You’ve seen the kind of guys I am talking about all over the place. The guy with the long white beard in the corner who rides a greasy Panhead encrusted with road grime.
You know, the guy who barely says anything, but stares a hole through you while taking a drag off his Camel non-filter. Guys with names like Chicken Man, Spider, Grumpy, and of course, Harley.
These guys are the real men of our time. Outlaws from a time when you did what you said or got the shit kicked out of you; guys with more sense than money, no internet connection, and a pair of grease-soaked Levis that predate Jimmy Carter’s presidency.
Usually you begin talking to these types of guys through an introduction by mutual friend or relative who “has known that crazy old biker for years.” After the old guy warms up to you he tells the story of when he met a guy 30 years ago much like himself and how that old coot taught him everything he knows. He also drops on you how he is getting on in age and not getting around as well as he did back when he was wine-soaked and weed-smoked. If you are not a douchebag and play your cards right, he may tell you a few short stories of how it really was back then.
If you keep your mouth from running and stay keen on what the guy has to say, he may even start to divulge info about his bike and all the others he has owned.
Through those talks he notices your true unbridled interest. He then helps you fix some lingering problems with your bike that only the wizards of bikerdom know how to do, and they do it quite effortlessly.
Then the quest for information begins. You start hanging around his darkened garage and help him move heavy shit around. You are then promoted to finding small snap rings, nuts, and bolts he can’t see anymore off of the floor. He then lets you peek in his stash and you are amazed at the treasures he has in lunch bags and cardboard boxes strewn about his abode.
If you have proven to this guy through your actions and not your mouth that you aren’t an idjit and the guy genuinely likes you, he may just call you “Bud” a few times and even kick you down some of the crazy chopper parts he’s never going to use. Some of the very same parts he probably got handed down from his own personal wizard a few decades earlier.
These guys are out there and they are a dying breed. Get your head out of your ass and listen to what the graybeards have to say. You just might learn something, gain a mentor, and good friend while doing so.. STC