Recently a friend of mine sent me a link to a YouTube video that showed some riders trying to load their machines into the back of pick-up trucks. Naturally all these attempts were unsuccessful, It wouldn’t have been funny if they’d made it right? Of course I immediately posted the link on the IronWorks website. A few days later another old friend said she had watched the video and wondered if I’d ever had to load my bike onto a truck and if anything like that had ever happened to me.
Having an older bike with lots of miles I have of course been forced to haul my steel steed to the shop on occasion. Lately my friend Darrell has helped me when I’ve asked. But a few times before I did have to use my truck to get the bike to the shop. Luckily the street I live on has a slope while my yard is flat so I have a natural loading ramp. I do have to use some sort of additional ramp to get it into the truck bed. But I’ve never had the trouble those guys in the video had.
But the video and talking about it reminded me of a time when I had to return a bike to the Harley factory in York, Pennsylvania. The staff of IronWorks had the loaned the bike for a test ride session. Eventually it wound up in my hands with the stipulation that I would be the one who returned to Harley, which I really didn‘t mind doing. The only problem was that I needed a ride home from York. That was solved when my friend Paul said he’d trail me in his truck and I could ride home with him. He had volunteered because he had never been to the factory yet. So we set a date that fit both our schedules.
Everything was set except that Mother Nature decided to throw a monkey wrench on our plans. A few hours before our planned departure it started to rain, hard. Paul called and asked if we were still going and I said we had to, but would he mind hauling the bike in his truck. He said it wouldn’t be a problem and came to my house to get me and the bike. By the time he got there the rain had pretty much let up but by the lightning bolts in the sky we knew the storm was heading the same direction that we were going.
It was a solemn 4 hour trip along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. We never did catch up to the storm but the roads were soaked the whole way. After getting off the turnpike we decided to take a break and get some lunch. While we were eating the sun came out and the roads started drying off. We were only 20-25 miles from York so I told Paul, “I have to ride this bike into the plant.” Just down the road we found an embankment where unloaded the bike so I could triumphantly return the bike while on the seat of it.
Arriving at the plant I went into the office and told the receptionist that I was returning the bike and laid the bike’s keys and registration card on the counter. The person behind the counter checked the log book and then looked at me and said, “We have no record of you having this bike.” For some reason she could not grasp that I was bringing a bike back that she had no record of even though I had just parked it outside her door and given her the keys and a registration card. By the way bike had a Wisconsin registration card and license plate on it even though I live in Pennsylvania.
When she went to another office to talk to her boss my friend Paul gave me a swift kick in the shin and says, “Hey, they don’t have any record that you have the bike so let’s get out of here and take it home.” I laughed and said that even though I was tempted, that no we couldn’t do that because sooner or later it would get traced back to IronWorks and then me. When the receptionist came back out she said, “You guys have had that bike a long time.“ I don’t think sje believed me when told her that I’d only had it a few days. Then she thanked me for bringing it back. Later we took a tour of the plant and then headed home. The ride home was definitely more lively.
Posted by Sam Kanish