I saw a helmet a few days ago that looked like the head piece of the Marvel Character, Iron Man. I told my son about it and he laughingly said that you could wear it with the Batman look-a-like motorcycle suit. I thought he was joking, but a quick search on the Internet and I found it. Superhero-inspired design isn’t the only variant on motorcycle gear. A rider was recently pulled over in Florida for wearing a helmet that looks like a Gladiator helmet. I’m not sure I understand exactly what statement somebody is trying to make by wearing some sort of costume while riding. To some degree, the bike itself is a costume.
The second I became a “biker,” there was something different about me. Not only in the way I thought of myself, but in the way other people thought of and treated me. Most of the people at work were surprised to see me on a bike. I’m the I.T. guy and I think most of my coworkers just thought of me as “the computer geek.” It was like I suddenly became somebody else.
One of our sister papers was temporarily without tech support, and I was filling in. This required several trips to the site about 90 miles away. During this time, my wife and I rode the bike over to the same town for a weekend festival. We were sitting at a table with some of our riding friends, all dressed in leather riding gear,when I noticed one of the ladies I’d been working with at another table. I gave a friendly wave and said “hi.”
The lady gave me a strange look and a standoffish nod. For a moment I thought I’d mistaken somebody else for her, but looking again I was fairly sure it was the person I thought it was.
“You’re name is Mary isn’t it?” I asked.
“Yeeesss,” she responded in a low leery tone.
“You work at the paper?” I continued.
Another slow, drawn out “yeeeess.”
“I’m Guy.” I finally said.
For about a second she continued to stare with a blank, uncomprehending gaze. Then she made the connection and her demeanor completely changed. I’d love to have heard the conversation with her coworkers the following Monday.
Don’t look for me in a Batman suit. The chaps and the jacket are costume enough.
— Guy Wheatley