You Can Buy Cool: It Is Easy to Defend Insensibility When Coolness Is on the Line

According to people in the University of Utah administration, our parking problem is going to get worse before it gets better.

In case you haven’t noticed, there are fewer spaces on campus this semester because of construction in the Rice Eccles Stadium west lot and the LDS Institute east parking lot.

Within weeks, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee will begin taking over many of our parking spaces, and additional buildings in the future will only further eliminate parking spaces.

So, what do you do?

Riding a bicycle is too hard. Taking the bus is too inconvenient. Carpooling? Only if you want to destroy your friendships.

The cool solution is a motorcycle. After all these years, I finally had enough excuses this summer to buy one. My mom wouldn’t let me have one, but I moved out. Gas had been so cheap during the ’90s, but it spiked during the summer. And then, the parking problem became just unbearable.

The seed was planted while getting around in a scooter in Taiwan last year. I have been riding a bicycle the past several years, and riding a scooter is much easier. It’s like going downhill on a bicycle all the time.

After returning home, I was ready to buy a scooter until my then-girlfriend casually mentioned that scooters are “so dorky.” I don’t ever let women affect my decision making, but I decided to buy a motorcycle instead, mostly because it has much better performance and cost just a bit more. Just a little bit.

It was the right decision. Like playing a guitar, riding a motorcycle defines cool. You’re out there, wearing leather, wind blowing through your hair, a babe holding on to you for dear life. You’re happenin’ and people know it.

It’s also the ultimate driveway jewelry. It’s not ostentatious and pretentious like a Porsche or Humvee. You won’t seem to be compensating for?small accessories.

A motorcycle in front of your house means you’re ready for action even though you don’t give a damn.

Of course, I bought it for practical reasons, like for commuting to school and helping to save the environment. I haven’t had any problems finding a parking space for my motorcycle. The designated slots are sometimes even better than the handicaps.

Even though it set me back a few thousand, it would pay for itself. My 500cc gets 70 miles to the gallon, so I’m saving a couple dollars every week in gas. I estimate my break-even point would be around 2050 for me if gas prices climb faster than inflation.

There’s no air conditioner because we don’t want any freon to destroy the ozone. Of course, I wear leather to protect myself even if it’s 90 degrees outside. I’ve learned to adjust to that; I don’t ride during the day in the summer.

I did keep my car for situations when I don’t want to look so cool, like hauling groceries and visiting my parents. (They still don’t know I have a motorcycle.)

Also, I need the car in inclement weather. Not that I’m a wuss, but all the salt and moisture is not good for such fine machinery. Also, a dirty bike is considered quite gauche among the “in crowd.”

Everyday, some smart-ass tells would me how dangerous my “donorcycle” is. I think these people are just jealous and not aware of all the benefits.

I have only begun to find all the advantages of motorcycles. The intangibles are probably too numerous for this column. I hope I live to tell you all about it in the future.

Alex welcomes feedback at: [email protected]