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GOING THE DISTANCE
"SOME LIKE IT HOT"
PHOTO BY GENGHIS
HOT! HOT! HOT!: When it's hot take it off.
Whenever I'm with him
Stars to burnin'
And I'm filled with desire
Could it be the devil in me
Or is this the way love's supposed to be
Just like a heat wave
Burning in my heart
Can't keep from cryin'
It's tearing me apart
July 22, 2011
NEW YORK CITY HITS 104 DEGREES; BREAKS HEAT RECORD SET IN 1957
"New York City broke a heat record on Friday. A record-high temperature of 104 degrees was measured in Central Park shortly before 2 p.m., easily beating the previous record of 101 for July 22 set 54 years ago. While the all-time record of 106 wasn't reached, residents in the Tri-State Area were left sweating it out as the mercury soared."
I felt like I was in an interrogation room. The blazing sun's unrelenting heat bore down on me like a hundred 300 watt incadescent bulbs, inches from my broiling skin.
I was about to break, about to confess....to whatever they wanted me to confess to! Guilt was irrelevant.
I dragged myself along, sweating buckets, the intense heat rising up from the scorching sidewalk, frying, frying, frying. From the frying pan of the 104 degree air, to the fire of the 120 degree concrete. By the time I finished my two-mile walk to work, I must've shed five pounds of hydration. It's summertime in the city, baby. On my way to work a BMW motorcycle passed me as it stopped, started, stopped, started in the heavy traffic on 9th Street. There were two people on board. Both wore matching outfits of blue and black leather jackets, and black leather pants. The Heat Wavers M.C. was on the road!
They didn't look happy.
What're the chances that these people were absolutely drenched under those snazzy leathers, porous or not? Whenever I've come across bike riders wearing leathers in the summer, I've always had the urge to cup my hands around my mouth, and shout at 'em:
"Hey man, ain't you hot in those leathers?"
But I didn't. I suppressed the rhetorical question, because they believe what they believe, and I believe what I believe. It's also none of my business. I'm a big believer in minding my business and lettin' others go about theirs.
It is an attitude adjustment that's needed, man. What they believe is that going down is inevitable, and that road rash can be avoided with that hot, extra leather skin adorning their natural epidermises. What I believe, is that such a negative attitude is both unnecessary and self-fulfilling. If a rider has such a lack of self-confidence in his riding technique, then he will go down, sooner rather than later, and more frequently than infrequently. It's as simple as that. A positive-thiking biker, will ride with comfort, confident in his ability to avoid going down under normal traffic circumstances. This confidence factor in a biker, helps that biker to exert better control and technique on the street.
The majority of the Heat Wavers M.C. who wear leathers in the summer heat, are riders of foreign bikes. I have met my share of bikers on Harleys who also believe in wearing full-leathers all year-round including when temps are in the triple-digits, but they are few and far between. Hey man, can't relate to 'em. It just smacks of a negativity that borders on a premonition of accidents-to-come. I can't think like that, and the vast of bikers don't think like that. It's just too dark an attitude, an evil harbinger of things to come.
It's "The Omen" all over again.
Negativity breeds negative events. Positive thinking helps you to avert 'em. It's just a matter of having confidence in your riding ability, no more, no less. Fear and a lack of confidence in one's riding technique, are what drives the advocacy for wearing leathers, even in superhot summer temperatures. Check out this opinion by this motorcyclist:
"Summer brings the resumption of many sports and practices that make us appreciate the warm weather even more. One of the hobbies that is most active during the summer time is motorcycle riding....But motorcycling is a stylish and dangerous practice that, if done without the proper gear, can cause severe injuries in turn or even fatal end....Given the danger...motorcyclers should at all times consider (actually it should be a must do thing) wearing the proper equipment for their safety as well as those of the follow drivers on the road....A leather motorcycle jacket is the stereotypical jacket seen in most pictures of the motorcycle life. Many riders choose a leather motorcycle jacket over other types because it is safer, classy, stylish and can easily accommodate all sizes and types....While driving a motorcycle you strike....particles at great speed, which can hurt your bare skin....which is why a leather motorcycle jacket is preferred over one sewn from lesser material...Remember...the safer outfit you choose, the safer you'll be."
God forbid the "particles" that hit you at great speed, hurt your bare skin. I've been riding for over 40 years with particles hitting me in summertime, and have yet to suffer any trauma to my bare skin from "particles." What kinda crap is this? What kind of fruitcakes on bikes are actually afraid of, "hurting my skin from particles at high speed?" Unless we're talking about a loose side mirror flyin' off a car and smashing you in the teeth, I don't think we have much to worry about with regard to "particles." If you're that worried about particle-trauma, you can always mount a windshield. As an alternative, a windshield will allow you to ride more comfortably than wearing full-leathers, while protecting your precious "bare skin."
This is the type of fear-mongering that keeps bike riders spending their 104 degree days on their bikes, encased from neck to feet in leather, roasting like pigs on rotisseries. In the meantime, I'll enjoy having my bare skin bombarded by foreign bodies("particles" in Heat Waverese. ). I'll just duck the occasional flying used condom (would this necessitate a biologically-safe HAZMAT suit, worn over the leathers?) thrown out of a car window. I've got some sage advice for those who have a fear of airborne particles: If you're that scared of the mysterious, deadly "particles" you might encounter while riding, then permanently park the bike and take up something demonstrably safer, like stamp-collecting. Even that has its built-in hazards. What if you cut your fingers with the edges of the stamps? Man, be careful. It's a jungle out there. Later.