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Monday, January 26, 2009

Imagine a world populated by motorcycles

There's a bumper sticker you sometimes see, "Motorcycles Are Everywhere." It is intended to remind other car drivers that they should be alert to the possibility that something small and vulnerable could be in a blind spot, or crossing the highway ahead. It's meant to encourage safe driving.

But it also points to something completely obvious: motorcycles are relatively rare in the United States. In most of the nation, they vanish from the roadways entirely five months of the year. The rest of the year they are weekend playthings, mostly. As a motorcycle commuter, I was in a tiny minority even here in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, land of year-'round sunshine.

I've written before about my envy of Royal Enfield riders in India. They have a chance to enjoy a companionship that I can't experience. Now I've come across something out of Britain regarding motorcycles in general that awakens that same feeling. Here's a press release from BCA, which bills itself as Europe's largest used vehicle auction company. They held an auction just for motorbikes.

"Peterborough was the hub of the UK motorcycle scene on Friday, 29 February when BCA in Boongate staged a special auction featuring 188 motorbikes. Records fell as 176 motorbikes were sold...

"Bidding was fast and furious on the wide range of motorbikes on offer including Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Harley-Davidson and BMW and a broad selection of scooters and mopeds from Aprilia, Gilera, Peugeot and Piaggio. There was even a vintage 1950 Royal Enfield on offer."

Imagine an auction just for used motorcycles! This particular press release is rather old, but BCA continues to sponsor monthly motorbike auctions. The next is Friday, Jan. 30, at BCA Peterborough. I can't make it, but that's not the point.

My point is that, obviously, if you're able to hold full-fledged monthly auctions, motorcycles (even used ones) are closer to the center of daily life. In fact, you could say, "Motorcycles Really Are Everywhere."

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