016 19:10:50
It was just a three-hour business drone from Seattle to Portland. Then the Tacoma's commuter traffic crunched over my patience and left it bleeding by the Jersey barriers of Interstate 5. I broke right and peeled off west out Highway 16 toward water, peace and two-lane solutions.

Out past Gig Harbor sits a seafood 'n' ice cream emporium. Nobody in his right mind passes up a fried Hoodsport oyster burger washed down with fork-thick chocolate malt, and I don't either.

Waddling back out to my new BMW R1200S (a.k.a. "Black Betty" after lunch, I waved at the Honda ST1300 rider I had waved at on the way in, but he was still nattering into his cell phone. My cell phone, which doesn't work on good roads or sunny days, was tucked in my tank bag.

BMW makes hella' expensive luggage and their zipper pulls are crap, but they're stubbornly waterproof, fit close and look sharp as a Nazi officer's coat. Thanks to the joys of employee discounting, my Betty sported a tail bag to match. And rocker cover guards, 6-inch rear wheel, Swedish shocks, smoked screen, monoposto seat cover and booming Carbon-Ti stinger in place of the stock baboon's arsehole. The final touch is a pair of black speed wheels, which the inscrutable Bavarians refuse to sell on their schwarzer S-bikes. Betty's stock silver wheels were swapped onto a candy-cane 12S and delivered south to ferry a spiky girl around San Francisco.

Onward, then, west along where SR 302 curves two sweet lanes around Case Inlet's northern reach, past the road leading to Penrose Point State Park. Twenty years ago, I stood and bawled into the stony salt beach for my one true Catholic girl, cloistered into the nearby women's penitentiary at Purdy where she still haunts a cell today. I didn't stop this time. The freshly paved road was too curvaceously inviting for patricidal reminiscences.

So there I was, burbling lively along on a spankin' new bike, bound for my first reading of new material at a major bookstore and the first long ride with my self-selected "number-one groupie." Great roads rushed up to meet me like old friends returned, bathed in northwest sun. Life is pretty good, I thought. Wandering south on a congenial errand, a couple hours overdue with a pretty girl waiting... D'oh! IDIOT BOY!

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