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Object Of My Affection
That's What You Think
Legislative dodges, design bodges, blind faith, pace vs. grace, foot-in-mouth disease, the Nazi lexicon and the age-old quandary of when to wave
The Third Wheel
The Polaris Slingshot and BRP Spyder lit a fire under The Blue Groove readership. Andrew G. called the story “hilarious, gorgeous, and right on the money—especially comments about how the Slingshot looks. But most of all I enjoyed your point about its unpredictability after your unnerving crash on a flat, straight road. Three-wheelers are clearly the same kind of dodge around car-safety standards as the original pick-up-based SUVs. The only time I rode a Spyder I found myself wishing for snow and skis on it so I could leave the tedium of driving it on the road behind by crossing fields.”
George R. dug into the semantics of the Slingshot, writing that “the Slingshot’s propensity to turn into a slingshot makes it—alongside the Edsel and the Black Shadow—one of the most appropriately named vehicles in history.” Bradley J. also picked up on the name game. “What’s up with Polaris? The Victory Vision appealed only to people who lack vision—the blind.”
The Slingshot, wrote Peter C., “Looks like a good way to get beheaded,” while James G-R suggested if I stray anywhere near Polaris headquarters, beheading will be a certainty; “I don’t reckon you’ll be invited back anytime soon.”
Mike D., while decidedly a “two-wheel” guy, admits “when mastered, a Spyder can certainly keep up. Members in our club who ride them love them.” Larry B. expressed similar sentiments. “I've been behind a Spyder ridden with a bit of verve, and while I didn't covet the experience, I was impressed with the pace. Putting all that rubber down seemed to equalize things. But pace,” he admits, doesn’t equate to “grace.”
“I’d previously thought,” wrote Doug W., “that when I can’t hold a motorcycle up any longer I’d look at three-wheelers. But after reading your piece, I’ve decided that when it’s over, it’s over—my truck will become my vehicle of choice.”
Kendall D. confessed he was “a bit arrogant and cocky” when he confronted a Spyder rider in a parking lot. “What’s the point?” I asked. “He told me he’d just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and the Spyder was his way of extending his riding career. Imagine how red-faced I was. It was a life-lesson I’ll always remember.”
John W. said the piece was “just what he needed. To laugh, cheer, and agree with what you’ve experienced but that I’ve only observed, except for the embarrassing fact that I once owned a Honda Big Red three-wheeler. Your reference to Jonah brings a chuckle. It’s the funniest thing in the Bible. Original listeners to the story would have had the same response to your experience on three wheels—they’d be laughing.”
“Thanks for telling it like it is,” wrote Bruce G. “Your scuba lesson courtesy of Polaris really opened my eyes. Reverse tread pattern cause of the crash? I’d be interested to see what a blowout causes. When you became a ‘person of interest’ to the marketing types it reminded me of the early 1940s, when Germany was having grand ambitions, and coined the delightful euphemism ‘special handling’ [sonderbehandling—Nazi-speak for killing prisoners]. Makes you feel warm all over, doesn’t it?”
Meanwhile, in Texas
David T., while sweating out the summer in Houston, got to the heart of our dis-ease surrounding three-wheelers with characteristic precision. “Do you feel funny waving to three-wheelers?” he wrote. “I sort of do. It’s a thing where I want to be polite and friendly and all, but the whole thing just feels kind of squirrely. How do you not wave though? There are a bunch of bikes passing, with a Spyder in the middle of the pack. Do you interrupt mid-wave? Or at the Texaco station. Do you talk to him? So conflicted…”