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Harley's Angels Chapter 07


A mass of Harley's Angels on the road is a sight that no one who ever sees it will forget. Their arrival at a gas station causes a panic. There is simply no way to cope with a caravan of wobbling, duck walking riders rolling in, each coming perilously close to steering into parked cars and their fellow motorcyclists. One Saturday morning near Appleton I pulled into a gas station on Highway 41 and was talking amiably with a fellow filler-upper about the humidity and general perfidy of machinery ... when the station suddenly filled up with middle-aged motorcyclists gunning their engines, trying to keep their 800 pound bikes upright. "Holy Jesus!" said my fellow conversationalist. "That guy almost hit the pumps...and that guy...and that guy...and that guy, too!" They pumped their own gas and rummaged through the racks for 6-packs of Miller Lite and beef jerky. The five or six motorists at the pumps simply sat in their cars and watched, they figured they had the best shot of staying alive if there were a couple tons of metal between them and the behemoth bikes swaying back and forth between the pumps like Great Lakes merchant marines on shore leave. The other customers moved around cautiously, hoping that none of the bikers would inadvertently careen into them or their parked cars. Anyone who has ever dealt with the Angels in a mass will agree that this is one of the worst aspects: at what point do you start protesting the little dings and scrapes caused by well-lawyered men riding 800 pound hogs...at the risk of starting a lawsuit that might end up in an increase in insurance rates? Is it cheaper to let a middle-aged rider get off with a little scratch or two to your eight year old sedan – or should a man risk his time and his sanity by insisting the bikers' insurance company pay, to the last penny, for all the damage they cause? The age old question of being brave or being apathetic.