This story reminds me of the scene in the movie "The Matrix" where Laurence Fishburne offers Keannu Reeves the choice of the two colored pills, one will let him awaken, the other will make him forget.   Ron has decided to follow the White Rabbit, and he's found out that he's really chasing the Dragon.  I wanted to include this under support, because I'm not naive enough to think that my site had any effect on Ron's choice in bikes, but it is nice to know that the tired old spells that the Trogs in Milwaukee weave are maybe finally getting weaker, and the more strong minded can break free of their mental slavery and imprisonment.  Let's give Ron a big hand here, he's taken his first step out of the pasture, and put both feet forward into the jungle.

Ron Brigman had the balls to admit:

I had a link to your site, "American Angst" E-mailed to me some time ago, by a casual work acquaintance of mine who rides what I have always referred to as "That go fast shit." I've read it all. I learned to hate you, but given you proclivity for destroying with extreme predijuice all Harley owners who contact you I've refrained. Until now.

I've ridden Harley's for about 3 years now, sneering at those "squids" on their buzzy little toys, pretending that they are the hottest thing on the road. Whilst I enjoyed the attention I received on my 'Glide, women who ask, "Do you ride a Harley?" with a tone of awe, I proudly escorted them outside of whatever watering hole I happened to be stopped at to show them my gleaming, growling ride. Knowing that 99% of the time the next question would be, "Can I have a ride?" I usually got a ride for a ride with them.

I apologize for the rambling, but us "hill scoogins" have such difficulty with concentrating on both typing and formulating complex sentences all at the same time. Bear with me, I'll get there.

It was about a month and a half ago now, that a female aqauintance of mine decided she wanted to purchase a bike, and given my years of experience on bikes, she asked me to help her find one. I talked my self blue in the face promoting the virtues of the Harley, the power, the deep rumbling of the twin long stroke cylinders...but alas, she up and tells me to my face that she wanted a motorcycle....not a rolling vibrator.

I was flabbergasted. Speechless. Instantly enraged. How DARE she!? My pride and joy, I had just paid it off! Twenty-three thousand dollars of America's pride! And she dismissed it with a back handed comment like that. It hurt my feelings.

Regardless, she was cute, and I was cocksure that once she actually saw some of the tinny crap that were the rice burning, plastic coated garbage coming to our fair shores she would change her mind.

I went with her to the local Honda dealer, after persuading her to ride with me on my Harley, (surely, one ride on my massive STEEL steed would bring this errant member around.)

As she was browsing around the *gasp* sportsbikes fer cristsakes, I spotted a guy looking over the Shadows and other cruisers shaking his head slowly, with an almost sneering look on his face. Bandana on his head, long hair, leather jacket, jack boots, slapping his black leather gloves against his leg. "Ahhhh" thought I, "a kindred soul, one who knows junk when he see's it."

I wandered over and struck up a conversation with him, starting off with some inane comment like, "Sure is sad to see Honda tying to out Harley Harley eh?"

He agreed and went on in a similar vein for a while, and I was beginning to feel more at home in these unfamiliar surroundings when I asked him what Harley model he rode.

He looked taken aback briefly, then a small smile formed at the corners of his mouth, "I don't ride a Harley." He replied, the tone of amusement clear in his voice, he points out through the pane glass windows, saying "That's my ride."

I looked outside, trying to see what it was he was talking about, the only bike I could see in that direction was a black, "naked" style sportsbike.

"Oh," I replied in a small voice, "that's a Buell?" knowing in my sinking heart that it was no such thing, that I had just walked head first into a conversation that suddenly was going horribly wrong.

He looked at me with what could only be termed an expression of pity, telling me that no, it was a Honda 919. I was searching desperately for a way out of this verbal nightmare, when he took pity on me and most kindly informed me that he rode Harley for twenty-three years, every other year slapping down his hard earned cash on each "new" model, from Pans, to Knuckles to Evo's...and each time he became more and more disillusioned.

"So," he went on, "I had to go out and buy a real bike."

With that he nodded to me and walked out.

I sat and pondered this for some time, the words of your site coming back to me. I walked over to where my female friend was astride some plastic coated rocket, grinning at me, saying "This is perfect, my feet even touch the ground on it."

I think I nodded vaugely at her, walking around the bike, sudden details popping out at me that I had never seen before, no visable rear suspension, swing arm made aparently out of aluminum, but strong looking, wide rear tire with next to no sidewall, 'built for performance' a quiet voice in my head told me. I looked over the row of bikes, each one less than half of what I paid for my Harley. Twice as fast. Handling magnitudes better.

A "naked" bike caught my eye, the headlight peering up at me, suddenly looking sleek, and yes..almost sexy in its potential, and something stirred in my soul. My friend walked up beside me, "Yeah, I was looking at that also, but it's got too much power for me."

Those words went round in my head. "Power. Too much. Power."

The salesman choose that moment to walk over, asking if he could help us with something. Before she could responed, I felt these words coming out of my mouth, seemingly spoken without my consent, "Do you take trade ins?"

I no longer am allowed in the pasture. The sheep look at me and siddle away. Muttering, "Baaaaaad maaaaan." My gleaming ride now graces someone else's garage. I wish that poor soul much luck with it. I am chromeless. Freindless. The sheep now call me "The Traitor" Women now ask me "oooo, do you ride a Harley?" And get strangely affronted when I laugh and say, "nope." And ignore them.

I hunt alone, roaming past the old pastures, seeing the sheep there, all in their small little world. Knowing that I now am the one who is truly different. I still wear my leather jacket, and yes, my wallet is still on a chain. Some details may never change.

But...perhaps I've learned that I was always a wolf in sheeps clothing, my 929 gives me more pleasure on a ride to work than my 'Glide did in a month of rides.

I still don't like you, Black Echo, I think you are just as predijuiced as, perhaps, I once was. However...I think I understand you a lot better now.
And if you're ever in my neck of the woods with your'd be my pleasure to attempt to put you in your place. Behind me. Far behind me. You see, I have power now. and Handling. And stopping power. and maneuverability...and.........

Ron, "The Traitor" Brigman.