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Harley's Angels Chapter 03


With all the crime and economic worries of our times, it's hard to see how it would make any difference to anybody at all what a couple upper-middle class men bought with their not-so-hard-earned money but it was the awesome power of the local free press that brought change. If the rise of the Harley in middle America proved any one thing it was the awesome power of advertising.

Harley Davidson took notice and went full on balls to the wall marketing forthwith. Freedom with a side of Americana for the low low price of a couple ten thou. You're not a boring orthodontist, you're an outlaw who happens to practice dental surgery. You're not a guy who lusts after his unattainable young secretary while discussing P/E ratios, return on equity, and cash flow statements in boardrooms- you're an outlaw with a get back whip who happens to be a titan of the financial sector. In other words, you're not you, you're a better you -the best you you could be when you buy a Harley.

Freedom. Is there any word more American...oozing red, white, and blue, when the word freedom casts a shadow it's a bald eagle haloed by the letters U, S, and A all wrapped up in the stars and stripes. So when Harley started advertising to the middle-aged suburbanites and the press printed the human interest stories of mean looking men drinking microbrews and partying it was the one-two punch that knocked baby boomers flat on their padded tuchuses. They never stood a chance. Show a boring, quiet dentist an image of himself as a man's man wearing outlaw rags in front of an American flag and all he sees is his own manifest destiny- the right to be the man he believes he already is somewhere down deep inside... perhaps buried deep – but not irretrievably so – under 2.5 kids and the wife and the mortgage payments on the 5 bed colonial with the white picket fence.

The irony, of course, is that if it weren't for the boring, professional gig and strict adherence to financial responsibility, Harley's Angels wouldn't be able to float the pink on a new shiny chrome two-wheeler in the first place.

Another dose of reality for the Angels- partying hard and riding harder is work. Partying at the campfire til 3 in the morning shotgunning cans of warm beer while staying conscious enough to carouse then waking up at the crack of noon having slept rough on god knows what next to god knows who for god knows how long ... riding your bike to the next couple hundred miles then repeating isn't for someone used to 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and Posture Royalpedic Doublesoft SleepEZ mattresses.

There's a reason bikes are trailered to one or two rallies a year in trucks bigger than apartments, far more handsomely equipped – massaged, heated, and cooled seats; sound system set optimally for BTO and the Eagles – suspension set to not feel the road or the climate rushing by at 80mph. There's no hundreds of miles of smelly tarmac with the sun beating down – or worse the rain...each raindrop hitting you at highways speeds, big ass needles penetrating each square inch of skin not covered by HD protective gear, no stink of skunk or deer carcass, and swarms of gnats and mosquitoes and no-see-ums die quickly and unannoyingly on the windshield instead of shooting into the eyes or nose.

When the hotel, optimally set within a five to ten mile radius of the event, is settled and the bikes unstrapped the partying and spending begins.