Whatever: The Grim Reaper

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By John Burns

I think one of the tenets of the American Middle Class is that we all want our kids to have a better life than we did, but now that my son has one I’m pretty jealous. He has a really cute, charming and even intelligent girlfriend who goes to the U. of Santa Barbara, like 120 miles up the California coast from us. When I was growing up in the midwest, Santa Barbara was a soap opera, 1500 miles removed from me literally and about 10 million miles figuratively. To go visit little Chelsea this afternoon, my son’s transpo options include a brand new BMW S1000R, my swell-beyond-its-$5K price tag old Jaguar XJ6, or the Amtrak Surfliner – with club car and free wi-fi. I love trains.

To visit my cute, nice, charming, intelligent GF (if I’d had one, the theoretical equivalent would’ve been in Lawrence, Kansas) at his age, my options included a rustbucket `75 Nova with the inline-Six, LPC (leather personnel carriers), or thumb.

I talked him into the train even though he really wanted to take the BMW. Motorcycles are dangerous. He’s already a good and careful rider at 23, but I worry about him in that nasty old LA traffic. With all the random death around lately, I wonder if there’s a way to just turn the worry off. A better idea seems to be to encourage your loved ones to just grab all the gusto they can, Schlitz-commercial style, and hope for the best.

The MO crew was at a track day last Friday at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, about to pull onto the track to do some four-bike formation flying for the videographer, when we couldn’t find Sean Alexander. Where did he go? Riding back toward our pit, we found a big group of people trying to resuscitate …read more

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